Is Triple Sec Gluten Free? Unraveling Its Gluten Status

Is Triple Sec Gluten Free

We’ve all been there – mid-conversation, cocktail in hand, when a sudden thought pops up, “Is this drink celiac-friendly.” It is especially true with complex beverages such as Triple Sec, which is a combination of multiple drinks.

Quick Answer

Is Triple Sec gluten free? Yes, Triple Sec is gluten-free in most cases, and you can enjoy sipping it without worrying about celiac disease. 

However, there can be instances of cross-contamination that might introduce gluten to this drink. In this article, we will explore everything about the gluten status of Triple Sec. You will also find an amazing recipe, if you think having it at the bar is not your thing. 

What is Triple Sec Made From? The Ingredients:

Triple sec is a type of orange liqueur that has been a staple in the world of mixology for generations. As with many alcoholic beverages, the exact recipe can vary slightly from one brand to another, but the core ingredients and the basic process remain consistent. 

What is Triple Sec Made From

Below mentioned are the primary ingredients that give triple sec its unique flavor and character.

1. Orange Peels

At the heart of triple sec are the dried peels of oranges. These peels, typically from both bitter and sweet orange varieties, are the primary source of the liqueur’s distinctive orange aroma and taste.

2. Base Spirit

The orange peels are soaked in a neutral spirit, which serves as the primary alcohol base. This spirit often has a high alcohol content, as it acts as a solvent to extract the essential oils and flavors from the orange peels. 

Neutral grain alcohol is commonly used, though the grain source can vary. Some producers might use corn, wheat, or other grains, while others could use non-grain bases like grapes or sugarcane.

3. Sugar

Sugar is added to sweeten the liqueur, balancing out the bitter notes from the orange peels and providing a pleasant, syrupy mouthfeel. The sugar can come in various forms, such as cane sugar, beet sugar, or corn syrup.

4. Water

Water is often used to adjust the alcohol content to the desired level. It also aids in the blending of flavors, ensuring a smooth and harmonious taste.

5. Additional Ingredients

Some producers might add other ingredients to enhance flavor, color, or aroma. These can include:

  • Herbs and Spices: For an extra layer of complexity.
  • Other Citrus Fruits: Like grapefruit or lemon peels, to tweak the flavor profile.
  • Coloring Agents: Some brands might use coloring agents to achieve a consistent hue, especially if they are aiming for a clearer or more vibrant color.

From the ingredients it is evident that triple sec does not contain gluten. When prepared in the traditional way, this tangy drink is one of the best things you can have.

When Does Triple Sec Contain Gluten?

When Does Triple Sec Contain Gluten

Triple sec, in its purest form, should ideally be gluten-free, given its primary ingredients of orange peels, sugar, and alcohol. However, the potential for gluten in triple sec comes from the type of alcohol used as its base or from cross-contamination during production.

Here’s when triple sec might contain gluten:

i). Grain Alcohol as a Base

The base spirit used in triple sec can be derived from a variety of sources. If the producer uses neutral grain alcohol that comes from wheat, barley, or rye, there might be a potential for gluten content. 

Although the distillation process should technically remove gluten proteins, individuals with celiac disease or extreme sensitivities might still react.

ii). Additives

While rare, some producers might use additives or flavoring agents that contain gluten or are derived from gluten sources.

When determining if a specific brand of triple sec contains gluten, consider the following steps:

  • Read the Label: Some brands clearly label their products as “gluten-free,” making it easy for consumers.
  • Check the Brand’s Website: Many companies offer detailed information about their production processes and ingredients online.
  • Contact the Manufacturer: If in doubt, reach out directly to the brand or manufacturer. They should be able to provide definitive information about the gluten status of their product.

Gluten-Free Triple Sec Brands

Need some suggestions of top brands that makes the best gluten free triple sec? Here are four old and trusted brands you can consider for your next bottle of drink.

Gluten-Free Triple Sec Brands

1. Cointreau

This premium brand of orange liqueur is often used as an alternative to triple sec in many cocktail recipes. Cointreau claims that their product is gluten-free. However, as always, it’s important to verify the current status by checking the label or contacting the company.

2. Grand Marnier

Another premium orange liqueur, Grand Marnier, is often considered gluten-free. It’s prerpared from a perfect combination of distilled essence of bitter orange, Cognac brandy, and sugar.

3. DeKuyper Triple Sec

DeKuyper, a well-known brand in the world of liqueurs, produces a triple sec that, based on information available, does not contain gluten. However, it’s always prudent to confirm by reading the latest product labels.

4. Mr. Stacks Triple Sec

This brand is another option that has been reported to be gluten-free. It’s a more budget-friendly choice compared to the premium brands like Cointreau or Grand Marnier.

Gluten-Free Home Made Triple Sec Recipe 

Gluten-Free Home Made Triple Sec Recipe

There is nothing as amazing that preparing triple sec at home. You get a fresh cocktail that’s free from the worries of gluten. Here is an easy recipe you can follow:

  • 4 organic oranges
  • 1.5 cups of neutral spirit (vodka or grain alcohol)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of water

Step 1. Prepare the Oranges

Start by thoroughly washing the oranges to remove any pesticides or dirt. Using a zester or a sharp knife, carefully remove the zest from the oranges, ensuring you only take the outermost layer without the bitter white pith.

Step 2. Infuse the Spirit

In a large glass jar, place the orange zest. Pour the neutral spirit over the zest to fully submerge it. I prefer Everclear, you can even go for vodka such as Three Olives Vodka (it is gluten free). 

Seal the jar tightly. Allow this mixture to infuse in a cool, dark place for at least 4 days to a week. This process will extract the essential oils and flavors from the orange zest into the spirit.

Step 3. Prepare Simple Syrup

In a saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Heat over medium flame, stirring continuously, until the sugar is entirely dissolved. This creates a simple syrup. Allow it to cool down to room temperature.

Step 4. Combine and Strain

After the infusion period is over, strain out the orange peels from the alcohol using a fine sieve or cheesecloth. In a large bottle or jar, combine the orange-infused spirit with the simple syrup. Shake or stir to ensure they mix well.

Step 5. Bottle and Store

Using a funnel, transfer your homemade triple sec into glass bottles. Seal the bottles and store in a cool, dark place. It’s always a good idea to label your bottles with the date of production.

Step 6. Serve

Your homemade triple sec is now ready to be used in cocktails or consumed on its own. It will taste better as it ages, so if you have the patience, allow it to mature for a few weeks or even months.

Frequently Asked Quetions 

Q: Is whisky gluten-free?

A: Yes, whiskeys such as Jack Daniels are gluten free. Make sure to have a look at the label before buying a new brand. 

Q: Does rum have gluten?

A: Rum is gluten free, and does not contain malt as well. There are plenty of excellent rum brands that you can choose from to have celiac-friendly liquor.

Q: Is triple sec full of sugar?

A: It depends! If you are preparing it at home, you can use less sugar. The ready-made triple sec might have more sugar.


Triple sec is a gluten free cocktail you can have with almost anything. The tangy flavor gives your taste buds the dose they need, without hitting your celiac allergy. When purchasing a bottle of triple sec, make sure to skim through the list of ingredients. Or, it is always better to prepare it at home, because making triple sec is a piece of cake.  

At Nothing Gluten, we uncover the gluten status of your favourite foods and beverages. We also talk about amazIng gluten-free recipes you can try at home. 

A 23-year old tech geek with a passion for health and fitness, Jim is here to help you follow a healthy, gluten free life. The details provided by this student are simple enough for everyone to understand - and based on experience and research. While he doesn’t claim to be a health expert, he is dedicated to providing the best advice that he himself would follow.