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Sulphite sensitivity and alcohol

Just asking what alcoholic drinks people who are sensitive to sulphites are able to tolerate. I'm okay with vodka (but not particularly fond of it) and think I'm ok with low sulphite German beers (can't be entirely sure as had a big attack that day from people smoking around me). I heard that gin's usually ok too but I hate gin it tastes like trees to me! =P

I'm not a big drinker but I'm on holiday with friends next week and would like to be able to join everyone else in a social drink or two, but I'm still not entirely sure what is safe for me to have. Can anyone with experience of a sulphite sensitivity let me know what drinks they are able to tolerate please? Thanks everyone! =)

6 Replies

Sorry to bump, but could use some advice. =)


Not knowing anything about sulphite I have just googled 'Sulphite (redirected to Sulfite) sensitivity alcohol' and there is some information on the subject. Someone has posted 'What kind of alcohol can I drink if have a sulfite sensitivity?' and that looks useful. Hope you have a lovely holiday. xx


It is not possible to say which drinks will not affect you as if you are allergic to sulphites your tolerance to sulphites will differ from another sulphites suffers tolerance levels as it affects each person differently.

Sulphites are produced as a natural by-product of any fermentation process (bread, beer, wine, yogurt, old cider) and so are produced during the wine fermentation process. So even if the manufacturer has not added sulphites there will still be some in the wine. So, no completely “sulphite-free” wine exists. Even wines that are labelled ""sulphite free"" can have up to 10ppm of sulphites.

Red wines are slightly lower in sulphites than white wines. Grapes or whatever has been used to make the beverage may also contain natural sulphites.

Gin vodka and whisky are distilled rather than fermented so have low levels of sulphites as long as none are added and some sulphite sensitive people find they can tolerate them....but still be wary until you are sure...

So basically the main thing you need to avoid is wine and any beverage such as beer that has been fermented...

Also be wary of caramel colouring which is often added to whisky as it also contains sulphites...


Cheers guys

I was only able to find info on wines, beers and ciders, which I no longer drink as wines and ciders have caused me problems after 1-2 sips. Like I say I might be ok with German beers as they're lower in sulphites than most, but don't know if they had any part to play in the big attack I had that day when someone started smoking around me. I'll have a look into look into some distilled spirits.


problems with most alcohol cos of the sulphites :( grrr!!!!

okay wiv vodka, bacardi :)



Gin... Spirits generally. Anything coloured will likely have them in to reduce browning/colour loss. I find I'm actually better with strongbow than other more appley brands and scrumpies or fruit ciders. I'm not a lager or ale drinker so that's never an option for me. And wine isn't my favourite. So usually gin, gin or gin.... My symptoms are coughing but mostly gut related. Taking an antihistamine does seem to lessen it, especially if I've taken antihistamines over a few days before. Pubs and general stores don't usually stock sulphite free cider. I'm after trying a few then asking my regular pub to stock a few bottles for me.


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