There is nothing more fun than a night out with friends. But when you’re following a gluten-free diet, it can feel a bit nerve-wracking. Also, when it comes to drinking alcohol, you don’t always know if it has gluten or not. 

Some types of alcohol have gluten while others do not. This post dives into tequila and its gluten status so that you can rest easy when going out. Find out for sure is tequila gluten free?

Some tequila shots with limes on top.

What Is Tequila?

Originating from Mexico, traditional Tequila is a distilled alcoholic drink made from blue agave. The plant is high in sugar and is distilled to make tequila.

More high-end and expensive tequilas will be 100% from the blue agave plant, but some brands sell “mixto” tequila. For example, “Mixto” tequila has a minimum of 51% blue agave sugar, but it gets the rest of its sugars from other places. 

Tequila can be enjoyed as it is, but it can also be combined with other flavorings and liquors like triple sec to make drinks like margaritas. 

Answer: Is Tequila Gluten Free?

Yes, pure traditional agave tequila is gluten-free, but the cheaper mixto varieties are a maybe. Since pure tequila is made solely from blue agave, it is naturally free from gluten-containing ingredients.

If you are following a gluten-free diet or have Celiac disease, pure agave tequila is safe to drink. In addition, most tequila manufacturers only make tequila, so there is little risk of cross-contamination. The distillation process of tequila is also free from using gluten-containing grains or ingredients. 

When it comes to mixto tequila, things get a bit more complicated. As previously mentioned, a mixto has 51% or more blue agave, but it also has other sources of sugars and possible flavoring added. The mixto is likely gluten-free most of the time, but the sugars could come from gluten.

If you are highly sensitive to gluten due to celiac disease, gluten allergy, or gluten intolerance, it is best to skip the mixto types of tequila and stick with pure agave tequilas.

Mixto tequilas are usually cheaper, so check the ingredients if you’re going for a more affordable brand.

Like mix, flavored tequilas have a similar issue. Though most flavored tequilas are safe to drink, some flavorings and colorants may have gluten. When you are out with friends, it is harder to check the label for gluten, so it may be best to stick with pure tequila. When buying tequila at the store, read the label to ensure there are only gluten-free ingredients. 

An agave plant growing in the wild.
This is what an agave plant looks like!

Tequila is primarily used in drinks like margaritas, and many like to enjoy higher-end tequila with lime wedges. However, margarita mixes are usually blended with other ingredients. They have a lot of additives (i.e., flavorings and colorants) that may not be gluten-free.

When making margaritas at home, first check the ingredients label for any gluten. It may be more challenging to know if the margaritas at your local bar are gluten-free, though, so it may be better to avoid them. 

Also, be cautious about margarita mixes: read the ingredients to look for hidden gluten! Some mixes can have hidden gluten or traces of gluten if made in a facility on shared lines with gluten.

I have a whole category dedicated to finding out if alcohol is gluten free that you may want to check. I also have a great write-up: Is Wine Gluten Free?

Brands Of Gluten Free Tequila:

Most tequila brands are gluten-free, so you can feel comfortable drinking it on a gluten-free diet. This information is based on what is available, but it may change over time. Always check the manufacturer’s website and the bottle’s label for information. A rule of thumb is to use cheap brands if you use tequila in a cocktail, but buy the more expensive, higher-quality brands if you are drinking it straight.

  • Patrón Tequila
  • Jose Cuervo
  • Don Julio Tequila
  • Calle 23
  • Sauza Tequila
  • Suerte Tequila
  • Tequila Tapatio
  • Cabeza
  • 1800 Tequila 
  • El Jimador 
  • Hornitos
Two grapefruit margaritas next to a bottle of tequila.

Easy Margarita Recipes:

Check out these easy margarita recipes if you want to make an incredible margarita without the mix.

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