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How to navigate alcohol and food allergies

How to navigate alcohol and food allergies

Allergy Friendly Alcohol: wine, beer, spirits

The holiday season is here! I love this time of the year because it comes with glühwein and a well packed social calendar. 🙂 It also reminds me to be extra careful with beverages and my allergies.

There are mulled wines, eggnog, rum punch, spiced apple cider, and more yummy drinks like our Dark and Stormy Float. And unless you are the one making these tasty beverages, it can be hard to know what is in them.

How to navigate alcohol and food allergies

If you are at home or a family/friend’s place it is easier to control what you are drinking. But going out is different. I have come to learn mixed drinks are not an allergy friendly option. Nothing kills a buzz faster than an allergic reaction and no one wants that!

Worrying about allergies all night is no fun, what to do? I say stay pure! Wine or a simple beer is always a good choice.

But… if you are craving a mixed drink out on the town, be upfront about your allergies and ask for all the ingredients. The reason I avoid mixed drinks is because cross contamination is high, especially at a bar. The utensils used are not properly cleaned (just rinsed) and you never know where they have been.

I generally don’t order anything with liquor because the measuring device has not been adequately cleaned. The same thing goes for garnishes (mega cross-contamination going on).

Bars get busy, and they are not as clean as you’d hope. The last thing is the ice. We all know that bar ice is icky, but it gets even sketchier when the bartender is working over it, who knows what has been accidentally poured on it.

→ Check out my 11 tips for navigating a bar with food allergies

To make navigating alcohol with a food allergya bit easier below is a list of alcohols to avoid is if you have a peanut, tree nut, or sesame allergy.

Avoid these Allergy-Unfriendly Alcohols

Obviously, avoid anything with the name of your allergy. Some beers use the word nutty to describe them, but contain no nuts, to be sure ask if nuts are really in them or if they have the ingredients on the bottle (it’s never embarrassing to ask because it could save your life!)

Peanut allergy avoid:
Castries Peanut Rum Creme
Peanut Lolita
Uber Goober Oat Stout (Beer)
Harp Lager (beer)
Cooley Eblana Irish Whiskey Liqueur

Almond allergy avoid:
Bombay Sapphire Gin
Beefeater Gin
Ferdinand’s Saar dry Gin
Horchata (orxata)
Creme d’amande
Galliano (also a vanilla once – as to specify)
Cooley Eblana Irish Whiskey Liqueur
Glayva Scotch Whiskey Liqueur
Maraschino cherries (almond oil)

Walnut allergy avoid:

See Also
Allergens in Beer

Hazelnut allergy avoid:
Phillips Dirty Squirrel (beer)

Pistachio allergy avoid:

Cashew allergy avoid:
Monteith’s Golden Lager (beer)

Sesame allergy avoid:

I read that Bailey’s may have traces of nuts because of the oil used to emulsify it. I have had it in the past without a problem, but if you are worried, then I would say better not.

Did I miss one? Let me know 🙂

You may be interested in reading… the first time I got drunk and what it taught me about managing my food allergy.

Know your allergy friendly alcohols. When in doubt wine and beer can be a good choice.
View Comments (10)
  • Hey Kourtney, love your blog!!! Just a quick note about Amaretto- Disarono brand is made from Apricots not Almonds!!! Been happily drinking my fav brand for years. Happy Tippling! –@allergyphilly

    • No way! I honestly did not realise that. I always stay a mile away from it because having a reaction to alcohol just seems like the worst. Thanks for the tip – looks like I may be trying something new 😀

  • hi! I’m allergic to all nuts and my allergies are getting worse as i get older ! i haven’t had a drink in over 5 years but id like to start drinking a few wines and maybe beers if possible .. could you give me a short list of a few of your favs that you have had good luck with ? that seem to be safe for these allergies ?

    • Hi Shanda,
      My favourite wines would be German whites or California reds. I also drink all sparkling wines, I like crémant, which is from France. When it comes to beers I will drink big brands like Bud light or if I go for a craft beer, I make sure it has the ingredient list (which seems to be most lately). I also like cider, my favourite brand would have to be Aspall. Let me know if you want any specific brands or let me know what taste palate you have.

      • I like white wines and as for beers things like corona . I use to drink vodka soda on the rocks for years but I really want to try something else , Is there a brand like maybe a bottle u could show me of white wine so I know right what to buy at the store ? And do you have and info on corona?

        • I don’t have any exact info on Corona, but have definitely had it in the past. One white wine you may find easily available is Fetzer – I really like this wine – it’s from California.

  • Hi! I’m allergic to all tree nuts and will be traveling to Italy this summer! Have you ever had a reaction to wine? Abroad or in general? Are all wines usually safe? I honestly never thought nuts could be found in wine. Looking forward to your response!

    • Hi Nico,
      I have personally never had a reaction to wine. I’ve heard people with egg allergy or celiac have a problem with certain wines, but not all wines. Wine is my safe alcohol of choice, I also have a tree nut allergy. Where will you be going in Italy? Talking of wines, my current favourite is Montepulciano d’Abruzzo!

  • Hi! I have allergies to tree nuts, soy protein (that’s a tough one) and now a slight sesame allergy. Sesame is new but the other 2 didn’t develop until 22, horrible. So glad I found your blog!

    Do you know of any vodka’s that could be safe with those allergies? I usually drink wine and hard cider but want to add some vodka in my life, please let me know! Thanks!

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