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'Free From' Spirits

Free From sugar, lactose and gluten, whole foods market

Over the last couple of years, the spirits and food industries have seen a major shift in consumerism as people have become aware of their food intolerances and the rise of the 'lifestyler' who wishes to be healthy.

At Downton Distillery I often field questions on what is within 'Explorer's Gin' and is it gluten, sugar, lactose and nut free? I hope this article answers those questions and provides insights to how it is a 'free-from' gin.

Rise of the Lifestyler

These lifestylers, rather than those affected by intolerances, are driving the trend towards ‘free-from’ foods and drink. It is estimated 1 in 10 consumers are making the switch to gluten and lactose free produce, whilst 97% of households now buy some form of food or drink that has been labelled as ‘free-from’.

The spirits industry has seen brands seize this marketing opportunity by labelling their spirits as ‘free-from’. Whilst the ‘low-and-no-alcohol’ category can also be seen proudly displaying labels declaring that they are gluten, vegan and lactose free thus ticking all the boxes for urban millennial.  

Is Explorer’s Gin ‘free-from’?

Explorer’s Gin is ‘free from’ Gluten, Sugar, lactose and is vegan friendly.

How is it ‘free-from’ Gluten?

Most distilleries will use wheat, barley, or rye as the base of their spirit.
During fermentation, the gluten protein is broken down but not removed. It is during distillation that gluten is removed from alcohol, as the protein is non-volatile and unable to pass across in vapour form with the alcohol. All gins including Explorer’s Gin use a neutral grain spirit (NGS) which must be 96% ABV. At this strength there is no gluten in the alcohol.

We distil our NGS with our botanicals to create Explorer’s Gin which is a London Dry, meaning nothing is added to the gin post distillation except our spring water to bring it down to bottling strength.

How is it ‘free-from’ sugar?

Sugar is a heavier particle and non-volatile, meaning it is left behind during the distillation process. Explorer’s Gin is also London Dry Gin, this style of gin by law can not have anything added to it post distillation including artificial flavourings and sugars. 

Do some Gins and Spirits contain sugar?

Please note that ‘flavoured’ gins and ‘old tom’ styles will have sugar added to them, a previous article discussed how much sugar was going into pink gins.
 

How is it ‘free-from’ Lactose?

Lactose is a type of sugar found within milk. At no point in our process do we use any form of diary in our production.
 

Is Explorer’s Gin Vegan Friendly?

Good news, yes, it is. We do not use any non-vegan ingredients within our production. Anything unflavoured should be vegan friendly.
 

In Summary

All London Dry Gins including Explorer’s Gin tick the box for being ‘free-from’. If you are in doubt check the back label and contact the distillery.
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