Is Gin Vegan?
Nearly all gin is vegan – we say nearly as some gins may contain honey, while others can be produced using animal products. However, the use of animal products in gin is rare, making nearly all gins suitable for vegans.
For many vegans, it can be a challenge to say for definite whether a gin is vegan or not, as most drinks aren’t labelled as such, even if they are. While gin is usually suitable for vegans, there are many other alcoholic drinks that are not, undergoing filtrations processes that include the use of such animal products as:
- Fish bladders (isinglass)
- Egg whites
Many of these are used to help filter through impurities, while other types of animal products (e.g., honey) may be used to sweeten the drink.
Is All Gin Vegan?
No, however, almost all gin is vegan. Gins that aren’t vegan will use animal products during their production process. Dominika Piasecka from The Vegan Society has been quoted confirming that:
“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.”
However, while almost all gin is vegan, it’s important to note that certain gins are not, due to both the contents in the actual gin, and/or the bottle it comes in.
Why Is Gin Not Vegan?
Certain gins might not be vegan due to the fact they have been made with animal products. While some non-vegan gins are incredibly easy to spot (e.g., Cambridge Distillery’s “Anty Gin”, where each gin contains approximately 62 red wood ants) some are a little less obvious, including Silent Pool Gin and Tarquin’s British Blackberry Gin – both of which contain honey.
As well as having animal products within the gin, other non-vegan gins include Herno Juniper Cask Gin, whose cap is sealed with beeswax, and Greenhook Beach Plum Gin, who use gelatine for filtration.
While non-vegan gins are out there, vegan lovers can rest-assured that the majority do not contain or use animal products in their production. Major gin brands that are vegan include:
- Greenall’s Gin
- Edinburgh Gin
- Whitley Neill (only certain gins)
While carmine, made from crushed insects, is a common way to dye food and drinks red and pink, thankfully, most pink gins are also vegan – the pink colouring typically coming from red fruits and other, plant-based sources.
What Other Alcoholic Drinks Are Not Vegan?
While most gins, and other hard liquors, are vegan-friendly, there are a few popular alcoholic beverages that aren’t vegan.
Many wines are not vegan-friendly, with gelatine and milk and eggs all known to be used in certain winemaking processes. In fact, it’s claimed that many wines are made using a non-vegan process, meaning you’ll have to check for vegan labels.
Unsurprisingly, Baileys is another non-vegan alcoholic beverage, as it contains dairy. However, the brand has made a version of their well-loved tipple “Baileys Almande”, which uses almond milk instead of cream, and is said to be suitable for vegans.
People go vegan for a number of different reasons, some striving to consume absolutely no trace of animal, while others may be more lenient in the products they consume. However you navigate your diet, thankfully, there are a variety of different gins out there, as well as other alcoholic beverages, that can accommodate to your needs.