‘Tis the season to be merry, and the good news is, as a vegan there’s no reason to feel left out this Christmas. Here’s a round up of some amazing vegan tipples for you to enjoy
Both wine and beer can be processed using albumen from egg whites, casein or milk protein. Often, gelatine or isinglass are used. Isinglass is a kind of gelatine obtained from fish bladders, which is used to ‘fine’ alcohol. Fining is the addition of substances to the alcohol which combine with suspended sediment particles, this causes the particles to sink to the bottom, leaving a clearer liquid. Port and sherry tend also to have gelatine added during the fining process.
Alternative vegan fining agents are available, such as Bentonite Clay.
However, this area remains a bit of a minefield, as currently, UK manufacturers aren’t legally required to list their ingredients if the alcohol content is higher than 1.2%.
To make life a little simpler, shop at veganwinesonline, which stocks all colours of wine as well as Prosecco and fizz.
Although most beers are made with water, yeast, hops and barley, brewers can, and often do, use isinglass as a clarifying agent, particularly for real ales. Pepsin is sometimes used to make beer have a better foamy head, and it can be sourced from the stomach of pigs.
However, more and more beers are now vegan, particularly German and Belgian beers, which aren’t allowed by law to contain anything other than the four main ingredients listed above. Guinness, whether draft, canned or bottled is also now vegan-friendly.
Some vegan beers to choose from include Stella Artois, Budweiser, Becks, San Miguel and Carlsberg. Bulmer’s cider is also vegan. The vegan punk has a handy list of vegan beers.
Gin is so popular right now the amount of choice is bewildering, so we’ve given it a section all of its own. Happily, gin is almost always vegan. Just watch out for gins flavoured with honey. Here’s a roundup of some delicious gin tipples. Particularly enticing is Sweet Potato Gin, distilled using coriander and sweet potato by the Sweet Potato Spirit Company.
The great thing about spirits are they are virtually all vegan, apart from honey or cream liqueurs. Launched this year, Bailey’s vegan Almande is now made without beeswax and honey. Serve it over ice and enjoy!
Or, how about making your own Irish cream liqueur? Try this recipe from Simple Vegan Blog. It’s simplicity itself, taking just a few minutes to make and you can use either almond milk or coconut milk – divine!
If you’re not sure whether you favourite tipple is vegan, handy online resource Barnivore lists hundreds of alcoholic drinks and whether they’re vegan or not. It does a great job of keeping the list correct and up to date – so it’s invaluable when you’re shopping for alcohol.
Have a great festive season but do remember to drink responsibly.
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