Gluten-free Quinoa Vodka!

quinoa vodka

Quinoa Vodka

Apparently this vodka has been around since 2009, but I’ve never seen it or heard about it until now! I’m really looking forward to having an alternative to regular vodka that can be made from wheat or potatoes. I like the potato vodka, but have not tried the quinoa yet. Here is what I found out about Fair Spirit Quinoa Vodka:

Fair Spirits great taste comes from our high quality quinoa with a special production process – the result of a two-year joint research project between French distillers and Bolivian farmers.

Quinoa is the mother of all grains and is an ancient power food used by Incan warriors 5000 years ago. Quinoa is gluten free.

We source our quinoa from the Andean mountains of Bolivia. The Altiplano plateau is over 3000m above sea level where the quinoa grows in fertile soil on volcanic rock.

JUDGE’S TASTING NOTES

“Very smooth, fruity, spicy vodka that will shine with a nice chill or in martinis”

AWARDS

2012 DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL
50 BEST IMPORTS
2011 SILVER MEDAL
SF WORLD SPIRITS COMPETITION
2009 GOLD MEDAL
BEVERAGE TESTING INSTITUTE
2009 BEST OF CATEGORY
NYSA
93 Points / Gold Medal – Chicago Beverage Tasting Institute
Silver Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2011
FAIR. Vodka is certainly setting an example for the spirits community. Not only is it the first vodka to be created using Quinoa, but it is also the first to be produced with Fair Trade certified™ ingredients. Cultivated by the Incas since the 13th century in the Andes mountain range, Quinoa has recently become popular in the western world for it’s exceptional nutritional values. The Quinoa used to produce this vodka is cultivated by over 1,200 small producers in the Bolivian Altiplano, gathered within the Anapqui cooperative, the main association of farming producers in the country. The grains are then transported to the Cognac region of France, where they are expertly brewed and distilled to create the finest fair trade spirit possible. Delicate and smooth, this unique vodka displays soft, natural notes of fruit and spice that complement a variety of cocktails.
Fair Spirits also makes Rum from fair trade sugarcane that is aged in French Oak barrels.

What Alcohol contains Gluten? Vodka? Rum? Gin? Whiskey? Tequila? Beer? Wine?

Before you have that cocktail, you may want to think twice! Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and spelt(a non-hybridized wheat). Did you ever worry about what the alcohol in your favorite mixed drink is made from; or that you could be contaminated with gluten from alcohol? Below is a list of what grains and ingredients are used to make alcohol/distilled spirits.

Whisky (Scottish English) or whiskey (Irish English and American English[1]) is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash. Different grains are used for different varieties, including barley, malted barley, rye, malted rye, wheat, and corn.

Vodka is made from potatoes or wheat or rye or grains. Whiskey is made from corn or rye.  Beer is made from wheat, and there are now gluten-free beers made from Sorghum-I recommend Red Bridge.  Gin is made from various distilled spirits that may contain gluten/grain and then infused with Juniper berries. Tequila is made from Agave, a Cactus. Rum is made from Sugar cane. Wine, Brandy, Eau da Vie and Cognac(region in France) are made from grapes.

Review of Best Vodka Brands and Types

Forbes’ List of the Best Vodkas in the World

  • Belvedere Vodka – Rye – Poland – $32
  • Boru Vodka – Grain varieties – Ireland – $18
  • Chopin Vodka – Potatoes – Poland – $32
  • Ketel One Vodka – Wheat – Holland – $23
  • Level Vodka – Wheat – Sweden – $30
  • Stolichnaya Gold Vodka – Wheat – Russia – $25
  • Ston Vodka – Wheat – Estonia – $23
  • Turi Vodka – Rye – Estonia – $30
  • Vox Vodka – Wheat – Holland – $30
  • Wyborowa Vodka – Rye – Poland – $30

Gayot’s List of the Best Vodkas in the World

  • Imperia Vodka – Wheat – Russia – $28
  • SKYY 90 Vodka – Amber Winter Wheat – United States – $33
  • Jean-Marc XO Vodka – Wheat – France (Cognac)- $50
  • Ultimat Vodka – Potato – Poland – $40
  • Xellent Vodka – Rye – Switzerland – $37
  • 42 Below Vodka – Grain – New Zealand – $30
  • Hangar 1 Vodka – Wheat and Viognier Grapes – United States (CA) – $33
  • Roth California Vodka – Wine Grapes – United States – $35
  • Stolichnaya Elit Vodka – Grain – Russia – $60
  • Kauffman Luxury Vintage Vodka – Wheat – Russia – $225

I just bought a Potato Vodka made in Austria. It is called Monopolowa J.A. Baczewski 40% alcohol distilled from potatoes and it costs $9.99. Monopolowa, Chopin and Ultimat, Blue Ice, Superfly, Karlsson’s, Schramm, LiV and Glacier are all made from Potatoes. Chopin is often stocked in bars.

Here are two of my favorite drinks in my cookbook No Wheat No Dairy No Problem:

Margarita

There is no comparison between a fresh squeezed Margarita and that yellow stuff in a bottle! The taste of sweet orange and sour lemon and lime coupled with tequila makes a satisfying cocktail!

Yields: 1 drink

1 shot gold tequila

1 shot Cointreau or Grand Mariner

juice of ½ orange

juice of 1 lime

juice of ½ lemon

kosher salt for rim, optional

ice cubes

Cut a wedge of citrus and run it along the rim of the glass and dip the rim into kosher salt. Measure all ingredients, except ice, into a cocktail shaker or glass, add ice cubes shake or stir.

Citrus juice can erode the enamel of teeth, so just brush after drinking this wonderful drink! Cheers!

Mojito

This is a refreshing and delicious Cuban drink that is made with lime, mint and rum.

Yields: 1 drink

6 ounces fresh lime juice

1 Tablespoon agave nectar

10 fresh mint leaves, washed

2 ounces white rum, optional

sparkling water

ice

Wash limes with vegetable wash and rinse well. Squeeze limes in a measuring cup. Remove any seeds with a fork. Pour lime juice into a tall glass. Add mint leaves and muddle (crush with a muddle or wooden spoon) to release essential oils from the mint. Stir in agave nectar. Fill glass with ice. Pour rum in and fill with sparkling water. You can omit the rum for a refreshing alcohol free drink. Enjoy with or without rum. Cheers!

Citrus juice can erode the enamel of teeth, so just brush after drinking this wonderful drink

Here are a few  modern cocktails we like: The trend seems to be herbs infused or muttled into drinks

Basil Cucumber Collins, a refreshing/cooling drink from Roy’s; which we enjoyed on a vacation in Las Vegas and again in Palm Desert last summer! 

Cucumber Vodka muddled with basil, fresh lime juice and topped with club soda. I made a version of this at home and used slices of cucumber that I placed in the vodka the night before to infuse the flavor of the Vodka, and I used fresh lime juice plus lime flavored sparkling water.

Cucumber Cooler

  • 1.5 oz.  Vodka
  • 4 slices Organic Cucumber
  • 0.5 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz. ginger beer or ginger ale(I prefer Reeds which has real ginger root in it) or sparkling water
  • Muddle all but 1 of the cucumber slices with the lime quarters in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add ice and vodka, shake well and strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with a cucumber slice.
  • 0.6 fl. oz. of alcohol

Lychee Lemon Drop: lemon drop martini fused with Lychee syrup and whole Lychee(pitted canned or fresh peeled).

Vodka, Fresh Basil and Organic Strawberries, Fresh Lemon Juice, and Simple Syrup or Agave, serve on the rocks

Vodka, Freshly Squeezed Grapefruit Juice, and a Grapefruit Twist & Orange Juice, fresh rosemary or tarragon if desired

Simple Syrup, Boil 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar(I like coconut palm sugar), cool and store in a glass bottle in the refrigerator. Use to sweeten cocktails or make fresh lemonade.  I prefer to use Agave Nectar which dissolves well in cold liquid and is low glycemic index and won’t spike your blood sugar and drop you like a hot rock with the sugar blues.

Doesn’t matter what team you are routing for at your sporting event or what you are celebrating, just have fun, good food, and a cocktail or mocktail. Please be sure to let someone else drive even if you think you are “okay” or only had one drink. Better safe than sorry. 🙂

All of the drinks above can be made into Virgin/Mocktails by omitting the alcohol and will still taste delicious without the hangover and extra calories. The average blended cocktail has 800 calories! That is not a typo, it is eight hundred! So, another reason for moderation. 😉

See the other page on this site, Recipe of the Month, for some delicious food to accompany the aforementioned cocktails.