Soju is a distilled alcoholic beverage that primarily belongs to the roots of Korean culture. The liquor is mainly made from different grains and starches, which is why celiacs are afraid to drink it. Is the common assumption about Soju not being gluten free true?
Soju is not gluten free based on the ingredients. Soju is made using barley, wheat, or rice. But the alcohol goes through a distillation process which should get rid of the gluten content.
Does distillation make Soju safe for gluten intolerance or celiacs? Gluten sensitivity is a big problem, and you must not consume anything till you find out it’s absolutely safe for you. In this guide, I’ll give you a detailed insight into whether Soju is safe for celiacs or not by revealing its gluten content.
Table of Contents
- 1 Is Soju Gluten Free?
- 2 How Is Soju Made? Is It Healthy For You?
- 3 Is Soju Vegan?
- 4 What Is The Difference Between Soju And Sake?
- 5 Can Soju Go Bad?
- 6 Conclusion
- 7 FAQs
Is Soju Gluten Free?
We judge the gluten content in food or beverage by looking at its ingredient list and the manufacturing process. Soju is made using grains like barley, wheat, or rice. Except for rice, the other two grains are the primary sources of gluten.
So if we consider the ingredients, Soju isn’t gluten free. But, the alcohol is made through a distillation process. In the distillation process, the liquid is boiled at a high temperature where the heavy compounds like gluten remain at the bottom, and the extracted liquid gets free of gluten.
Does that make Soju 100% safe for celiac Patients? Not really. Some people complain of facing gluten allergies after drinking Soju. If you are slightly gluten sensitive, you may consume the drink. But my advice would be to consult your doctor and see what the experts have to say.
Gluten may also get added if the alcohol is stored in shared utensils.
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How Is Soju Made? Is It Healthy For You?
Soju is a Korean drink that was first made during the 1300s, and it’s sometimes also called Korean vodka due to its neutral taste. Soju means burned liquor, which refers to the very high distillation process applied in making the drink.
The first stage of making Soju involves the fermentation of the grains. The rice or barley is fermented for at least fifteen days before putting it for distillation. The distillation process involves boiling the fermented grains in a cauldron topped with a storied distilling appliance with a pipe called soju gori.
This was how Soju was made in ancient times. Current makers replace the grains with sweet potatoes or tapioca while mixing it with other ingredients. Currently, Soju is available in different flavors like blueberry, citrus, apple, grape, grapefruit, pineapple, peach, pomegranate, and a lot more.
Soju isn’t a very healthy drink. It contains almost 50 to 53% alcohol per drink which is detrimental to your health. Again Soju is very high in calories and may cause excessive weight gain.
Therefore, it’s best to limit your soju consumption if you don’t want any adverse health effects.
Is Soju Vegan?
Yes, Soju is vegan. The drink is made from all plant based ingredients, and there are no animal derivatives or dairy products used in the liquor. People following a vegan diet can drink Soju without fearing breaking their vegan diet.
What Is The Difference Between Soju And Sake?
Soju and sake are often considered to be the same type of alcohol with the same taste. While there are some similarities between these two liquors, both of these have some considerable differences.
The main difference lies in how these two drinks are made. While Soju is a distilled liquor, sake is a fermented and brewed liquor like beer. The alcohol content between these two is also different.
Sake has lower alcohol compared to Soju. The third difference lies in the taste. Sake is still made in the traditional way by fermenting rice and has a bit of a dry taste. But Soju has undergone modifications. Makers now add different fruit flavors giving the liquor somewhat a sweet taste.
Can Soju Go Bad?
Soju cannot go bad as it’s a distilled liquor, so you can store it for many years. The alcohol in Soju will keep away the bacteria and other contaminants. But if you have opened the bottle, you can’t store it for many years.
Smell the drink before having it to avoid any health risks. Additionally, you can’t freeze Soju to prevent it from going bad. Freezing the beverage might ruin its flavors. But an unopened bottle will stay fresh and crisp for many years.
Soju is not gluten free if we judge it based on the original recipe. But lots of gluten free Sojus are now available in the market that are safe for gluten sensitive people.
While picking the Soju, you must check the ingredient list. Soju is safe and gluten free when it’s made from rice, sweet potato, or tapioca. If you see wheat or barley written on the label, don’t pick it up.
Is Soju safe for celiacs?
Soju isn’t safe for celiacs. The alcohol is mainly made from fermenting wheat or barley and sometimes rice, so it’s not safe for celiacs.
Is peach soju gluten free?
Peach Soju is also not gluten free since its base ingredients, wheat or barley, are still gluten derived.
Is sake gluten free?
Sake is a similar drink to Soju, but this is gluten free. Sake is made from rice and water, so there is no gluten in it.
Is Soju stronger than vodka?
No, Soju isn’t stronger than vodka. Soju contains 24% alcohol while vodka contains approximately 40% alcohol. But soju is stronger than wine or beer, which mostly have 5 to 6% alcohol.
What does Soju taste like?
Soju has a crisp neutral taste like vodka. But nowadays so many fruit flavored soju are available in which have a sweeter taste.