People with food sensitivities often ask what type of cocktail they can safely enjoy. Wine contains tyramine, a compound that forms in the aging process and can induce headaches in susceptible individuals. Nasal stuffiness and flushing are common complaints with beer and wine consumption and are attributed to sulfites. Barley, a gluten containing grain, is found in beer and must be avoided by those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
While no alcoholic beverage is completely safe, vodka tends to be better tolerated than wine and beer. All alcoholic beverages start out with a fermentation process, but vodka goes through a distillation process and doesn’t require additives. Even if vodka begins with a fermented gluten grain, the distillation process renders it safe for the gluten intolerant. Compared to other distilled liquors, vodka generally undergoes more distillation and charcoal filtering to remove any unwanted flavors. My choice of vodka is either Dripping Springs or Tito’s, both from Austin, Texas.
When drinking vodka, be careful with mixers as they can also be problematic for the food sensitive individual. Often containing artificial flavors, colors, preservatives and sweeteners, mixers can induce symptoms just as readily as alcohol. Opt for fresh juices and natural sweeteners. Right now I have some Key Limes on my tree and pomegranate juice is a seasonal favorite, so here is my recipe for a delicious holiday cocktail. Cheers!
- 2/3 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- 2/3 cup water
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup pomegranate juice
Bring lime juice, water and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in pomegranate juice. Chill until very cold. Make cocktails with ¼ cup pomegranate lime mixture, 1½ ounces vodka, and ice. Can be strained into a martini glass.
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