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If you HAVE to drink alcohol what is the best choice?

by (4295)
Updated about 17 hours ago
Created February 04, 2011 at 12:35 AM

I've been mainly paleo/ primal for 9 months or so. The only thing I could not give up was alcohol as it's always been a huge part of my social life - and I really enjoy it.

However, after developing a Pulmonary Embolism back in November, I had to compeltely give up alcohol (I understand it reacts badly with the warfarin I'm having to take). Before this my "asthma" had got worse and worse - I was having to use my inhaler several times a day. The oddest thing is that my asthma has completely gone - there has been absolutely no trace of it since my last drink 2.5 months ago. I'm now left to conclude perhaps it was some kind of an allergy all along?

I love not having asthma; but I hate the social side I'm missing out on (I didn't drink that much - mainly at weekends).

So over to you, do you have similar experiences? Are there any alcoholic drinks that are likely to be less allergenic? (I'd tended to drink more wine and beer as I felt they were more natural)

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2227 · September 07, 2013 at 1:28 AM

definitely not low carb.. alcohol + carbs = fat storage.

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799 · August 09, 2012 at 7:34 PM

lots of people, myself included, have been known to suffer from asthma and respiratory issues when drinking too much beer. It has gluten, hops, yeast, barley - its got to be the first to go on the alcohol list - sorry! I gave it up and my asthma went away inside of a month. Every time I would start to drink beer again all of the symptoms would come back. I also noticed a lot more mucus, coughing, and nasal congestion when drinking beer regularly.

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4111 · August 09, 2012 at 3:25 PM

When did TB infected Frederick Chopin get transformed into a fermented potato?

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30 · June 22, 2012 at 12:44 PM

it's worth the "cheat" :)

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2227 · June 12, 2012 at 3:37 PM

looks tasty though! :)

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1804 · February 08, 2012 at 1:54 AM

Amen, Jack. I'm with you.

Medium avatar
5629 · November 15, 2011 at 2:55 AM

Gin is FLAVORED with juniper berries, it is usually distilled from grain, usually wheat.

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5629 · November 15, 2011 at 2:54 AM

Yep, I taste pretty much everything I make for people, like I said. I don't stress about the alochol/sugar when I drink, it's one of the things I'm pretty loose with myself about, as I'm very strict in other areas of my life. The one limitation I give myself is no beer.

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527 · November 15, 2011 at 2:38 AM

Do you taste your cocktails though? The guy I learned from told me it was imperative to taste (with a straw) before you serve. I considered finding a job bartending, but with the late nights, inevitable booze intake, and the sugar intake that would accumulate over the night, I had to abandon that. Are any of these problems for you?

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5629 · November 10, 2011 at 9:14 PM

I've always wanted to try that Amarula Liqueur from South Africa!

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5516 · November 10, 2011 at 7:21 PM

Last weekend I started drinking after a 24 hour fast. That got interesting!

Medium avatar
5629 · November 10, 2011 at 7:08 PM

http://wine.appellationamerica.com/wine-reviews/1957/Ravines-Wine-Cellars-2006-Keuka-Village-White.html

Medium avatar
5629 · November 10, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Sorry to burst your bubble again, but gin is usually (like 95% of the time) made from a base of grain alcohol, and then infused with botanicals such as juniper berries during a secondary distillation.

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3202 · November 10, 2011 at 2:47 PM

All us herbalists use plain Vodka to tincture our products in...Vodka is 50/50 pure grain alcohol and distilled water. Nothing else added.

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3202 · November 10, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Cheap date! I got your next round...

Medium avatar
8239 · November 10, 2011 at 5:12 AM

Kudos to a fellow tequila sipper. I so agree: how vile to "shoot" good tequila. What a ridiculous, college freshman BS practice.

Medium avatar
8239 · November 10, 2011 at 5:10 AM

My own adaptation (to the otherwise genius) NorCal Maragarita, is to replace that soda water, with Perrier or some other form of bubbly (non-flat) mineral water. Same effect as soda water, which I do not like.

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580 · June 21, 2011 at 5:19 AM

Yeah I'm not saying its hard to explain Norcal Margharita, but sometimes bar's are loud and bartenders are super busy, so this way it doesn't seem that I'm ordering something the bartender has never heard of.

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801 · June 21, 2011 at 3:27 AM

Great idea Antti, I'll give this a try. Also you can ask for a well drink with tequilla, lime, and sparkling water... this usually works.

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580 · June 20, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Last weekend I realized an simple way to order Norcal Margharita at bars: Mojito without sugar, tequila instead of rum. If the tequila selection is crappy - cheap ones - you can always opt for vodka.

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400 · June 15, 2011 at 12:10 AM

Monopolowa is made from potatoes and $10 for a 750ml bottle at TJs. Haven't tasted it yet but a bottle is sitting in my freezer.

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5136 · April 27, 2011 at 4:31 AM

Ciroc uses grapes AND grains. it is NOT entirely from grapes. Sorry to burst your bubble

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5136 · April 19, 2011 at 7:25 PM

you know, i've read some stuff about secondary bottle fermentation in barley based beers rendering them essentially completely gluten free. Luckily, many delicious Belgian beers are made this way and these have never caused me problems. Corsendonk Abbey Pale is one I am thinking of. Also, Stone Soup from New Glarus in WI (but its only sold in WI)

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970 · February 17, 2011 at 6:08 PM

Blue Ice and Chopin are the only vodkas I know of that still use potatoes. I'm personally not concerned about grain vodka since the distillation process is "supposed" to produce a 100% gluten-free liquor. However, I try to avoid grain vodkas out of principle, when I can. No need to further contribute to grain agriculture, right? :)

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5232 · February 05, 2011 at 3:40 AM

Bronson, your accusation of Melissa "bustin balls" is unwarranted and out of line. She's one of the sweetest people I've ever had the pleasure of chatting with, ever. I hope you can recognize your sweeping statement of her "always bustin balls" as generalized and hostile, and please refrain from throwing around negative assessments of a veteran member's contributions to this community in the future.

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6550 · February 04, 2011 at 4:05 PM

If an implicit part of paleo is examining our impulses, this is worthwhile question, and I say this as one of the heavier drinkers in this community. Melissa's not ball busting-it's a valid thing to consider, and Suz's wording is weird. As an aside, Melissa is probably the nicest and most considerate person in this community, imho.

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18701 · February 04, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Wow. Bronson. I am usually pretty nice, but straight forward. In fact, I actually told you I wanted to give you a hug because of your posts.

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1132 · February 04, 2011 at 6:26 AM

I think, where you live and the options you have infront of you are important factors in the question. For me, wine or beer are the options.

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354 · February 04, 2011 at 6:04 AM

melissa why are you always "bustin balls"? Your cool or somethin?

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363 · February 04, 2011 at 4:10 AM

yeah. Honestly not trying to argue and i appreciate your responses and questions. Keep up the good work. night.

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4295 · February 04, 2011 at 4:05 AM

I can socalise very well (and have done for the last 2.5 months) without drinking. I just miss and enjoy social drinking. Breathing normally is obviously far more important to me than drinking, but I'm interested in finding out if it is all alcoholic drinks or just certain drinks that cause this reaction. If it turns out all drinks have this impact of course I would become tea total!

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4295 · February 04, 2011 at 3:52 AM

Thanks for this - sounds really good! I'm definitely going to try this once I'm off the meds!

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4295 · February 04, 2011 at 3:51 AM

That's a really interesting thought Theresa... I'd love to introduce so back in to rule it in or out - but I can't bear the impact if it is! I wish I'd known about all this years ago!

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18701 · February 04, 2011 at 3:26 AM

Hahaha, too many "questions" in that comment. Time to go to bed!

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18701 · February 04, 2011 at 3:26 AM

Well in answer her question though "If you HAVE To drink.." they are questioning if she actually HAS TO, I think. I know the interior of her question has a more specific question, but the actually posted question does pose the "if you HAVE to" which is part of what people are questioning, I think. Many Paleohackers choose to drink, but we admit it's a choice.

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363 · February 04, 2011 at 3:11 AM

I here ya Melissa. Point well taken. However she wasn't asking why she 'has to drink'. It was "If". Anyhow, i just think the answers should reflect her question not our question to why she's asking her question.

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18701 · February 04, 2011 at 2:57 AM

Yes, but the "if you HAVE to drink" part is worded weirdly. She doesn't HAVE TO drink, she chooses to.

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363 · February 04, 2011 at 2:41 AM

Suz's question was not 'Tell me why I shouldn't drink, or 'tell me why i have a problem'. Her question was "Are there any alcoholic drinks that are likely to be less allergenic?'

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80 · February 04, 2011 at 2:22 AM

Thank you for actually answering the question instead of passing judgement! We'll try this at our next social gathering ;0)

Medium avatar
39841 · February 04, 2011 at 1:55 AM

This is one of those Twilight Zone questions that I am unable to fathom. Surely breathing correctly is worth more than intoxication?

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2423 · February 04, 2011 at 1:16 AM

Why can't you socialize without being under the influence of alcohol? Don't you find that strange?

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E5d59ab6d79320caf1e991cdc7971326
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801 · February 04, 2011 at 12:48 AM

Full article on alcohol and paleo here.

These days me and my other athlete friends just mix up some of Robb Wolf's NorCal margaritas when we feel like drinking. We've found that this is the best way to avoid as many negative effects as possible- Try to drink early and eat some protein and fat before you go to bed.

NorCal Margarita

  • 2???3 shots of 100% agave tequila.
  • Juice and pulp from one lime.
  • Shake it all up with some ice.
  • Add soda water to taste.

Here's why this drink rocks:

  1. Tequila is fermented agave juice, which makes it gluten and starch-free.

  2. Insulin release is blunted by lime, helps maintain insulin sensitivity.

  3. Alkaline kidney load from limes

  4. CO2 bubbles help ethenol enter blood stream more quickly, so you can drink less for same effects.

Also check out Martin Berkhan's Alcohol recommendations. This stuff I'm not so sure about, but it seem to work really well for his clients.

Medium avatar
8239 · November 10, 2011 at 5:10 AM

My own adaptation (to the otherwise genius) NorCal Maragarita, is to replace that soda water, with Perrier or some other form of bubbly (non-flat) mineral water. Same effect as soda water, which I do not like.

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580 · June 21, 2011 at 5:19 AM

Yeah I'm not saying its hard to explain Norcal Margharita, but sometimes bar's are loud and bartenders are super busy, so this way it doesn't seem that I'm ordering something the bartender has never heard of.

E5d59ab6d79320caf1e991cdc7971326
801 · June 21, 2011 at 3:27 AM

Great idea Antti, I'll give this a try. Also you can ask for a well drink with tequilla, lime, and sparkling water... this usually works.

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580 · June 20, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Last weekend I realized an simple way to order Norcal Margharita at bars: Mojito without sugar, tequila instead of rum. If the tequila selection is crappy - cheap ones - you can always opt for vodka.

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4295 · February 04, 2011 at 3:52 AM

Thanks for this - sounds really good! I'm definitely going to try this once I'm off the meds!

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80 · February 04, 2011 at 2:22 AM

Thank you for actually answering the question instead of passing judgement! We'll try this at our next social gathering ;0)

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400 · February 17, 2011 at 4:43 PM

If you're drinking alcohol, I figure you're already compromising the paleo diet, but you might as well do it safely. By safely I mostly mean gluten-free (sorry beer). I stick to the following:

Wine

Tequila (Distilled from agave)

Vodka (Find brands that are distilled from grapes or potatoes. My favorite is Ciroc - distilled entirely from grapes. Warning, cheaper brands no longer distill from potatoes, be cognizant of what you are buying)

Gin (All include some sort of botanical. Some are distilled from sugars, others from cereal grains, so be on the lookout)

Veev (Just sampled a new liquor called Veev which is from Acai berries. Very tasty.)

And finally, as the closest substitute for beer:

Hard Cider (Typically high in sugar, so this is really just a rare treat vs. an everynight sipper. Stick to organic brands lower in sugar)

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4111 · August 09, 2012 at 3:25 PM

When did TB infected Frederick Chopin get transformed into a fermented potato?

Medium avatar
5629 · November 10, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Sorry to burst your bubble again, but gin is usually (like 95% of the time) made from a base of grain alcohol, and then infused with botanicals such as juniper berries during a secondary distillation.

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400 · June 15, 2011 at 12:10 AM

Monopolowa is made from potatoes and $10 for a 750ml bottle at TJs. Haven't tasted it yet but a bottle is sitting in my freezer.

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5136 · April 27, 2011 at 4:31 AM

Ciroc uses grapes AND grains. it is NOT entirely from grapes. Sorry to burst your bubble

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970 · February 17, 2011 at 6:08 PM

Blue Ice and Chopin are the only vodkas I know of that still use potatoes. I'm personally not concerned about grain vodka since the distillation process is "supposed" to produce a 100% gluten-free liquor. However, I try to avoid grain vodkas out of principle, when I can. No need to further contribute to grain agriculture, right? :)

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4276 · February 04, 2011 at 4:04 AM

"Are there any alcoholic drinks that are likely to be less allergenic?"

I think what I would do is get myself to an allergist right away and try to pinpoint what is going on. I work in the beer industry and I have seen a lot of odd allergies out there. A former business parter was allergic to a strain of hops. A STRAIN, there are over 200 out there, she was allergic to one of them. Once you get checked out, you can make an educated choice about your alcohol intake, instead of just stabs in the dark and risking your health.

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18412 · February 16, 2011 at 5:26 PM

a lot of hard liquors have sugary additives and other garbage. but pure stuff like tequila is good. most margarita mixes are just high fructose corn syrups and fake ingredients, so you need to make your own version if you want it to qualify.

red wine is good in moderation

and i don't give a rip what anybody says about beer. i don't drink cheap beers, but unless i develop a severe reaction to grain glutens, i will always be down for an occasional micro brew from a quality source. there's just nothing like a frosty glass of good brew, like a pale ale or a bitey IPA. Paleo or not, I just don't care.

cheers (yes, i know)

Jack Kronk

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1804 · February 08, 2012 at 1:54 AM

Amen, Jack. I'm with you.

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5136 · April 19, 2011 at 7:25 PM

you know, i've read some stuff about secondary bottle fermentation in barley based beers rendering them essentially completely gluten free. Luckily, many delicious Belgian beers are made this way and these have never caused me problems. Corsendonk Abbey Pale is one I am thinking of. Also, Stone Soup from New Glarus in WI (but its only sold in WI)

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78417 · February 04, 2011 at 12:50 AM

Good quality tequila straight.

Drink it slowly, let it run down your throat! Don't shoot good tequila!

Or 100% potatoe vodka would be second choice, it's much cheaper too.

Medium avatar
8239 · November 10, 2011 at 5:12 AM

Kudos to a fellow tequila sipper. I so agree: how vile to "shoot" good tequila. What a ridiculous, college freshman BS practice.

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10294 · November 10, 2011 at 8:56 PM

Ripe marula fruits!!!!!

It does not get more paleo than this, I guess. Now, who knows where to get these fruits?

;-)

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30 · June 22, 2012 at 12:44 PM

it's worth the "cheat" :)

Medium avatar
5629 · November 10, 2011 at 9:14 PM

I've always wanted to try that Amarula Liqueur from South Africa!

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20 · November 10, 2011 at 5:05 AM

I am a very social person as well, and often it's for professional purposes that I go out. I've found that Robb Wolf's NorCal Margarita is ridiculously strong (he recommends two shots per drink), and it gets expensive. Instead, I just ask for a shot of tequila with soda water and a lime. Because I'm trying to drink less than I used to, I also ask for it in a tall glass (most often a pint glass). This allows me to have a drink, and to keep being social, but drink slowly as the soda water makes the tequila last quite a while.

Also, I can then alternate between just soda waters, too. If I don't want to be the guy "not drinking" I order one tequila drink, then the next just a soda water. People ask what you're having the first time, and assume all your drinks are that. For me, it's trying to be able to go out, enjoy myself, and not overconsume... for the sake of calories, sobriety, and health.

In terms of your sensitivities, I'd keep trying different liquors. And try different qualities. Usually, the more expensive liquors have fewer impurities and thus fewer things to upset your reactions.

And if nothing else, have you tried red wines?

Cheers.

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970 · February 16, 2011 at 5:51 PM

I usually drink a weak gin & soda, with 2 limes. I actually tell the bartender to make it WEAK! haha

This concoction is similar to Robb Wolf's NorCal Margarita, but with more of a "ginny" taste. To me, it tastes much better than my previous default, vodka & soda (bland!).

(Full disclosure: ricechek = heavy-drinking paleo)

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1471 · February 04, 2011 at 1:46 AM

Isnt beer made from Grains? So maybe you had an underlying Grain allergy...

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799 · August 09, 2012 at 7:34 PM

lots of people, myself included, have been known to suffer from asthma and respiratory issues when drinking too much beer. It has gluten, hops, yeast, barley - its got to be the first to go on the alcohol list - sorry! I gave it up and my asthma went away inside of a month. Every time I would start to drink beer again all of the symptoms would come back. I also noticed a lot more mucus, coughing, and nasal congestion when drinking beer regularly.

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4295 · February 04, 2011 at 3:51 AM

That's a really interesting thought Theresa... I'd love to introduce so back in to rule it in or out - but I can't bear the impact if it is! I wish I'd known about all this years ago!

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12407 · February 04, 2011 at 1:27 AM

i do cognac or tequila straight. however, i must warn from experience, watch you're alcohol intake if you're IF'ing. learned that one the hard way. almost blacked out on 2 shots of hennessy.

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5516 · November 10, 2011 at 7:21 PM

Last weekend I started drinking after a 24 hour fast. That got interesting!

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3202 · November 10, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Cheap date! I got your next round...

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1665 · November 10, 2011 at 2:10 PM

I find that all alcohol except vodka and tequila give me a bad hangover. Vodka is supposedly a very "clean" alchohol.

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3202 · November 10, 2011 at 2:47 PM

All us herbalists use plain Vodka to tincture our products in...Vodka is 50/50 pure grain alcohol and distilled water. Nothing else added.

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4218 · November 10, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Whiskey. Jameson's.

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2427 · February 22, 2011 at 4:10 AM

At my football club, they only sell packaged alcohol. I don't drink the beer because of gluten and I don't drink the spirits with cola mix because of the caffeine. I compared the sugar content of various brands of whiskey or rum with dry, and asked them to stock the one with the least sugar.

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941 · February 21, 2011 at 7:00 PM

There are some good suggestions. Gin is made from Juniper berries, tequila agave, potato vodka. A good red wine is supposed to be beneficial. What about bloody maries? I happen to like them and have been known to use Gin in place of Vodka.

Medium avatar
5629 · November 15, 2011 at 2:55 AM

Gin is FLAVORED with juniper berries, it is usually distilled from grain, usually wheat.

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1103 · February 04, 2011 at 12:51 AM

I go with the NorCal Margarita (or just straight SIPPING tequila - Herradura anejo is my personal favorite), either that or red wine.

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693 · February 04, 2011 at 12:47 AM

Robb Wolf talks about a "NorCal Margarita" that is pretty good. I think it's 2 oz of tequila, the juice of one lime and a splash of soda water. It's not nearly as sweet as a traditional margarita, but it works.

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0 · September 07, 2013 at 12:44 AM
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0 · September 10, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Organic Apple Cider. It is alkaline forming.

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1208 · June 12, 2012 at 3:33 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar_(cocktail). Popular here in Canada. My go to drink. Nice and spicy too and I like to add a pickled bean even if its not paleo, (like alcohol is anyway :)). If you can find Clamato juice I would give this a try.

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2227 · September 07, 2013 at 1:28 AM

definitely not low carb.. alcohol + carbs = fat storage.

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2227 · June 12, 2012 at 3:37 PM

looks tasty though! :)

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14877 · June 12, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Grey Goose               :)    

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1036 · June 12, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Wine and beer can both cause histamine release. I love wine but notice I'll start sneezing at times. Look for a new vodka called High Roller. Made from sweet potatoes. It's very pure and smooth tasting. Goes for about $50/bottle though.

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0 · June 12, 2012 at 2:00 PM

I have recently developed an allergy to beer which culminated in a nights stay in hospital to investigate my breathing problems. We found that I had an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients in beer - possibly hops, barley or yeast. Fortunately I was not allergic to the alcohol so I simply switched to Whisky & Dry ginger. A nice long drink which gave me no problems (except I keep falling over !) I read an article somewhere that said not all beers are brewed the same so try a different brand. I went for my favourite English Real Ales - same result but this time I was prepared, no need to attend hospital I counteracted the hot flush & breathing probs by standing outside in a freezing cold garden, took antihistamines (chlorphenamine maleate is best) washed down with iced water. These ales are very "Hoppy" so I went for a beer recommended in the article - Budweiser - which contains 30% rice & is triple filtered. No reaction to one bottle. Great! so decided to leave it a few more days before trying out the same quntity as my Real Ales. Up to now after several "Tests" over a couple of months I've had no reaction to 4 bottles. Now I'm looking for alternative beers (although I'm happy with Bud) Anyone got any other suggestions ? Cheers, Geoff

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5629 · November 10, 2011 at 7:08 PM

Lususowa potato vodka from Poland. 12.99/liter and so smooth. Blows Chopin out of the water. If you're on the east coast, check out LIV vodka from Long Island, made 100% from locally grown potatoes!

I tend to stick with good tequila on the rocks or with soda. Brandy is another favorite. Dry ciders are a personal favorite as well.

Red or white wines are great to drink too. My favorite grape is Gamay, from the Loire valley. Some of the best quaffing wine there is, and can also be incredibly complex. For white, I just bought a case of Keuka Villages by Ravines up in the Finger Lakes. It's made with indigenous American grapes, and it's like no other white wine I've ever tasted. It's AMAZING, and if you can find it, I highly recommend checking it out.

As you can see, being a bartender, I'm not too strict with myself when it comes to booze. I will have gin and whiskey when I feel the urge, or when tasting the drinks I make for others (gotta make sure I'm not poisoning you!) The only thing I don't drink anymore is beer, but even then, if I want a Tripel Karmeliet...well I'm gonna have a Tripel Karmeliet.

Medium avatar
5629 · November 15, 2011 at 2:54 AM

Yep, I taste pretty much everything I make for people, like I said. I don't stress about the alochol/sugar when I drink, it's one of the things I'm pretty loose with myself about, as I'm very strict in other areas of my life. The one limitation I give myself is no beer.

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527 · November 15, 2011 at 2:38 AM

Do you taste your cocktails though? The guy I learned from told me it was imperative to taste (with a straw) before you serve. I considered finding a job bartending, but with the late nights, inevitable booze intake, and the sugar intake that would accumulate over the night, I had to abandon that. Are any of these problems for you?

Medium avatar
5629 · November 10, 2011 at 7:08 PM

http://wine.appellationamerica.com/wine-reviews/1957/Ravines-Wine-Cellars-2006-Keuka-Village-White.html

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6709 · November 10, 2011 at 5:15 AM

THE KIND THAT YOU LIKE IS THE BEST CHOICE

You only live once.

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-2 · August 09, 2012 at 3:20 PM

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