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Some alcoholic drinks are not suitable for vegans because they undergo a filtration process which uses animal products like isinglass (fish bladders), gelatine, egg whites or sea shells to capture impurities in the drink. Ingredients like honey may also be added as a sweetener or carmine (crushed beetles) may be added to give colour. But is gin vegan?
Can vegans drink gin?
Almost all gin is vegan. This is because spirits like gin use a different filtration process from drinks like beer and wine, so no animal products need to be used. Sometimes, certain gins contain honey and occasionally other animal products may be used in gin, but this is relatively rare.
Dominika from The Vegan Society confirms:
Fortunately, virtually every brand of hard liquor—bourbon, whisky, vodka, gin, and rum—is vegan. Nearly all distilled spirits are vegan except for cream-based liqueurs and products that mention honey on the label.Dominika Piasecka, The Vegan Society
Whether you like to drink gin at home and have time to read the labels in the supermarket, or are planning a trip to a gin bar where you almost certainly won’t, it’s good to know that almost all gins are vegan. But what about the ones that aren’t?
Which gins are not vegan?
Whilst most gins are vegan, there are some that are not suitable for vegans because they use ingredients such as honey, carmine, gelatine, isinglass or ants.
The following table shows which gins are not vegan:
|Gin brand||Why is it not vegan?|
|Absintherie des Cantons Old Major Tom Gin||Contains honey|
|Anno Orange & Honey Gin||Contains honey|
|Anther Anther X Taxi Gin||Contains honey|
|Anty Gin||Each bottle contains 62 ants|
|Archie Rose Distiller’s Strength Gin||Contains honey|
|Greenhook Beach Plum Gin||Uses gelatine for filtration|
|Herno Juniper Cask Gin||The cap is sealed with beeswax|
|Herno Old Tom Gin||Contains honey|
|Johannistag Navy Strength Old Tom Gin||Contains honey|
|Nosferatu Blood Orange Gin||Contains carmine|
|Silent Pool Gin||Contains honey|
|Tarquin’s British Blackberry Gin||Contains honey|
|Warner’s Harrington Honeybee Gin||Contains honey|
|Whitley Neill Rhubarb & Ginger Gin||Contains isinglass|
Which gins are vegan?
The vast majority of gins are vegan. Popular brands which you’ll find in pubs and supermarkets such as Beefeater, Bombay Sapphire, Greenall’s, Edinburgh Gin, Sipsmith, Tanqueray, Hendrick’s and Gordon’s are all vegan. Yay!
Gin flavours such as unicorn gin, sloe gin, parma violet gin and gingerbread gin are all vegan.
Is pink gin vegan?
People often wonder if pink gin is suitable for vegans. This is because some food and drinks which have a red or pink colour get their colour from carmine (also known as cochineal), which is a food dye made from crushed beetles.
You’ll be pleased to know that all pink gin is suitable for vegans. Pink gin does not use any animal products, including the use of carmine for colouring.
How to check if gin is vegan
The law says that alcohol is exempt from the labelling requirements of food products. That means that you can’t just read the label to know the ingredients as you can with food and most non-alcoholic drinks.
Sometimes, alcoholic drinks have the wording ‘suitable for vegans’ or the Vegan Society Trademark on the label, but most times they don’t, even if they are suitable.
The website Barnivore.com does a great job of maintaining a list of which beers, wines and spirits are suitable for vegans by emailing the manufacturers. If the drink you’re interested in isn’t listed on there, then the only way to find out for sure is to contact the manufacturer to ask.
Is tonic water vegan?
Gin is most often served with tonic water. Tonic is vegan it contains just carbonated water, quinine, flavourings and sweeteners. Quinine is a bitter compound which is made from the bark of the cinchona tree and it is suitable for vegans.
Does vegan alcohol matter?
Naturally, every vegan is different, with some being more strict than others. As the animal products used in alcohol are usually trace amounts, some vegans choose to turn a blind eye and instead focus on avoiding food which has the largest negative effect on animals such as meat, fish, dairy and eggs.
Remember, what you put into your body is entirely your decision and not something which anyone else should make you feel guilty about. If you’re just starting out on your vegan journey, it might be a good idea to focus on vegan food in the beginning
It’s also important to remember that just because something is vegan, that doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Drinking alcohol can contribute to health risks such as cancer, heart disease, liver disease, obesity and mental health problems. So be sure to know your limits to stay healthy.