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A Guide to Drinking Vegan

Vegans understand the importance of examining everything they eat and drink to avoid consuming animals, insects, and their related byproducts. As a result, the list of things they can’t have is fairly long; from the obvious, like meat dishes, to the not-so-clear, like gelatin (a secret sucker that includes a type of animal fat). Following a vegan diet can limit the restaurants you frequent, as well as the drinks you order at your local bar. Luckily, that’s changing as the world wakes up and realizes just how beneficial a vegan diet can truly be. There are plenty of cocktails and liquors that you can sip on while remaining true to your vegan roots, as long as you know which ingredients to avoid. And lucky for you, we’ve got the deets.

What’s the Deal With Veganism?

Why is veganism such a big deal these days? It takes great discipline to follow a meat-free, dairy-free, animal-product-free diet—so why do people do it? People choose to go vegan for tons of reasons, from supporting animal rights to supporting their own health.

Veganism can also help protect our planet. The factory farming industry in particular can be especially harmful to the environment. Consuming only plants and plant-based products helps support our environment by lowering a vegan eater’s environmental impact.

First Thing’s First—What Can’t I Drink as a Vegan?

Don’t get it twisted—going vegan doesn’t mean you can’t go to a bar and sip on cocktails with your friends. There are plenty of cocktails and liquors that are free of animal products.

However, you need to know what ingredients don’t pass the vibe check in order to avoid them. Some of these products are sneaky, so it’s crucial to know what to look for on that list of ingredients. Here are some of the top offenders.

Honey

Honey, as you probably already know, is made from bees. They go out and collect nectar from flowers and bring it back to their hives. Once back at home, the bees eventually turn that nectar into honey—the process is a little bit gross, so we’ll spare you the details.

If you see drinks that are made primarily with honey, like mead, or sweetened with this sugary substance, they are not vegan. Womp.

Milk Products

Milk products are sneaky since many of them go by names you may not recognize. For example, lactose, casein, and whey are all milk products sometimes used in the alcohol fining process.

In addition, milk and cream are sometimes used in cocktails and beers in order to change their texture. Stay far, far away.

Eggs

When examining the label of the alcohol you’re considering drinking, look for either eggs or albumin (another name for eggs). Obviously, eggs are an animal byproduct and therefore not vegan.

Eggs appear in certain cocktails to create a frothy top and are sometimes used in the wine fining process. Avoid at all costs.

Most Red Dyes

In some cases, red dyes made from insects are added to enhance the color of certain beverages. Look for either cochineal or carmine on the label or ingredients list. Both are made from crushed cochineal insects, a type of beetle, so you’re going to want to steer clear.

Isinglass

Before wine is bottled, it goes through a fining stage that removes certain impurities and clears up its cloudy or hazy appearance. In some cases, isinglass, which comes from fish bladders, is used during this process.

Mezcal de Pechuga

Don’t confuse Mezcal de Pechuga with standard Mezcal. Mezcal de Pechuga starts off as standard Mezcal, but during the redistillation process, either chicken or turkey breast is added to the mix.

Often, the chicken or turkey parts are hung on top of the still, where the meat cooks in the vapors that emerge and adds flavor to the Mezcal de Pechuga.

So, What Can I Drink as a Vegan?

While the list of ingredients to look out for is fairly long, there are plenty of things that you can sip to get your buzz on.

For example, most commercially made beers, like Coors and Budweiser, are vegan. Certain wines are as well, but make sure to check out the fining process. And of course, our personal favorite is our 100% vegan Mezcal Rosaluna.

Mezcal Rosaluna

Mezcal Rosaluna is made only with agave and water. Our farm is vertically integrated, which means that we grow the agave ourselves, as well as ferment and distill the Mezcal. This way, we know that only the good stuff makes its way into the bottle, each and every time.

Every bottle of Mezcal Rosaluna you see sitting on the shelf at your nearby liquor or grocery store is truly vegan, delicious, and just plain fun to drink.

Animal Lovers, Rejoice!

It can feel tricky to figure out what to drink when you’re vegan, but you really do have options. Animals lovers and vegans can raise their cocktail glasses with friends and continue following their animal-free diets. Cheers to that!

Sources:

Is Alcohol Vegan? A Complete Guide to Beer, Wine, and Spirits | Healthline

Is Alcohol Vegan? | Minimalist Vegan

Is a vegetarian or vegan diet for you? | Harvard

Isinglass; or, The Many Miracles of Fish Glue | JSTOR

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