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Gluten Fee?


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#1 Screwtape

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 11:20 AM

Now realizing that there many secrets to be kept regarding proprietary botanicals, I was wondering if anyone knew of absinthe's relation to gluten.

I have lately found a love for the fee, and though my wife is curious she has celiac sprue. The threat of poisoning her has kept me from pouring her a glass, though i think she would quite enjoy it.

The question then being: has anyone experience in this and is there a brand that we know to be gluten free?
Your affectionate uncle, Screwtape.

#2 Joe Legate

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 11:36 AM

Hey Screwtape.
Obviously, this is nothing to mess around with so please be careful. From only a quick check, I'd stay away from any grain-based alcohol but that's not completely bad news. It would appear that grape-based alcohols (brandy, cognac, armagnac, etc...) seem to be gluten-free. Assuming there was not any gluten transferred in the distillation process (I'm not aware of gluten in absinthe herbs, roots or leaves), any grape-based absinthe should be gluten free. That would include Marteau, the Jades and a few other brands. Clandestine uses beet sugar which may also be gluten-free.

Please keep in mind, I am a theatre geek by trade so check out my thoughts carefully. I am no authority on such matters.

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#3 Brian Robinson

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 11:40 AM

I also think Meade based absinthe (Germain Robin) and Pisco based absinthe (Leopold) should be fine based on the same suppositions.
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#4 Nonmouse

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 12:20 PM

I'd be pretty shocked (VAST understatement) if any gluten were able to make it through the (at least) two distillations that absinthe undergoes. It's high molecular weight proteins- stuff that just isn't going to make it up the reflux column.

I'd be more concerned about the herbs added in the final maceration, but even there I think it's unlikely that they contain gluten- as far as I know, it's only found in grass grains.
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#5 Joe Legate

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 12:57 PM

From the websites I read, all distilled alcohol is gluten-free. Avoiding grain-based alcohol seems like a simple precaution.

I am not aware of any grains being used to flavor or color absinthe.

#6 Ron

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 01:02 PM

I am not aware of any grains being used to flavor or color absinthe

Don't give them any ideas, Joe!
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#7 Nonmouse

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 01:49 PM

From the websites I read, all distilled alcohol is gluten-free. Avoiding grain-based alcohol seems like a simple precaution.


Except that it rules out the majority of absinthes, based on a non-existent danger. I can understand why celiacs tend to be a little paran... umm... hyper-cautious, but really, proteins ain't gonna make it through even simple distillation, much less the fractional distillation required to get 192 proof.
I don't have pet peeves; I have major psychotic fucking hatreds. Geo. DP Carlin

#8 Brian Robinson

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 02:23 PM

But as we've listed, there are some great alternatives.
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#9 Joe Legate

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 02:23 PM

If you need to know about theatre, I'm your man. If you need health advice, see an expert.
I understand what the websites say (everything on the internet is true) and I have a tiny bit of knowledge about the distillation process but I have no qualifications to advise someone to risk their wife's health.

#10 Babble

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 04:27 PM

FYI: There are two new gluten-free beers on market made by "Les Bieres Du Nouvelle-France" in Quebec. They are both called La Messagere and there is a blonde and a red. They are made from Rice and Buckwheat. I tried them last night and it was the first time I've had a gluten-free beer but they were pretty good. A bit thin tasting which is understandable but for someone who is allergic to gluten these would be a mighty fine treat. I preferred the Red.

I'm not sure where you liue but you might be able to find them or perhaps contact the brewery if you are interested and see what they can do for you.

http://www.lesbieres...france.com/home

#11 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 06:48 PM

Marteau is gluten free. ;) No grain anywhere near it.

I agree with the others, though, and I know of no way that glycoproteins could evaporate in ethanolic distillation.

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#12 Screwtape

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 08:39 PM

Thanks for the good info, gents.

I am new to this site, and still fairly new to the fee, but like Tavaras taught us, it only takes a minute to fall in love.

I'd swing over and introduce myself in the proper spot, but as of now I'm in bed typing away on an iPhone, which is a real rotter to write at length. I'll save that for another time.

Anywhoo, nice to be here.
Your affectionate uncle, Screwtape.


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