Can Vegans Drink Alcohol?
It’s something that many new vegans don’t even consider, but unfortunately, alcohol can have hidden animal products. Beer can be filtered/fined with isinglass (from fish bladders), wine can contain crushed insects for colouring, and liqueurs sometimes have dairy in them.
However, this isn’t a post to focus on the negatives! Can vegans drink alcohol? Absolutely? We’re just a little pickier, that’s all. Here, I’d like to ensure sure your drinking antics match up with your morals, and line you up with a nice vegan alcoholic drink.
So what are my top tips for getting your hands on vegan alcohol?
Can Vegans Drink Alcohol? Common Vegan Alcoholic Drinks
Most bars have at least a similar base range of drinks. For example, Smirnoff / Grey Goose vodka, gin, alcopops and common beers such as Carling. There will always be a little variation, but you can usually guarantee the basics will be there to buy. But are any of those drinks vegan? Knowledge is power!
Can vegans drink alcohol? Here is a short list of common vegan alcohol brands that are 100% vegan:
- Smirnoff – Ice, vodka (red/blue/black).
- Gin – Gordon’s, Bulldog, Bombay Sapphire, Beefeater.
- Carlsberg – UK, smooth draught, edge, export, special brew.
- Corona beer.
- Absolut vodka.
- Coors original beer.
- Heineken – all.
- Blossom Hill wine – sparkling zinfandel, chenin blanc (2007 S.Africa), shiraz (2007 S.Africa).
- Bailey’s almande. P.S. if drinking at home, M&S also do a similar creme liqueur that is cheaper.
- Bacardi – breezers, silver.
- Jack Daniel’s – black label, gentleman Jack, single barrel select.
- Is Desperados vegan? Yes!
- Rekorderlig Cider drinks – every flavour.
That should be enough to keep you going, if you’re in a sticky spot! Most of them are common in bars and pubs. However, there are still a few extremely common alcoholic drinks to look out for, that are by no means vegan.
Common non-vegan alcoholic drinks to avoid:
- Carling – original, chrome, black label, zest.
- Smirnoff Espresso.
- Coors light beer.
- Echo Falls wines.
- Blossom Hill wine – white grenache, pinot grigio (2007 Italy).
- Bailey’s original.
- Jack Daniel’s – Tennessee honey, Tennessee rye.
By printing these put or making a mental list, you can easily spot those trusty vegan drinks behind the bar. The lists are of course not extensive, so if your favourites aren’t on here, do find out if they’re cruelty-free!
Know Your Go-To Vegan Alcoholic Drinks
A little research goes a long way. We all have a favourite drink (sangria, anyone?) and it’s worth finding out now if yours is vegan. Nobody wants to be standing at a crowded bar on a Saturday night, analysing labels or conducting Google searches.
If your favourite bars are unlikely to have a vegan version of your favourite tipple, consider what they do have that tastes good to you. Mix it up a little! There will usually be something similar for you to substitute like a different brand of vodka. You could even use it as an excuse to try something new. Revisit your mental list of vegan drinks and pick one. If it’s a quiet night, ask the bartender too – you never know how much knowledge they have! As a last resort, go for a Smirnoff vodka and lemonade. At least then, you can relax and avoid a stressful night out.
Look For The Logo To Spot Vegan Alcohol
Unfortunately, finding a clear vegan logo on drinks isn’t as easy as food – most alcohol doesn’t have any vegan labelling, despite being vegan. The beverage world is somewhat behind in this respect, but it is slowly improving! It’s still worth a look for a label anyway. Some supermarkets (Co-operative and Marks and Spencer Food particularly) have a higher percentage of vegan-labelled drinks, which makes life much easier. Co-operative is, in fact, becoming quite known for its own brand vegan wines, so make use of it if you have one nearby! I’d love to know if you find anything particularly noteworthy.
Use The Vegan Community To Find Vegan Alcoholic Drinks
Perhaps you’re in an unfamiliar bar, or just want to know if a very specific drink is vegan-friendly. As always, the internet is here to help! Do be aware though that ingredients in drinks can change, so make sure whatever website you land on has up-to-date information.
My go-to source of information is always the Barnivore website – a vegan beer, wine and liquor guide. It has a database of 43,791 products (and counting!) as well as a handy search engine. The information on there is kept very up-to-date and you can even use their ‘Ask a Company’ tool if your chosen drink isn’t in their database. You can also download printable lists of vegan alcoholic drinks. If you’re on the go, it’s so easy to load up on your browser and search for a keyword. Bookmark it!
If you prefer apps, you can download Veggiebeers. It’s not quite as comprehensive as Barnivore for finding vegan alcohol, but still useful and some people prefer the functionality of it too.
Don’t forget that you can also utilise Amazon to order drinks for dinner-parties and entertaining. Use it as a search engine to type in ‘vegan alcohol’ or ‘vegan alcoholic drinks’. They often have offers on too! They currently have £5 off Kraken Black Spiced Rum and £7.99 off Baileys Almande (cost £12). You can impress your friends with some rare and new finds!
I hope this quick and easy post helped as a starting point! Can vegans drink alcohol? Now you know the answer!
What’s your favourite vegan alcoholic drink?
P.S. Please drink responsibly!
Before you go, have you joined the community? We have a private Facebook group designed to help moms reach their health goals. It’s a positive, non-judgmental safe space where all questions are welcome. We have plenty of meal ideas and brainstorming, too!
You should also grab my FREE Action Plan: ‘From Junk Food Mom To Nourished Vegan!’ It includes 5 steps I took to ditch the junk food from my diet, lose 28lb and gain energy.
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I had no idea that there can be animal products in alcohol. Super interesting! Thanks for the read!!!
Never thought that Heineken would be listed as one of the vegan alcohol. I agree that looking for vegan label alcohol is not that easy. Thank you for the list now I know what brand of alcohol to drink.
So glad it was useful for you! I was surprised too.
Interesting. I never even knew vegan alcohol is a thing but it makes sense, sans animal products.
Guinness have just changed their recipe to be vegan now, so I'm topping up my iron levels with stout!!!!
Ah yes Guinness! Good idea!
I am not vegan but I never would have thought of alcohol as not being vegan. Great list, thank you!
It's always great to raise awareness!
What a helpful list!
Thank you. I hope it's useful for you! :)
I'm not a vegan, but I would've never considered that alcohol wasn't a vegan food. I'm sure this is a helpful list for people wanting to pursue a vegan lifestyle without having to sacrifice their beer or glass of wine.
I would have never thought that some alcohol wouldn't be vegan! Luckily, there is a pretty decent list of drinks you can still enjoy while eating vegan.
I'm glad I only drink on planes and it usually says which alcohol is vegan.
I honestly had no idea about this. I've been slowly trying new things that are vegan so this is one I will definitely try.
Yes definitely! Its an excuse to try new things too :)
Thank you so much this list! Very helpful.
*for this list