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Gluten Free Guerrillas
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Which Rums are Gluten Free (not the spiced ones)?


I'm not a big drinker, and only really drink when I'm out to dinner with friends. My drink of choice for years, has always been a Rum and Coke - however, over the past few years, I seem to be coming away with classic glutening problems, that I can't really put down to a hangover, as I only have one glass over dinner. I was recently told that Rum can contain gluten in the form of barley, and other grains - especially the spiced Rum brands. Can anyone confirm this? I recently checked those Rum & Coke cans you can get mixers in M&S and Sainsburys, and was horrified to find that they do contain gluten. Can anyone recommend safe Rum, can have, or point to when ordering - is Barcardi or Havana Club safe?



7 Replies

Hi Sam, depending on your sensitivity to gluten one big problem with spirits like whisky, cognac and rum is that they are aged in oak barrels that may have been used for sherry/cognac/whisky. And some oak barrels have been sealed with wheat paste. Also rum can be coloured with caramel which can be a wheat derivative.

Here's a link about oak barrels used for storing rum:


I would find a rum that is bottled straight away rather than aged and imagine that some Jamaican rum/bicardi made from sugar cane should be OK... But your problem is, is it below codex or is it 100% devoid of gluten. The EFSA had appendices of spirits listed as gluten free and they ranged from 2 to 5 ppm when 20 ppm is considered gf.

So it depends on your sensitivity I guess, so I'm sorry but I can't give a definitive answer.


Thanks for your reply, Jerry. Good to know about the oak barrels and wheat paste, as well as the colouring of rum too. I'll have a good look at the EFSA appendices, and check what ones go up to a max 5ppm. I'm quite sensitive, so would be good to know either way.

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Its a bit sneaky as the appendices have gone and this is what they say about low levels of gluten, below 20ppm:

'cereals used in distillates for spirits

The Panel considers that distillates made from cereals are unlikely to trigger a severe allergic reaction in susceptible individuals.'


This link should help those who are affected by maltodextrin and the like and how about individuals who don't want a reaction at all...

Ps I think that unless flavoured they are all below 5ppm

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This is really useful information - thanks, otherwise I would have had a hard time finding it (!) I will have a good read, and stick to the unflavoured ones if it looks okay. Thanks for your help!

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It's the coke that contains barley, at least cheaper non brand ones do.

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Hi there, I always go for Havana club and I've never had a reaction. I do love a pina colada when on hols but sometimes unsure about the mixes some places use for cocktails..argh.

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Thanks Janey. Havana club is one of my faves, so will stick with that. I hear you about pina coladas - have had some awful reactions on vacation - so will stick to making them myself at home. :-)


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