Most Stoli vodka is gluten-free, but not all varieties are certified gluten-free. The original Stoli vodka and most of the flavored Stoli vodkas are distilled from corn and buckwheat so they do not contain any gluten ingredients. However, some flavors like Stoli Salted Karamel are not certified gluten-free because they contain flavorings that may contain gluten.
What is Stoli vodka?
Stoli vodka is a premium Russian vodka made by SPI Group. Stoli vodka was originally created in the 1940s in the Soviet Union and was called “Stolichnaya”. It was renamed as Stoli after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Stoli vodka is one of the most popular vodkas worldwide. It’s a quadruple distilled vodka made from corn and buckwheat. Stoli offers vodkas in a range of flavors including citrus, berry, vanilla, cinnamon, salted caramel, and more.
Stoli vodka ingredients
The key ingredients in original Stoli vodka are:
Corn and buckwheat are gluten-free grains. Therefore, the original Stoli vodka does not contain any gluten ingredients.
Many of the flavored Stoli vodkas also use a base of corn and buckwheat vodka. However, some varieties use other grains or flavorings that may contain gluten.
Is all Stoli vodka certified gluten-free?
No, not all Stoli vodka varieties are certified gluten-free.
Here’s an overview of which Stoli vodkas are certified gluten-free:
Certified gluten-free Stoli flavors
– Stoli Elit
– Stoli ® Vodka
– Stoli ® Razberi
– Stoli ® Strasberi
– Stoli ® Blueberi
– Stoli ® Cranberi
– Stoli ® Peachik
– Stoli ® Vanil
– Stoli ® Citros
Not certified gluten-free
– Stoli ® Salted Karamel
– Stoli ® Crushed Melon
– Stoli ® Crushed Pineapple
– Stoli ® Cucumber
– Stoli ® Ginger Beer
– Stoli ® Lime
– Stoli ® Orange
– Stoli ® Raspberry
– Stoli ® Sticki
– Stoli ® Whipped Cream
– Stoli ® Wild Cherri
– Stoli ® Chocolat Kokonut
– Stoli ® Chocolat Razberi
– Stoli ® Chocolat Vanil
– Stoli ® Salted Pistachio
– Stoli ® Cucumber Lime
The reason these flavors are not certified gluten-free is because they contain flavorings that may contain gluten.
So in summary – the original Stoli vodka and some flavors are certified gluten-free, but other flavored varieties are not certified due to potential gluten-containing ingredients.
What does gluten-free certification mean?
For a vodka to be certified gluten-free, it must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. This is the recognized standard for gluten-free certification.
Products applying for gluten-free certification must be tested using the R5 Competitive ELISA method. This test is designed to detect traces of gluten from wheat, rye and barley.
If the test detects less than 20 ppm of gluten, the product can be certified as gluten-free. Anything 20 ppm or above cannot be labeled as gluten-free.
Stoli vodkas labeled as gluten-free have gone through this certification process to validate they meet the recognized standard for gluten-free foods and beverages.
Why 20 ppm?
The 20 ppm threshold was established based on research on the amount of gluten that can be safely consumed by most people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
For people with celiac disease, consuming gluten triggers an autoimmune reaction that damages the small intestine. Research suggests that the majority of those with celiac can tolerate occasional trace amounts under 20 ppm without causing issues.
So while a 20 ppm threshold is not 100% gluten-free, it provides assurance that a product is suitable for those following a strict gluten-free diet for medical reasons.
How is Stoli vodka made?
Understanding the Stoli production process helps explain why some varieties are gluten-free while others are not certified.
Here are the key steps:
1. Milling and mashing
The grains used to make Stoli vodka are milled into flour and mixed with water to form a mash.
For the original Stoli vodka, the mash is made from corn and buckwheat which are naturally gluten-free grains.
The mash is combined with yeast and allowed to ferment, turning sugars into alcohol.
The fermented mash is distilled into crystal clear alcohol. Stoli uses a quadruple distillation process for smoothness and purity.
The distilled spirit is filtered through activated charcoal for increased clarity and smoothness.
5. Blending and flavoring
For flavored vodkas, natural flavorings are added at this point. Flavorings may contain gluten, causing some varieties to not be certified gluten-free.
The final vodka is diluted with water to bring the alcohol percentage to 40% ABV. It’s then bottled in Stoli’s iconic wheat-shaped bottles.
So in summary, the potential for gluten exposure occurs during the initial grain selection, or in the addition of flavorings after distillation. The distillation process itself removes gluten protein from the final product.
Distillation removes gluten proteins
An important point about distilled spirits is that the distillation process removes gluten proteins.
Gluten comes from proteins present in wheat, rye and barley. The distillation process separates alcohol from the grains, filtering out proteins including gluten.
However, as gluten is removed by distillation, cross-contamination can still occur if gluten-containing grains are used. Some facilities also use shared equipment for gluten-containing and gluten-free grains.
That’s why it’s still possible to detect traces of residual gluten in tested samples, even when gluten-free grains are used. Certification verifies that any traces fall below 20 ppm.
Celiac organizations confirm distillation removes gluten
Leading celiac disease and gluten intolerance organizations agree that properly distilled spirits remove gluten proteins:
According to BeyondCeliac, “Distillation removes gluten protein in the final distilled spirit. Spirits that are distilled from gluten-containing grains are considered gluten-free.”
Celiac.org states: “Distilled products that DO NOT contain any gluten-containing grains are also considered GF. That includes vodkas, gins, whiskeys and similar products made from non-gluten-containing ingredients.”
So while traces under 20 ppm may remain, mainstream medical opinion confirms distillation removes gluten proteins themselves. Those with celiac disease or sensitivity should still look for certified gluten-free when possible.
What about Stoli gluten-free labeling?
You may notice inconsistent gluten-free labeling on Stoli vodka bottles:
– Some labels say “gluten-free”
– Others say “No gluten ingredients”
– Some don’t have any gluten-related wording
This inconsistent labeling causes confusion around exactly which Stoli varieties are truly gluten-free.
The Stoli website states: “STOLI® Vodka Gluten-Free (less than 20 ppm of gluten) varieties feature ‘gluten-free’ on the front label.”
So to be 100% sure a variety is gluten-free, look for the words “gluten-free” on the vodka bottle itself. Don’t go solely by the website or marketing materials.
Why the inconsistent labeling?
Stoli likely uses vague “no gluten ingredients” wording on some flavors because they are made from gluten-free base ingredients. However, they do not go through the official certification process to verify gluten levels under 20 ppm.
This allows the company to market them as “made from gluten-free ingredients” while stopping short of making an official gluten-free claim.
So in terms of labeling, the Stoli website suggests only trusting the varieties that actually say “gluten-free” on the bottle labels. Contact the company if you need clarification on a specific vodka variety.
Is Stoli safe for celiacs and gluten sensitivity?
For those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, Stoli vodkas clearly labeled “gluten-free” are considered safe according to recognized gluten-free standards.
The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) explicitly lists the original Stoli vodka and several flavors as safe for celiacs. Other celiac foundations like BeyondCeliac also state that properly distilled spirits made from gluten-free ingredients are safe.
However, some with celiac disease or sensitivity choose to avoid distilled spirits altogether to eliminate any risk of cross-contamination. This is a personal choice and not required as long as the product is certified below 20 ppm.
Those wanting to err on the side of extra caution can choose brands that produce gluten-free varieties in completely separate distilleries. Brands like Tito’s, New Amsterdam and Deep Eddy offer this added assurance.
When in doubt, contact the company
If unsure about the gluten-free status of a particular Stoli flavor, your safest option is to contact the Stoli customer service team directly.
Explain that you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity and ask whether a specific variety is certified gluten-free or produced in a gluten-free facility.
This direct communication with the producer will provide definitive answers around their gluten status and production procedures.
Should you drink Stoli vodka on a gluten-free diet?
Here are some key factors to consider when deciding if Stoli vodka fits into your gluten-free diet:
– Look for “gluten-free” wording – Only Stoli varieties clearly labeled as “gluten-free” on the bottle have been certified under 20 ppm. Other descriptions like “no gluten ingredients” are not reliable.
– Assess your sensitivity – If you have celiac disease or high sensitivity, you may want to choose certified vodka brands produced in gluten-free-only facilities. Stoli makes some flavors in shared facilities.
– Know your personal reactions – Those who react to even minute gluten traces may want to avoid grain-based alcohol altogether. Use your experience to determine if certified “gluten-free” spirits are tolerated.
– Enjoy flavored vodkas sparingly – Due to additional ingredients, flavored vodkas like salted caramel involve higher gluten risk. Stick to original or infrequently consume flavors not certified gluten-free.
– Drink in moderation – Excessive alcohol intake is unhealthy for anyone, but particularly those with chronic illnesses like celiac disease. Keep consumption moderate.
Overall, most mainstream celiac groups and gluten intolerance experts consider distilled spirits made from gluten-free ingredients to be safe. But personal tolerance varies. Take a well-informed, moderate approach to including vodkas like Stoli in your gluten-free lifestyle.
Other vodka brands to consider
Stoli has helped raise awareness of gluten-free spirits. But if you want additional assurances, here are some other vodka brands to consider:
– Produced in a dedicated gluten-free facility
– Uses corn and rice rather than gluten grains
– Explicit “gluten-free” labeling
– Distilled in a gluten-free environment
– Made from corn for all vodkas
– Company states no gluten ingredients
– Produced in 100% gluten-free facilities
– Corn-based with no gluten grains
– Tested to meet gluten-free certification
– Made from grapes so no gluten grains
– Produced in gluten-free environment
– No gluten ingredients per company
So if you want that added assurance, brands like Tito’s, New Amsterdam, Deep Eddy and Cîroc are considered excellent gluten-free options.
The bottom line
Is all Stoli vodka gluten-free? The answer is:
– Most Stoli vodka is gluten-free, but not every variety.
– Original Stoli and some flavors are certified under 20 ppm.
– Other flavored versions may contain gluten from ingredients.
– Look for “gluten-free” wording on the label, not just “no gluten ingredients”.
– When in doubt, contact Stoli about the exact gluten-free status.
– For maximum assurance, choose brands produced in dedicated gluten-free facilities.
So while Stoli helped pioneer gluten-free spirits, not all flavors live up to gluten-free claims. Read labels carefully and research production processes for the best guidance.