Is Baileys Gluten-Free?

Baileys bottles, like their famous Irish Cream, is considered gluten-free by FDA. The distillation process of whiskey (its main ingredient) removed the gluten out of the final product, making it gluten-free.

You’re out with your friends and suddenly crave the ultra-sweet and delicious bottle of Baileys. But then you realize you’re on a gluten-free diet. 

And now, you’re left in a dilemma and wondering, “Is Baileys gluten-free?” You’re in luck because according to FDA standards, Baileys is technically considered gluten-free. 

Despite the gluten in Irish whiskey, its distillation process effectively removes any gluten proteins. But remember that while Baileys Irish Cream meets the FDA’s gluten-free guidelines, it could trigger some reactions. 

So, let’s explore the ins and outs of this delicious bottle and understand why it’s a bit of a gray area. 

Is Baileys Original Irish Cream Safe for Celiacs?

A creamy Baileys Irish Whiskey on an elegant coffee table

So, is Baileys Original Irish Cream safe for you as a celiac? While it’s considered gluten-free by FDA standards, it’s crucial to remember that everyone’s sensitivity levels can vary, so always proceed cautiously.

The distillation process used in creating Baileys helps to eliminate gluten proteins, making it safer for those with gluten intolerance. However, even the minute amount of gluten in Baileys could cause a reaction if you’re highly sensitive to gluten.

But remember, it’s always best to consult your healthcare provider for clarification. 

Basic Ingredients of Baileys

You’re probably aware that Baileys is a blend of three major ingredients: Whiskey, Cream, and Cocoa.

These ingredients are vital to the famous flavor notes of Baileys Irish Cream. 


Irish whiskey is indeed made from grains that contain gluten. Hence, Baileys somehow has gluten in it. 

However, the distillation process it undergoes effectively removes any harmful gluten proteins. But remember, each individual’s reaction to gluten can vary, so always be cautious.

As a celiac, you can trust Baileys for a cozy sip. However, if you’re highly sensitive to gluten, approach with caution. 


Regarding the cream used in this beloved Irish liqueur, rest assured it’s a dairy product rich in milk fat, meticulously skimmed from fresh milk, and naturally void of any harmful proteins that might trigger your sensitivity.

  1. Pure and Simple: The Irish dairy cream in Baileys accomplishes something impressive— it’s both luxuriously rich and wonderfully gluten-free, making it a delight for anyone concerned about gluten content.
  2. Safety First: This cream’s purity means you can confidently serve Baileys to your loved ones, knowing you’re not exposing them to potential harm.
  3. A Delight to Share: With its creamy texture and smooth taste, Baileys is a joy to share, and its gluten-free status makes it even more inclusive.


Cocoa is a key ingredient that imparts a luxurious depth to the beloved Irish Cream. And fortunately, this ingredient doesn’t have any unwanted proteins that could affect your sensitivity. 

Cocoa, like cream, naturally lacks any glutenous grains, making it a safe addition to your beverage.

In a closer look at Baileys’ ingredients, let’s consider this table:

IngredientGluten ContentSafe for Celiac Disease?
WhiskeyGluten-free post-distillationMost of the time
CreamNaturally gluten-freeYes
CocoaNaturally gluten-freeYes

Barley in Baileys Irish Cream

An image of Baileys Irish Whiskey and kitchen food

Don’t let that barley in Baileys Irish Cream fool you; even though it’s a gluten-containing grain, the distillation process works wonders, stripping away those pesky gluten proteins that can cause distress in some of us.

This process makes Baileys gluten-free to the FDA standard below 20 ppm.

However, as someone who’s knowledgeable about gluten content in alcoholic beverages and has experience dealing with celiac disease, I’d advise you to consider these three things:

  1. Not everyone’s reaction to gluten is identical; some people with high sensitivity may still react.
  2. Barley does initially contain gluten.
  3. The distillation process removes most, but not necessarily all, gluten proteins.

Distillation Process to Remove Gluten

How can distillation make a grain-based drink safe for gluten-sensitive people? Well, let’s break it down. 

The drink is heated during distillation, and the rising vapor is collected and condensed into a liquid. The heavy gluten molecules can’t vaporize, so they’re left behind, making the distilled alcohol gluten-free.

Here’s a simple table to illustrate:

Distillation StepResult
Heat appliedThe liquid turns to vapor
Vapor risesGluten molecules are too heavy to rise
Vapor collectedCondensed back into liquid
Gluten left behindThe resulting liquid is gluten-free

Gluten-Free Baileys Bottle

A selection of Baileys products

You might be wondering about the gluten-free status of Baileys Original and Baileys Almande. However, if you’re particularly sensitive to gluten, it’s always wise to proceed cautiously and pay attention to how your body reacts.

Baileys Original

Baileys Original indeed has a gluten-free label. Baileys ensures the satisfaction of its customers, taking great care to eliminate gluten proteins during the distillation process of the whiskey used in their Irish Cream.

However, it’s important to remember that everyone’s response to gluten is different. Those with high sensitivity should be cautious and consider their reaction to gluten. 

Baileys Almande

If you’re catering to a crowd with diverse dietary needs, Bailey Almande could be your go-to.

Baileys Almande is a luscious blend that’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan-friendly. Crafted with the richness of almond milk instead of cream, this drink doesn’t contain any gluten-based ingredients. 

That makes it an inclusive choice for those with celiac disease or high sensitivity to gluten.

Completely Gluten-Free Alcoholic Drinks

You’re in luck, as there are indeed completely gluten-free alcoholic beverages available, and I’m not just talking about Baileys.

These alcoholic drinks all contain gluten-free ingredients, making them your safest bet for your situation. 


In contrast to Baileys, wine’s gluten-free status isn’t due to distillation. Its natural production process mainly involves the fermentation of grapes or other fruits. 

That means that all pure wines are naturally free from gluten, regardless of the type of grape used or the region it’s from.

This makes wine a safe choice to serve someone with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. However, it’s important to be cautious with wine coolers or flavored wines, as they may contain additives that introduce gluten. 


If you’re yearning for a taste of the tropics, rum is a safe bet for those concerned with dietary restrictions. It is gluten-free, distilled from sugarcane or molasses, just like Baileys Irish Cream. 

That makes it a suitable option for folks who must avoid gluten.


Ready for an Asian twist? Sake, a traditional Japanese rice wine, is naturally free from gluten-containing ingredients, making it a perfect choice for those seeking variety in their drink options.

This beverage uses fermented rice, water, yeast, and koji, none containing gluten.

Just like Baileys, sake allows you to enjoy a unique drink without worrying about gluten intake. However, if you’re particularly sensitive to gluten, check for added flavors or ingredients that could contain gluten.

Hard Cider

Craving a refreshing and crisp libation? Hard cider, typically made from fermented apple juice, should be your go-to choice, as it’s devoid of any wheat-based products, ensuring your peace of mind while you sip on this tantalizing drink.

Knowledgeably, you can enjoy your cider with these benefits:

  • It’s naturally gluten-free, a boon if you’re sensitive to gluten or living with celiac disease.
  • There’s no need to scrutinize labels for hidden gluten, a relief when serving guests with dietary restrictions.
  • It offers a variety of flavors, adding depth to your beverage offerings.
  • Its production process eliminates the risk of gluten contamination, a fact that’s reassuring for those with high gluten sensitivity.

Frequently Asked Questions

What other flavor variations of Baileys are gluten-free?

All flavors of Baileys Irish Cream, including Original, Almande, Chocolate Cherry, Espresso Crème, and Salted Caramel, are gluten-free to FDA standards. 

Can other types of whiskeys used in Baileys affect the gluten content?

The type of whiskey used in Baileys doesn’t affect its gluten content. Distillation removes the gluten proteins, making it safe for most with gluten sensitivity. 

Are there any Baileys products that contain added gluten after the distillation process?

No, there aren’t any Baileys products that add gluten after distillation. However, if you’re highly sensitive to gluten, it’s always wise to check labels and consult with the manufacturer directly to be safe.

How does the FDA determine the gluten content in alcoholic beverages like Baileys?

The FDA tests alcoholic beverages like Baileys Irish Cream using ELISA, which identifies gluten proteins. Even after distillation, they measure residual gluten to ensure it’s below 20 ppm.

What are the potential effects if a highly gluten-sensitive individual consumes Baileys?

If you’re highly sensitive to gluten, consuming Baileys could cause discomfort or digestive issues despite its low gluten content. Everyone’s reaction varies, so always exercise caution and consider your personal tolerance level.


So, is Baileys gluten-free? 

By FDA standards, Baileys Irish Cream is gluten-free. That’s all thanks to its distillation process. But remember, it has gluten-containing grains, including barley. 

If you’re highly sensitive to gluten or have celiac, be cautious. Everyone’s reaction varies. 

Want to know more about the gluten content in other food and drinks? Check out my full list here: What Is Gluten In?

Other Alcoholic Drinks

John Benedict
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