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Firefly Vokda Confirmed Gluten Free

Written By: Eric on February 17, 2010 12 Comments

There was an event for Mardi Gras in Eugene last night and Firefly’s Sweet Tea Vokda was promoting it for their drink specials and I was curious to see if their vodka was Gluten Free. A fifth of this vodka is about $20. After some research I found a very good post on Celiac.com.

Here is the set of e-mails that were posted:

Here is the response from our chemist:

To: Namelss

Thank for your interest in Firefly products. My name is Truman Cox and I a chemist for Firefly Distillery. To the best of our knowledge, the distillation does remove or denature the proteins and gluten associated with the starting grains in the vodka. The vodka used for our Firefly Tea products comes from corn. The flavors we use do not contain the allergens listed in the FALCP act which are wheat, milk, tree-nets, peanuts, shellfish, fish, eggs, or soy.

We have had many requests by celiac patients and have never heard of an adverse reaction to our products. As I am sure you know, please check with your doctor before consuming any alcohol products.

Truman Cox

Dan Williams
Director of Sales – Pennsylvania


From: Sc’Eric (aka sc’Que)
Sent: Monday, March 02, 2009 3:49 AM
To: Scott Newitt
Cc: Dan Williams
Subject: [Fuji & Jade] Firefly: gluten content?


Question for you… I have customers who have concerns related to gluten intolerance / Celiac disease. While it is generally understood that most caramel colouring and maltodextrin in the US are produced from corn, the recent trend toward corn-based ethanol fuels has spawned a resurgence in wheat-based sweeteners and colouring agents. I have also posited that since Firefly distills its own wheat, yes?, that it is entirely possible that you may produce your own caramel colouring from that wheat.

Celiac disease is a condition that ultimately results in malnourishment due to an auto-immune response to wheat, barley and rye glutens. Ingestion (even in seemingly negligible quantities) can lead to immediate intestinal damage that takes weeks to repair, and perhaps longer for gluten build-up to be removed. While this is occuring, you are essentially starving while eating hearty meals: you become anemic. If left unchecked, you risk permanent damage to the intestines, liver and limbic systems. The only trusted treatment at this time is to completely remove gluten from the diet.

And while distillation does seem to remove gluten from the final product, the addition of dextrins and colouring agents prior to bottling could mean the difference between a night of enjoyment and several weeks of illness.

Can you please confirm whether Firefly is a gluten-free product? Depending on how your faciliy is laid out, this would also necessarily include the possibility of cross-contamination of the final product with any of the initial wheat ingredients via airbourne dust.

Regardless of your response, rest assured that Firefly will remain in popular repute in our establishment due to it’s quality flavour and smoothness. It may may also behove you to include this information on your website for the 1 in 150 persons estimated to have gluten intolerance / Celiac disease.

Thank you for your time and honesty!

~Sc’Eric, bar manager
Fuji & Jade Garden, inc.
State College, PA

It sounds like they are very confident that their drink does not contain any ingredients that could cause harm.

If you have not tried it, I suggest you do! It is very good. If you are interested in trying it here are some recipes:

Firefly on-the-rocks

* Old-fashioned glass, filled w/ ice.
* 3-oz Firefly original sweet tea vodka
* Splash of water
* Stir well, and garnish w/ Lemon.

Kentucky Iced Tea

* In an Old-fashioned glass, mascerate mint leaves w/ a teaspoon of sugar and a thick slice of fresh lemon. (Alternately, fresh raspberries also work really well with mint.)
* Fill w/ ice.
* 3-oz Firefly orginal sweet tea vodka
* Dash of Zen green tea liqueur (opt.)
* Splash of water
* Shake well, garnish w/ mint sprig.

Carolina Sweet-tini

* In a cocktail shaker add ice and…
* 3-oz Firefly original sweet tea vodka
* Dash of triplesec
* Splash of Clementine juice (You can substitute OJ–extra pulp is always best!)
* Splash of Water (This really is key!)
* Shake vigorously for one minute. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
* Garnish w/ Orange wheel.


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12 Responses to “Firefly Vokda Confirmed Gluten Free”

  1. Watch Supernatural says on: 4 April 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Great post! I like the blog!

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