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Kali Mireva

Add Gluten-Free Cocktail Drinks to Your Restaurant’s Menu

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The demand for vegan drinks is on the rise. Other products that fit such a lifestyle are also becoming more popular. An increasing number of people are looking for healthier and more ethically sourced alternatives to the foods and drinks they know and love. 

The use of animal products, however, is not the only thing people are paying closer attention to these days. Gluten is another commonly discussed ingredient that triggers health issues and allergies in some people and they want to make sure it’s absent from the things they consume.

For that reason, as a restaurant manager, you should consider adding a gluten-free cocktail option, especially when it comes to more popular bar drinks. This is a sure way to increase customer satisfaction! Let’s look more into that.

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Gluten-Free Cocktail: Why Add Alternatives to the Menu

When creating the beverage program for your restaurant it’s important to consider people with different tastes, dietary restrictions, and lifestyles. Adding a gluten-free cocktail alternative to classic cocktail drinks will be well-appreciated. 

Here’s what else you can expect when you change some of the offerers on your beverage menu: 

Key Takeaway: Gluten-free cocktail drinks should be included in every restaurant’s menu because of the growing demand for them. They should be created with caution but will surely improve customer satisfaction and boost the profits of your business.

Meeting Dietary Needs

By offering gluten-free cocktail options, you ensure that individuals with gluten-related conditions can enjoy a safe and worry-free dining experience. This helps you accommodate a broader range of customers. It’s similar to offering plant-based milks as an alternative to cow’s milk in your specialty coffee and matcha drinks, as well as cocktails.  

Expanding Customer Base

The number of customers looking for gluten-free drinks has significantly increased in recent years. That’s because more people are adopting gluten-free diets due to health considerations or personal preferences. By having a gluten-free menu or at least some options, you attract new customers who may have otherwise chosen a different restaurant for brunch (see: what is brunch and brunch menu), fine dining, or a nice lunch.

Improving customer experience by broadening your beverage program will improve your restaurant profit margin. There’s no need to invest a ton of money in restaurant marketing to get results. It’s a matter of paying attention to customer behaviors and giving people what they want by expanding your restaurant beverage inventory.

Unique Menu

Similar to offering vegan wine and vegan non-alcoholic drinks, when you add gluten-free cocktails, as well as gluten-free beer and non-alcoholic gluten-free drinks to the menu, you will end up with a unique end product. A year-round or seasonal menu that offers vegan, gluten-free, and other unique beverage options will surely stand out from the rest in the area.

Think about all of the delicious food and beverage pairings you can create to accommodate the needs of different customers! An outstanding dining experience can even bring you closer to earning (another) Michelin Star.

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Things to Be Wary of When Serving Gluten-Free Cocktail Drinks

With serving gluten-free cocktail drinks come some other specifics. You can’t just have a cocktail expert create a drink as they normally would and serve it because there could be some issues. Let’s see what you need to keep in mind when creating and serving gluten-free beverages.

Ingredient Selection

Carefully choose ingredients. Some can be naturally gluten-free, while others could be certified gluten-free alternatives. Common gluten-containing ingredients to avoid include wheat-based spirits, certain flavored syrups, malt-based ingredients, and some thickening agents. Read labels and verify the gluten-free status of any processed ingredients you use.

Cross-Contamination Concerns

In a restaurant or bar, cross-contamination can happen when gluten-free foods or drinks come into contact with surfaces, utensils, or ingredients containing gluten. It's important to follow proper procedures to prevent cross-contamination and provide assurances to customers with gluten sensitivities that their drinks are prepared safely.

Menu and Labeling

Clearly label your gluten-free drinks on the menu to make it easy for customers to identify suitable options. Include specific details about the ingredients used. The staff should be able to explain to customers the steps taken to avoid cross-contamination. This transparency helps customers make informed choices and builds trust.

Supplier Verification

Ensure that the ingredients and products you source from external suppliers are reliably gluten-free. Regularly communicate with your suppliers to confirm the gluten-free status of the items they provide and ask for supporting documentation or certifications when needed.

Collaboration with Experts

Consider consulting with nutritionists, dietitians, or other experts in gluten-related conditions to get guidance on creating safe and delicious gluten-free drink options. They can provide valuable insights and assist in developing appropriate recipes and processes. To build your offers for the menu, you can also work closely with a mixologist who can help you create unique signature cocktails

Which Types of Alcohol Are Not Gluten-Free?

Beer, lagers, stouts and ales contain gluten. This means that people on a gluten-free diet can’t have any of these drinks. The good news, however, is that there are gluten-free beers that you can serve at your restaurant.

Also, the majority of the popular types of alcohol are free of gluten, which makes them a suitable base for gluten-free cocktail drinks. What you need to be aware of is if any of the mixers you use have gluten or if there’s a possibility for cross-contamination while making the cocktails. 

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Frequently Asked Questions about Gluten-Free Cocktail Drinks

If you want to add gluten-free beverages to the menu at your restaurant, you are probably thinking about all the details. From organizing inventory and finding good suppliers to deciding what actually to serve. 

We hope that with this article we’ve given you a lot of helpful information. If you still have some questions, you may find their answers below! 

Which Common Drinks Are Gluten-Free?

Tequila, rum, and brandy are naturally gluten-free drinks. This means that all cocktails build in any of these spirits as a base can be made entirely gluten-free. 

Another surprising spirit that’s actually gluten-free is gin. Although made from wheat, during the distillation process gluten is lost and the final product is in fact gluten-free. Bourbon and vodka are also liquor types not containing gluten. 

Pay attention to anything you add to the cocktail that may contain gluten and be wary of the possibility of cross-contamination. 

Which Drinks May Contain Gluten?

Beer, premade coffee drinks, bottled wine coolers, and drink mixes typically contain gluten and people with intolerances should avoid them. However, there are brands that make beer, for example, that don’t contain any gluten. 

Gluten-free drinks are marked as such to ease the final customer in making an informed decision. But if you are worried about a certain drink containing gluten, be sure to speak with the vendor delivering it to your restaurant. 

Is Wine Gluten-Free?

Yes, wines that have no added flavors are all gluten-free. If a restaurant has a good wine list, customers who are avoiding gluten will be able to enjoy a nice drink with their dinner worry-free. 

By providing a wide selection of quality red and white wines, as well as rose and sparkling wines, you will satisfy a large range of customers visiting your restaurant. Different wines also pair well with a variety of foods. If you offer gluten-free meals too, you can be sure that people with a special diet can have a great experience at your restaurant. 

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