Favourite Alcoholic Drinks

by 260 · November 02, 2012 at 11:04 PM

It can be argued that alcoholic beverages aren't part of the original human diet but, on the other hand, they can be viewed as an essential part of a contemporary diet.

What are your favourite paleo-friendly drinks? I would personally list

  1. Dry Riesling Wine
  2. Whisky
  3. Vodka
  4. Beer (in moderate amounts)

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39 Replies

2088 · February 13, 2010 at 2:42 PM

Beer is really anti-Paleo. It's made of gluten containing grains, and unlike whiskey (also made of grains) the gluten is not fermented away. There's at least a sandwich worth of bread in any pint of high quality beer!

Wine and brandy are at the top of my booze list, but I do consume other distilled spirits now and then.

2505 · May 12, 2010 at 3:34 AM

Would it stand to reason that mead would be the most Paleo of alcoholic drinks?

I'm not a huge fan, but given that it's fermented honey and yeast...


50 · February 13, 2010 at 9:15 PM

Shoutout to the Norcal Margarita:

1 shot gold tequila - its yummy juice of one lime - it blunts the insulin response of the tequila and also registers in the body as an alkali load soda water - the carbon bubbles gets the alcohol straight to the brain

665 · February 13, 2010 at 5:11 PM

Best highball ever:

1 oz "white" 100% agave tequila, I prefer Patron Silver 1 lime wedge Top with soda water

If not that, then red wine; organic Argentina Malbecs are my fav right now.

150 · February 13, 2010 at 5:59 PM

Beer is the worst, it's basically anti-paleo. Think of it as 'bread soda'. In fact, ppl used to drink a really thick, heavy beer for solely for its carb content to insure they consumed enough calories (as in 2k years ago).

Almost all alcohols have sugar in them, so it's about moderation and how much you feel like cheating ;)

Wine is OK, the serving size is smaller and it's less carb-heavy than beer.

Hard liqour is better (whiskey, scotch, bourbon, etc) as they are even smaller servings so less sugars.

My faves are scotch & wine. Usually I drink a glass or two of wine with dinner, if I'm being strict I'll go for a single or double of scotch.

On a hot summer day though, nothing beats a liter of lager thought! That's where the 90% rule comes in :)

1745 · February 13, 2010 at 4:20 PM

For paleo reenactment you would want a fermented fruit or honey, not a fermented grain. This removes grain concerns. However, any distilled spirit could meet our criteria of alcohol without grain toxins- even if it was distilled from grain.

The other health concern is to minimize fructose (sugar) consumption with your alcohol because fructose and alcohol can have a similar toxic effect on the liver.

I think drinking a small amount of alcohol to relieve stress can be very beneficial. Alcohol may be bad, but stress is much worse. Of course, you could argue there are better ways of relieving stress.

Others have mentioned dry wine. I am starting to explore other fruit based alcohol. Dry hard cider is a possibility. I have some pear eau-de-vie (brandy distilled from fruit).

I know of one possible health benefit other than stress reduction- it is claimed that some alcohol is a "digestif" - aids in digestion. I just had St. George's absinthe (which is awesome!), and made with herbs- these could have a small beneficial effect digestive or otherwise.

731 · May 11, 2010 at 11:04 PM

<< alcoholic beverages . . . can be viewed as an essential part of a contemporary diet. >>


I'm not a teetotaler, and everyone's free to consume what they like, but it's hard to classify a substance that's toxic, even fatal, in sufficient volume as essential. There are also entire population groups that have a difficult time metabolizing alcohol in any quantity. "Common," maybe, "pleasurable," perhaps, but non-essential.

1503 · February 13, 2010 at 4:50 PM

My taste for anything alcoholic is near zero. During the first few years of paleo eating, if we had any booze in the house (which was rare), I'd like having one drink a night. Now, I could care less. I've had a bottle of white wine in my fridge for at least 7 months and I have no interest in it. I feel really good about that.

638 · July 18, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Red wine. G&T (perhaps not strictly paleo but it doesn't make me as bloated as beer!)

1884 · April 21, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Before going paleo my I was in so much pain I was self-medicating with with a few shots of rum just to get some sleep at night.

Since giving up crap I don't need it anymore, but one small drink a week is still a very pleasant indulgence. I prefer:

  1. Wine. I'd better have someone to share it with, though, because otherwise I'm buying a bottle to enjoy half a glass.

  2. Mead. This is tasty stuff. Honey and fire and nothing else. I never have trouble finding someone to share this with.

  3. The martini. If you told me tomorrow that the combination of gin, vermouth and olives causes testicular cancer and face-melting I would reply with a smile and a farewell bow as I excuse myself from the human race. As far as I'm concerned, the holy grail was a martini glass.

    But it better be a really good martini.

20 · April 20, 2011 at 7:44 PM

It was.....

  1. Sierra Nevada
  2. Sweet Water 420
  3. Magic Hat No.9
  4. Butt Face (at the RAM in Scaumburg,IL)
  5. Mount Gay Extra Old Rum

Paleo did nothing for me aslong as I drank alcohol.....even one or two drinks a week. So I decided to stop a few months ago. I feel much better now.

55320 · June 07, 2010 at 11:53 PM

Basque sour cider, dry ciders from NY State, and ACE perry. I like sour and dry things...if anyone knows of any others I'm in the market to broaden the range of alcohol I like, since I sadly can't drink beer anymore. It was my "cheat" for awhile, but then I realized that my gluten problem was a serious pathology.

I don't drink very often, maybe once or twice a month. Since I start paleo my alcohol tolerance has gotten pretty sorry.

1636 · June 07, 2010 at 8:30 PM

I'll second the hard cider. For those former beer drinkers who think it is too sweet, you just need to find a drier one - try looking for Magner's. My husband - who is NOT paleo - has started to prefer MY cider to HIS beer - now half the time when I feel like having one, we are out because of him.

And if I occasionally feel like the hard stuff I am going for a really fine gold or dark rum. Something good enough to sip straight with just some lime and/or maybe a good bitters. No Coca Cola (sigh) - there's my paleo sacrifice I guess. Even if rum DOES come from sugar cane - in for a penny, in for a pound.

2264 · February 13, 2010 at 6:10 PM

I was a whisky drinker for years until someone introduced me to good cognac... try any of the Pierre Ferrand varieties. Amazing smooth stuff, sugar is minimal.

There are gluten-free beers -- New Grist is sorghum-and-rice based, and it actually tastes like beer, as do the Green's gluten-free Belgian ales -- but I generally skip beer altogether nowadays in favor of red wine with meals and cold water on hot summer days.

White wine... eh.

10 · February 13, 2010 at 11:55 AM

I've been avoiding alcoholic drinks lately (after finding out how alcohol is metabolized in the body). But in the past I've been partial to beer, bourbon and red wine (although not all together)

0 · November 02, 2012 at 11:04 PM

what about gluten free beers?

0 · July 18, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Scotch Whisky, Irish Whiskey... what else is there? Some day I would like to travel to the world of bourbon and cognac, but i'm not there yet.

0 · December 29, 2011 at 1:24 AM

When I do drink, I at least try to make it as organic as possible. For beers, I like the Samuel Smith brews from England - all organic (vegan certified, too). There are several retailers here in Boston that sell their products. Also, I enjoy vodka with a splash of organic cranberry and a twist of lime (aka the 'natural' cape codder). Every now and then I'll have a margarita made with organic tequila, key limes, grand marnier and organic agave.

1061 · April 21, 2011 at 2:30 PM

Knob Creek Bourbon neat, a glass of Red Wine once every few weeks or so with steak

No beer since June of '09

Medium avatar
3244 · April 21, 2011 at 1:54 PM

On almost a daily basis, it was...

  • Super hoppy west coast IPAs.
  • Imperial stouts.
  • Porters.

Maybe once or twice a week, it now is...

  • Maker's Mark, Buffalo Trace, Pappy Van Winkle bourbon on the rocks.
  • Quality vodka with lime and soda water.
  • Wine - usually red, with a vinho verde thrown in in the summer.

This is making me thirsty...

336 · April 21, 2011 at 9:19 AM

A cheap dry white wine for drinking and a cheap red wine for cooking.

669 · April 21, 2011 at 9:07 AM

  1. Vermouth. On the rocks, with a spritz of seltzer, a slice of lemon, and an olive (with pit). Oh, and a plate of Spanish anchovies.
  2. Gin. (Used to drink with tonic, now with soda)
  3. A good Catalán red wine.
  4. A nice Carajillo (shot of espresso/shot of brandy or dark rum), after Sunday lunch. The original Red Bull & Vodka. Much more paleo, too.

Vermouth really is my downfall though, it goes down like water.

That is all. :)

5105 · April 20, 2011 at 8:15 PM

In order of preference:

  1. Wine, preferrably from France, or maybe Spain. (white or red, as long as it's good!)
  2. Armagnac, bitches!
  3. Dry Cider
  4. Potato Vodka (it's got horrible horrible packaging, but "Blue Ice" from Idaho is pretty damn great and cheap, much better than Luksusowa)
  5. Whiskey (Irish, Scotch, then Bourbon -bourbon is the danger zone, also Templeton Rye)
  6. Dolin Vermouth
  7. Occasional bloody mary (I've been making spicy mexican ones with tequila)
  8. A Gimlet - made with fresh squeezed juice, don't get anywhere near me with Rose's Lime.
  9. A good, well made margarita on a hot day
  10. A Belgian style beer, like a La Chouffe or a Stone Soup from New Glarus, preferably with a second in bottle fermentation. Or a Guinness (i've never much liked beer)

I've been a bartender for a long time, so I have opinions (can you tell?).

Medium avatar
5619 · April 20, 2011 at 8:05 PM

I go for potato vodkas these days. Luksusowa is especially fine (and cheap!)

A good tequila and soda with lemon or lime (ugh fine...the "NorCal margarita. such a bro-ism...).

In vino veritas.

If I do have a beer, I prefer to try and stay as low-gluten as possible, and surprisingly, Budweiser and Bud Light are very low in gluten.

21258 · April 20, 2011 at 7:47 PM

Scotch, scotch, scotch

Reisling, Pinot Grigot

Bloody Mary (usually with a very paleo brunch, I indulge a little)

Dry Pear Cider

Import and/or Craft Beers (trying to cut these back, haven't had a beer since returning from vacation almost a month ago)

0 · April 20, 2011 at 7:33 PM

What about amaretto?

65 · June 08, 2010 at 12:28 PM

  1. Vodka
  2. Irish Whiskey
  3. Bourbon
  4. Tequilla
  5. Dry Red Wine
  6. Scotch
  7. Cider(dry!)
  8. good quality beer as a treat, rarely and light beer with spicy food like MD crabs or Buffalo wings. Be carefull when you order a NorCal Margerita in a bar! On more that one occasion they put Rose's Lime Syrup in it without telling me and that stuff is full of HFCS!

50 · June 08, 2010 at 6:24 AM

I noticed wine and ciders have sulphites/sulfites in them? Can someone explain these to me?

2143 · June 07, 2010 at 11:45 PM

I can't drink beer anymore, it makes me feel terribly bloated and gives me heartburn. I was drinking a lot of dry red and lately rosé wine but I'm cutting it out for a month to see if that'll lean me out a little more. Yeah, it's dry, but hardly free of calories and my liver could use the time off. Oh Malbec, I miss you, esp. that Crios rosé of Malbec, so good on a hot night... but I'll be back!

I tried a hard cider at a bar and it tastes like fizzy sweet apple juice. Bleh.

10 · June 07, 2010 at 10:05 PM

Living in Oregon, it's hard to avoid the Galaxy of craft beers round here, so there's the occasional indulgence 1-2x/month. Mostly, red wine. Occasional white wine and an Underberg. I'm thinking about getting some Cognac to finish off sauces for meat (been getting into the French-style reductions sans wheat).

554 · June 07, 2010 at 7:46 PM

  1. Jameson's, neat
  2. Jagermeister, neat
  3. Red wine, dry varieties
  4. Underberg, though I'm phasing those out.

Come winter, I may have to indulge in New Hampshire's local hard cider (very dry) on occasion.

10750 · June 07, 2010 at 7:38 PM

As a treat for ourselves, the occasional Hard Cider (esp. if it is a local craft brewed one) can really make an evening special.

2564 · May 11, 2010 at 12:34 PM

Jack Daniel's Black label!

I gave up beer completely and only drink wine every now and then. I don't really like wine. I can only drink the cheap, sweet stuff, lol.

536 · May 11, 2010 at 5:57 AM

Despite its grain-infested, non-paleo status, I still enjoy craft ale in the summer--especially good strong Belgian ale.

1219 · May 11, 2010 at 5:11 AM

  1. Single Malt Scotch
  2. Cognac
  3. Great wines
  4. Craft Beers
  5. Vodka Martinis

Not in order of preference.

472 · May 11, 2010 at 4:45 AM

quality beer! not PBR or Key light or antyhing like that. I know it's anti-paleo and frankly my dear I don't give a damn. I can handle a beer (or 2...or 3...hey, come on, I'm in college) every once in a while and do it guilt free. other than that, VODKA!

10194 · February 13, 2010 at 6:23 PM

I go for Jameson on the rocks. Once in a while a Red Bridge gluten-free beer.

77338 · February 13, 2010 at 3:29 PM

My first choice is red wine, and in the heat I have light beer, which is not as good!

2357 · February 13, 2010 at 1:06 PM

  1. White wine
  2. Red wine if you're not sensitive

I've also been avoiding alcohol lately after being a very regular drinker for my entire adult life. I feel fantastic.

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