If you pick up a bottle of gin, you’ll likely have no idea whether it’s vegan or not because most drinks aren’t labelled as vegan, even if they contain no animal products.
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 seashells 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.
So, is gin vegan? Read on to find out…
Can vegans drink gin?
Almost all gin is vegan. Unlike beer and wine, animal products are generally not used in the filtration process of gin. Sometimes, certain gins contain honey and occasionally other animal products may be used in the production of gin, but this is 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
Suggested read: Is brandy vegan?
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, some 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|
|Whitley Neill Lemongrass & Ginger||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?
All brands of pink gin are suitable for vegans. Sometimes, pink and red food is coloured using a dye is made from crushed insects called carmine or cochineal. However, the pink colour used in pink gin comes from plant sources, like red fruits.
Is Gordon’s gin vegan?
Gordon’s gin is suitable for vegans as it does not contain any animal ingredients. Although Gordon’s does not certify products as vegan, the whole of Gordon’s gin range is vegan, including sloe gin and pink gin. These are not coloured with carmine or cochineal.
Is Whitley Neill gin vegan?
Whitley Neill has at least 15 flavours of gin and they are suitable for vegans with the exception of the Rhubarb & Ginger gin and the Lemongrass & Ginger gin. These two flavours of Whitley Neill gin are not suitable for vegans or vegetarians.
Is Sipsmith gin vegan?
Most Sipsmith gins are suitable for vegans as they do not contain any animal ingredients. However, some gins delivered as part of The Sipping Society subscription are not vegan-friendly as they contain honey or other animal products.
If you are vegan and want to join The Sipping Society, you can email Sipsmith and they will ensure that you do not receive any non-vegan gins.
Vegan Sipsmith gins include:
- Sipsmith London Dry Gin
- Sipsmith Lemon Drizzle Gin
- Sipsmith Zesty Orange Gin
- Sipsmith V.J.O.P Gin
- Sipsmith Sloe Gin
- Sipsmith London Cup
- Sipsmith Orange & Cacao Gin
- Sipsmith Paul Smith London Dry Gin
- Sipsmith Chilli & Lime Gin
Is Tanqueray gin vegan?
Tanqueray gins are suitable for vegans as they do not contain any animal-derived ingredients. As Tanqueray does not market its gins as vegan or vegetarian, these products do not have any vegan or vegetarian accreditation or labelling.
Is Bombay Sapphire vegan?
Bombay Sapphire gin is suitable for vegans, as are the other varieties of Bombay Gin. These do not contain any animal-derived ingredients, including those used in the production of the gin.
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 gin and tonic vegan?
Gin and tonic is vegan most of the time. Almost every brand of gins is vegan, with a few exceptions like those flavoured with honey. Schweppes Indian Tonic Water also contains honey, although most other brands of tonic water are suitable for vegans.
Tonic water contains just carbonated water, quinine, flavourings and sweeteners. Quinine is a bitter compound that 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.