We interrupt today’s Friday Cocktail to share something totally rad with you: an alcohol app that can tell you whether the drink you’re ordering (or making!) is vegan.
When I shared my red wine hot toddy recipe I got a little bit into the hidden animal products that sometimes pop up in wine. But wine isn’t the only drink that can contain hidden animal products. Beer and liquor also sometimes contain non-vegan ingredients. So how can you tell if your booze is vegan? Meet the Vegaholic alcohol app.
Disclosure: I purchased the Vegaholic app for this review, and they have not compensated me in any way for this write-up.
The app uses the data from the awesome Barnivore database in a super simple format, and you can look up alcohols even if you’re offline, which is super handy.
Vegaholic is an alcohol app that uses a traffic light system to tell you if the booze you’re looking up is:
- not vegan
- sometimes vegan
The yellow can be a little bit confusing, but they usually include the text of the company’s email response, and you can click to pop it out and read it. For example, 21st Amendment bottled beers are vegan, but the same ones on tap sometimes contain honey and animal fining (processing) ingredients.
What’s not vegan about booze?
Of course, if an alcohol contains honey or other obvious animal ingredients it’s not vegan, but there are quite a few hidden animal ingredients in the alcohol-making process. Just as bone char can be part of the sugar-refining process, animal products can be part of making beer, wine, or liquors.
Beer and wine are the usual suspects when it comes to hidden animal ingredients, but not all liquors are vegan, so it’s worth looking up, just in case. Here are some of the animal ingredients that go into boozy drinks that you really have no way of knowing about unless you ask the company:
- isinglass – gelatin made from fish bladders
- egg whites (aka albumin)
- casein (a milk protein)
- carmine – this is used for color and is made from crushed beetles
- sugar – this is mostly in liqueurs, where they add sugar to sweeten the final product. Since some sugar isn’t vegan, some liqueurs that contain sugar also are not vegan.
I love that I can whip my phone out at the liquor store or the bar now and check this alcohol app to see whether what I’m ordering is vegan. Because I do not want fish bladders in my wine, you guys. G-R-O-S-S.
Barnivore is an ongoing project, and if your favorite libation isn’t listed, they have an easy peasy form letter (in many languages!) that you can use to ask your favorite booze-maker whether their products are vegan. Click here to see their “Ask a Company” page!
I kind of feel like I’m late to the party with this app, and now I’m wondering what other awesome vegan apps I’m missing out on. Do you have any favorite apps for finding vegan food, clothes shoes, etc?