With an estimated one in three people trying to cut gluten from their diets, awareness of products that can contain it has risen. And efforts to make products without it have too. Two vodka makers recently announced their gluten-free spirits.
Now that might make you wonder: Where does the gluten come from in potatoes, from which vodka often is made? Potatoes don't have any gluten. The protein that can make some people severely ill is found in wheat, barley and rye. However, not all vodkas are made with potatoes. It can be made from grains, grapes and other ingredients too.
Devotion Spirits Inc., a New Jersey company, has its gluten-free status on the neck of its bottles, which also are decorated with angel wings. The makers say they are the first to get the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' OK to put those words on the bottles.
The vodka is made from corn -- and no other grain, said Mike Calleja, a partner in Devotion who recently moved to California. It's that "other grain" that can sometimes trip up a person who is sensitive to gluten, he said.
Devotion uses American-grown, non-GMO corn and is sugar-free. It comes in several flavors, including blood orange and coconut. Calleja said his favorite is the coconut, on the rocks. It costs about $20.
And Deep Eddy, a vodka that comes from Austin, Texas, also is gluten-free, its makers said. It's made in small batches, and has ruby red grapefruit among its flavors. It's named for the oldest spring-fed swimming hole in Texas, the company said.