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Wait… alcohol isn’t vegan?

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! Learner Vegan does have another page on hidden ingredients if that floats your boat. 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?

Vegan Alcohol / vegan alcoholic drinks

Common Vegan Alcoholic Drinks – Keep A Mental List!

desperados vegan alcohol / vegan alcoholic drinks

Yes, it’s vegan!

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!

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.
  • Peroni.
  • 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.
  • Besos de Oro Creme Liqueur – this product is only available online but tastes amazing! It’s also a little cheaper than Bailey’s so give it a go.
  • Bacardi – breezers, silver.
  • Jack Daniel’s – black label, gentleman Jack, single barrel select.

EDIT: it was announced on 20th March 219 that all Rekorderlig Cider drinks will be vegan for the summer. That’s 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.
  • Strongbow.
  • Kopparberg.

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

vegan cocktail guide - vegan alcohol / vegan alcoholic drinksA 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.

vegan alcohol guide - vegan alcohol / vegan alcoholic drinks

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 £11 off a pack of 12 craft beers from HonestBrew (cost £24.90). You can impress your friends with some rare and new finds!

I hope this quick and easy post helped as a starting point! 

What’s your favourite vegan alcoholic drink?

P.S. Please drink responsibly!

And if you still have a ton of questions around veganism, I absolutely have the resource for you. Grab the FREE ‘Easy Being Vegan’ pack for even more help with your transition! Includes a shopping list, easy meal plan, personal action points for staying vegan, and my BONUS favourite egg and dairy substitutes.

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  • ⭐️ Keeping Organised as a New Vegan ⭐️⁠
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As a meat-eater, it was probably easy to get by without thinking about meals in advance. You could grab a snack from wherever, or grab takeout on the way home. But thinking in advance helps us all out. It means we eat more healthy, save money on random snacks and meals, and can do some time-saving meal prep in advance!⁠
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⭐️ Consider where you will be for the next few days at mealtimes, and plan accordingly. Factor drinks and snacks in too – I always have an extra something stashed in my bag, just in case I’m out later than usual! ⁠
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⭐️ If you’re somewhere new, looking up restaurants online beforehand can help. Check out Tripadvisor – just enter ‘vegan-friendly (TOWN)’ in their search bar, and you should easily find where the plant-based people are going. Then you can narrow the options right down to your path of driving or walking. HappyCow Vegan Guide is also a great website that pinpoints vegan options near to you. It’s available as an app and will show you vegan stores and cafes too.⁠
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⭐️ If you’re just looking to grab and go, see where popular chains are such as Pret A Manger and M&S Food. Most towns, airports and service stations have at least one vegan-friendly chain. In fact, in 2018, the UK launched more vegan products than any other nation. So you can get familiar favourites wherever you are! ⁠
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⭐️ You can also personally ask for recommendations on Facebook groups. Local vegans are always happy to point you in the right direction, so that you don’t go hungry. If you’re too impatient to wait for responses, try the search function to see if anybody has asked a similar question in the group recently.⁠
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What do you do to stay organised when you're out and about?⁠
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  • Want to show people how delicious vegan food is?⁠
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I remember going vegan and thinking I'd never be able to have cake or baked goods, because they had to have eggs in.⁠
Wrong again! Since then, I've discovered vegan meringues, brownies and all kinds of other goodies.⁠
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I like to make these cookies! They're actually one of the first vegan desserts I made, which of course means they're very easy to do.⁠
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They are perfect for school bakes, having guests over, or special occasions. ⁠
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TOP TIP: Leave them in for a few extra minutes if you prefer them crunchy on the outside.⁠
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Ingredients:⁠
120 g vegan butter⁠
100 g white sugar⁠
100 g brown sugar⁠
120 g plain flour⁠
1 tsp vanilla extract⁠
50 g cocoa powder⁠
1 tsp baking soda⁠
1 tbsp non-dairy milk⁠
1 Pinch salt⁠
100 g vegan chocolate chunks or chips⁠
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Instructions:⁠
1. Preheat oven to 180C.⁠
2. Add the butter, both sugars and vanilla to a bowl and mix thoroughly.⁠
3. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl, then add baking soda and salt. Mix together.⁠
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix thoroughly.⁠
5. Add the chocolate and milk. Mix the dough – it should be sticky and thick.⁠
6. Roll the dough into small individual balls and put on a greased baking tray.⁠
7. Bake for 10 minutes until still soft in the middle. Take out of the oven and leave to firm up for 10 minutes.⁠
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  • Funday Sunday!⁠
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Tell me...⁠
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Which do you usually prefer?⁠
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1. Starters⁠
OR⁠
2. Desserts⁠
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And let me know why! Leave a comment with your choice.⁠
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⁣#whatvegansbake #vegansuk #veganbowl #veganhomemade #VeganInstagram #easytobevegan #eatingforhealth #veganuk #veganfooddiary #dairyfreerecipes #colorfulfoods #veganstudent #nourishbowl #veganeating #buddhabowl #nomeatnoproblem #veganideas #goingvegan #vegansoulfood #londonvegan #vegansofinstagram #veganinspo #plantprotein #letscookvegan #veganism #nourishtoflourish #vegetarianuk #goingvegan #newvegan #vegans
  • We have some new content up, and it's a little different!⁠
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Lauren, of @TheClutterFreeMama , has given us all a great introduction to sustainable living. ⁠
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I don't know about you, but even as a vegan, I'm still learning about reducing waste, using more sustainable products, and being all-round more environmentally friendly.⁠
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It can be a minefield, but Lauren's fantastic post gives us all a great introduction to the lifestyle, and the little things we can start doing today.⁠
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Enjoy! Link is straight through my BIO.⁠
What do you do to minimise your impact? I'd love to know!⁠
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#sustainableliving #vegans #veganlife #veganliving #sustainablelife #sustainablehome #sustainablefood #sustainablefuture #sustainableblogger #zerowastevegan #zerowastetips #zerowastegoals #zerowastelife #environmentallyfriendly #govegannow #veganfortheplanet #veganfortheenvironment #govegans #plasticfreeliving #plasticfreelife #plasticfreeuk #planetorplastic #foodwaste #newvegan #vegancommunity #veganiseasy #veganinspiration #beginners #savetheearth #savetheseas ⁠
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  • My negative and limiting mindset was one of the things that stopped me going fully vegan sooner. ⁠
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And for those worrying about changing habits, I completely understand. It is a daunting prospect – we all have busy lives and routines that we like following. But it is do-able and completely worth it! Take it from somebody who is out on the other side of change – ⁠
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You create a new normal. ⁠
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Once I fully realised the horrors of the dairy and egg industry, and associated health risks, I knew I had to do it. Now I have good habits and healthy routines, that don’t involve cruelty. I’ve found new dishes at the takeaway that I actually enjoy more. I’ve learned to make my own ‘egg’ foo yung at home, which is very satisfying, and healthier! I’ve discovered Vego chocolate bars (heaven) and gorgeous vegan lunches. Life is great!⁠
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As with getting rid of any habit, mindset is a huge player. Humans are emotional creatures! We make many decisions (especially in the moment) based on emotion rather than logic. If you’re not emotionally committed and prepared, the likelihood is that your new habit won’t last. We often adopt certain beliefs to justify keeping old habits. In the context of veganism, this could be “but I won’t get the nutrients I need” or “I can’t afford it”. ⁠
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What’s yours? It’s important to challenge these limiting beliefs. Are they REALLY true?⁠
Let’s replace those beliefs with new ones – “I’ll be saving lives” or “I’ll be helping the environment for my grandchildren”. Being vegan really is a positive lifestyle choice.⁠
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#newvegan #learnervegan #veganbeginner #vegancommunity #vegetarians #veggielife #veggielove #veganhelp #vegansupport #dairyfree #plantbased #plantbaseddiet #meatfree #meatless #veganbuys  #animallover #friendsnotfood #veganwannabe #vegannewbie #goingvegan #beingvegan #almostvegan #veganuk #ukvegans #ukvegan #vegansofig #flexitarian #vegetarianuk #vegetarianlife #veganaf
  • Going vegan didn't come easy to me. I wasn't an overnighter - I didn't just click and make the connection. ⁠
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It took trial and error, different research studies, insights into the animal industries and a lot of negative mindset.⁠
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I transitioned over around 6 months, even though I was already vegetarian. I was googling things several times per day, reading conflicting information, making unnecessary mistakes. ⁠
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Even a few months into going vegan, I remember buying a bag of crisps without checking the label. When I got home I saw that they had milk in them. I really beat myself up, thinking about the dairy industry and how I'd just paid for this item. ⁠
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It took me a while to get out of that mindset, be easy on myself, and realise that I was only human. In reality, I was doing a lot more for the cause than most!⁠
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This might surprise some people who didn't know me 6 years ago. Now, I feel like I know a lot of things about veganism - although we're still all learning, aren't we? I'm comfortable talking about it and helping others.⁠
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That's why I created Learner Vegan. To provide free resources, and make going vegan, simple, convenient and stress-free. ⁠
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There's also the bespoke side for those who need a little extra help. I wish I'd had someone personally there for me when transitioning, to cut out all the google searches and going around in circles. ⁠
That's why I decided to launch coaching. To provide 121 support on YOUR specific life, situations and issues.⁠
I've been through a healthy plant-based diet, eating gluten-free, vegan pregnancies, living with a meat-eater and a lot more. ⁠
Troubleshooting with someone is much more effective than spending hours on the internet, plus it's a lot of fun!⁠
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Who needs this?⁠
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#vegan #vegans #vegetarian #vegetarians #ukvegetarian #ukveggie #veggieuk #vegetarianuk #healthyeating #coaching #vegancoaching #helpgoingvegan #newvegan #veganhelp #vegansupport #parttimevegan #vegancurious #almostvegan #goingvegan #veggie #animallover #veganpregnancy #pregnantvegan #pregnancy #veganshare #vegetarianlife #vegetarianlifestyle #flexitarian #petlover #animallover
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