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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, we’d like to ensure sure your drinking antics match up with your morals.

So what are my top tips for getting your hands on vegan alcohol?

Keep A Mental List Of Common Vegan Alcohol 

desperados vegan beer and alcohol guide

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! Give it a few weeks for them to appear on the shelves.

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 Drinks

vegan cocktail guideA 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

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 Spencers 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!

vegan alcohol guide

Utilise Your Vegan Internet Community

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 cruelty-free beverages. 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, but still useful.

Don’t forget that you can also utilise Amazon to order drinks for dinner-parties and entertaining. 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 tipple?

 

 

P.S. Please drink responsibly!

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  • Why try vegan?
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1. HEALTH:
Many objective studies show that a plant-based diet reduces the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and stroke. It also cuts your risk of certain types of cancer, such as colon and breast. Processed meat is classed as a carcinogenic.
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2. THE ANIMALS:
Can we justify the suffering and death of animals, when we can live happily and healthily without inflicting it? A high proportion of 'meat' animals never see daylight, and many die in their cramped, unhygienic surroundings before they reach the slaughterhouse. Even humane meat is marketing. Is there a humane way to kill somebody that doesn't want to die?
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3. HUMANS:
Veganism isn’t just an animal rights issue, it’s a human rights issue too. Feeding grain to livestock reduces the amount of food that is available to underdeveloped nations. Around 75% of soybeans produced are fed to animals, for example. People go hungry, while that same food they could be eating is given to animals raised for slaughter. Many of these slaughtered animals are then transported to affluent countries such as the UK, for us to eat!
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4. THE ENVIRONMENT:
Most of us have realised by now that climate change is real and happening as we speak. Raising animals for food uses many more resources than growing plants. 30% of the ice-free surface area of the Earth is used to either rear livestock, or grow the food to feed it. They produce a huge amount of methane (cows alone in excess of 150 billion gallons per day!), and methane is thought to be 25 to 100 times more harmful than CO2. This is all without mentioning pollution, deforestation, land degradation, and water scarcity.
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These are brief explanations, do feel free to conduct your own research or ask questions.
Do you think it's worth it so we can eat meat?
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Katy
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Did you read it yet?⠀
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Have a look over my latest post: ⠀
Which Vegan Documentary Should You Watch?⠀
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Not all documentaries are graphic or about animal abuse. I've included films about health, marine conservation and the environment. Find out which one suits you!⠀
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LINK IN BIO⠀
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I'm always going on about how great vegan food is... but even the best of us can make some fatal errors at meal time!⠀
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Crumpets, melted cheese, and marinated grilled tempeh.⠀
A nice easy lunch, I thought. Not the healthiest, but I'm busy and pregnant.⠀
WRONG!⠀
It was awful - dry and hard. But it seemed like a good idea at the time...⠀
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Spill the beans! What's the worst meal you've had?⠀
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  • Which Vegan Documentary Should You Watch?⠀
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That's the big question!⠀
Many people have heard of vegan documentaries, but are either too scared to watch one, or have no idea where to start. How about you?⠀
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Those of us who have watched documentaries found them vital in our vegan journey, allowing us to make an emotional connection to animals and the suffering we pay for them to go through, and take our health more seriously.⠀
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This post includes documentaries that span a range of topics, and I narrowed it down to those that are crucial for new vegans too. Give it a read!⠀
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Of course, there are plenty more documentaries out there. Have a recommendation? Comment on the post and let me know!⠀
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Katy⠀
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LINK IN BIO - CHECK IT OUT!⠀
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We can 100% thrive on a vegan diet.⠀
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Don't believe me?⠀
Even the NHS, WHO and Association of Nutritionists and Dietitians have confirmed that a well-balanced vegan diet is suitable for all stages of life, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and childhood.⠀
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There are many misconceptions around vegans being weak or deficient, but many athletes, bodybuilders and regular people are thriving as vegans. Just look at Tony Gonzalez, Venus Williams and the 'Hench Herbivore'!⠀
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Any lifestyle can be unhealthy if we don't eat the right things. With the fast-food culture, many of us are consuming too much saturated fat, refined sugar, refined carbs and processed foods. ⠀
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We could all do with a rundown in nutrition! I've created two guides - basic nutrition, and advanced nutrition, which are in my bio.⠀
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  • How did Learner Vegan materialise?⠀
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I’ve met wonderfully supportive people along my vegan journey, but also a few judgemental folks that criticise and argue in a non-constructive way. There’s been masses of complex information to understand along the way, on a huge variety of vegan-related topics. Some of it can be a struggle to understand.⠀
Veganism doesn’t have to be as hard as I made it for myself! And that’s really why I wanted to create this site.⠀
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Firstly, to create a safe space. Somewhere you can come if you fall off the wagon. No judgement, no criticism. Just a friendly face and support to reach that vegan goal, whatever it may be or however slowly you are working towards it.⠀
Secondly, to help people who were like me 6 years ago. People with no clue about veganism, perhaps even with pre-conceptions and doubts about the whole lifestyle. But with a thirst to find out more, to make some kind of change, because supporting these violent industries doesn’t sit right with them anymore.⠀
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Does any of this sound like you?⠀
You may not know where to start. You’re probably overwhelmed by the masses of conflicting information out there. I was too!⠀
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Learner Vegan is a one-stop shop. It makes everything simple and easy to understand. I’ll talk you through ethics, shopping and cooking… plus everything else! I’m on hand as your vegan guide. To answer tricky questions, motivate you, and help you back on the wagon if you slip up.⠀
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Remember: reading this is your first step toward a compassionate lifestyle. I’m all for celebrating these small changes, because every change is an animal saved.⠀
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What do you need help with?⠀
Katy⠀
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