Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Happy Hour: So You Have a Citrus Allergy ... Now What?

Is it something in the water? A handful of you have recently emailed me, all with a similar plight:

So, I'm not a big drinker, but my friends are. And I want to start making fancy drinks with my friends, but the big issue is that one of them is allergic to citrus. I KNOW. As someone who also has food allergies (that don't usually pertain to drinking, thank g-d), I totally feel her pain on trying to navigate special requests and generally feeling left out on varying kinds of deliciousness. So what are some great cocktails that don't involve lemons or oranges or limes (this includes sodas, which contain citric acid), and that don't feel like a weirdo cop-out?

I want to give your friend a hug! Citrus is often key to balancing out even really basic cocktails, so I can imagine her frustration when a rogue lemon rind threatens to give her explosive diarrhea (is that what happens? can you ask for me?).

Okay, so for all of you who emailed about having a citrus allergy or a friend with a citrus allergy, here's what I've got for you.

•    Make friends with whiskey. Sorry, person who emailed and said "I can't keep drinking whiskey forever." You can! As long you don't drink yours with a side of lemon, go nuts. Neat, on the rocks, with a splash of water, and in some fancier concoctions. Think mint juleps and Old Fashioneds (sans the citrus rind, of course). But there's more for you than just whiskey.

•    Wait, before we go on: be careful with vermouth. Plenty of 'em (including mainstays like Martini and Rossi) include citrus infusions and citrus peels, and plenty are secretive about their 50-something ingredient lists, so I wouldn't chance it. But at least you've got...

•    Port! Poooort. In fact, forget the vermouth in a Manhattan give it a twist with port instead: combine 2 ounces of rye with 1 ounce of tawny port (Sandeman is my favorite by far), stir with ice, and strain into a cocktail glass.

•    And stay away from gin. Goodbye, martinis! That pains me to say, because I love gin in a pretty serious way, but ingredients like lemon peel and orange peel are often the key to balance in a gin.

•    Brandy! This drink, called the Coffee Cocktail, comes from Jerry Thomas' Bartenders Guide and has no coffee in it, surprisingly: Pour 1 ounce of brandy, an egg, 1 teaspoon of powdered sugar, and 2 ounces of ruby port into a shaker, shake and strain. Garnish with a little nutmeg.

•    Stop whining and start wine-ing. Wine cocktails were a pre-Prohibition favorite, and they're making a comeback with tasty recipes like the Cardinal, which is a fancy way to say "add an ounce of creme de cassis to your glass of red wine." Add it to white wine and you have a Kir. That was easy.

•    Or make a sangria with non-citrus fruits like peaches, watermelon, or cherries. There's no one in this world who doesn't instantly feel about 20 times happier when they walk into a room and see a big punch bowl or pitcher full of sangria. Best of all, you can use cheap wine and you can make it on the fly — try throwing in a shot or two of brandy along with a bottle of Spanish red, and adding plain seltzer before serving (not ginger ale, which often contains lemon or lime — "natural flavoring" on the ingredients list). You can also kick it up a notch by adding sparkling wine instead of seltzer.

•    Time for dessert: a few ounces of Champagne and a few splashes of brandy, over vanilla ice cream? Oh yes. Recipes like this often call for a citrus-based liqueur, but something tells me you won't miss it.

I'm sure more of you out there are allergic to citrus and like to drink, so please make yourselves known in the comments if you have more tips and recipes, or if any advice I gave is actually deadly.

Previously: Bargain Bubbly.

Diana Vilibert is a writer living in Brooklyn. Her New Year's resolution is to play with more kittens.

136 Comments / Post A Comment


I DON'T have a cirtus allergy and I want all these things! Yum!

(And, as a person who has other food allergies, let me say that the lack of ingredients on alcohol is obnoxious! Especially the liqueurs with 50-something ingredients lists!)


Man, whisky's just the best, isn't it? It's life's solution to life's problems.


@Emby It really is! I have been drinking soooo many Old-Fashioneds and Sazeracs the last two years - though really, I have converted over time from Bourbon to Rye Whiskey. I still like Bourbon neat, but in cocktails it's too much sugar.

ALSO - I have an old-fashioneds tip! So, i like mine really old man style - sugar cube, two dashes of bitters, dash of water so it dissolves together, muddle, rocks, rye, stir, sip. HOWEVER, I have recently decided the trick is to only use 1 dash of Angostura, and the other dash I use Peychaud's. It's ALMOST the same, cuz the bitters are so similar, but it gives it a bit more floral of a nose, which goes terrifically w/ the kind of fruity notes in the rye.

I want one so badly right now.


@leon.saintjean Well, now so do I. That sounds delicious. Agreed on the rye in cocktails. Bourbon's for sipping and Manhattans. For everything else, there's rye whiskey.


@leon.saintjean Word up. You are my kind of Old Fashioned drinker (evidence). I'll have to try the angostura+peychaud's combo. Mmm. I do get a little off the fully traditional mark and use angostura orange sometimes. For shits and giggles, ya know.


@Emby Agree! I converted my family to bourbon over Christmas, and my dad convinced me to expand my horizons to other whiskey.


@leon.saintjean oh man this makes me want some good rye right now. Templeton disappeared so fast over 2 nights while home for holidays. Bulleit is more in my price range and still delicious. This is happening tonight.


@leon.saintjean I looooove Sazeracs. Also, I'm super intrigued by your old man style Old Fashioned, because for me so far in my bourbon drinking (which has only been maybe 3 years, so I'm a junior here) I only drink bourbon cocktails out when someone else makes it, and the only way that I drink it at home is in a hot toddy. I need to have some bourbon/whiskey/rye education so that I'm comfortable making myself one to recline on the couch and read a bourbon kind of novel. Please help.


@leon.saintjean You, friend, have got the right idea about life.


@thebestjasmine - its not the best time of year for it now where I live, but making a negroni w/ bourbon in place of gin is a lovelly autumn drink. They call it a Boulevardier, which is another lovely name for a cocktail.

Manhattans are a terrific middleground cocktail between the old ways and the newish - I like to just go "two big splashes bourbon, one lil splash sweet vermouth, two dashes orange bitters in a shaker w ice, shake (I like manhattans shaken), strain. Not a great book reading cocktail, but nice w. Mixed company.

For home w/ a book, old fashioneds and sazeracs can't be beat. And while I "prefer" rye over bourbon for these, its kind of like how I prefer comte to brie - that is to say, while I have a perference, I am absolutely delighted to be in enjoyment of either one.


@Emby This thread has made me so sad, I don't have a citrus allergy but I AM pretty damn allergic to whisky. I never thought I was missing out on anything until I read all of you guys descriptions of how wonderful it can be, damn you all! *sobs in whisky-less corner*


@megancress I am at a loss. I feel legitimately funereal about this. On the bright side, gin! Gin is my other favorite.


@miwome Gin is amazing! GARDEN MARTINIS! My housemate makes them for me, even when it's 4 in the morning and I should be in bed not demanding more cocktails.


I think you could still have gin with a cucumber twist. I love hendrick's and cucumber! Or in the summer gin and watermelon sounds fantastic.
Whiskey and bourbon cocktails are also good with fancy maraschino cherries. We've been garnishing our drinks with luxardo cherries and they're amazing!


@maya I just got a jar Luxardo cherries for my birthday and I'm beside myself with glee. I've been lusting after them for a year after having a couple in some amazing Aviations. Divine.


@maya I think the idea is that gin actually has orange or lemon peel infused in it? In fact after looking it up it looks like Hendricks is definitely infused with orange peel as part of it's "botanicals". So gin itself might aggravate a citrus allergy even if you're not serving it with a lime.


@maya Seconded. Hendricks 4eva.


@steponitvelma Oooh. A hendricks-and-cucumber-less life makes me so sad. But bourbon will make up for it!




@maya Re: watermelon: I have a friend who grew up in Dubai, and apparently it's a thing there to cut up watermelon into cubes and then freeze it, and USE THE FROZEN WATERMELON CUBES AS ICE CUBES. Once you enter this wonderland, you realize you can use just about any kind of freezeable fruit this way--I recommend blueberries and mango chunks.

What I'm saying is, some sort of gin mixed drink with watermelon ice cubes should be everyone's summer destination.


@miwome For birthday parties, my parents would mix juice and seltzer and use frozen berries as ice cubes. Way awesome. (we were hippies who didn't drink soda, but seriously? Juice + fizzy water + frozen berries = SO MUCH AWESOME)


@Teffodee I grew up making "sodas" out of different kinds of flavored syrups and soda water! That ended when my parents decided I was employing too high of a syrup to soda ratio, but I remember the blackcurrant one so fondly.


@miwome Mmmm black currant. Cassis remains one of my favourite things. But-- don't tell anyone-- I actually prefer virgin kirs to straight-up wine ones. Mix that shit with a little sparkling white grape/peach juice? DELISHUSS

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I'm allergic to all fruits EXCEPT citrus! So while I can't relate exactly, I really feel for LW's friend! It's in a ton of mixed drinks. I'm very happy to see that there are so many yummy options for them!


@jen325 That sounds terrible - does that mean no wine?

I'm allergic to strawberries, and many people treat this like it is a horrible tragedy. In reality, it impacts my life about once a year, and I don't even remember what strawberries taste like any more, so I don't care much. I cannot imagine what a PITA it would be to be allergic to something more common/broader.

oh, disaster

@jen325 Even bananas?

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@Bebe Fresh fruits and veggies are bad, but cooked or processed ones are okay. Therefore, wine is okay. It's been many years since I've had strawberries but I don't remember them being that great.

@andrea disaster Bananas too, but I'm less sensitive to them than other fruits. So I can have a few slices and be fine, but can't eat a whole banana. But if they're cooked they're 100% okay. I had banana pancakes drizzled with caramel for breakfast last Sunday. MMMM.


@jen325 oh man, that's the pits! At least you can have cooked/processed and citrus though. All of the wine for you.

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@contrary Yes, all the wine for me! Except I don't really drink anymore. But it's good to know that I could if I want to.

Actually, I do enjoy mimosas for breakfast, even though I don't like OJ.


@jen325 bellinis! Wait, can you have peaches? If you can, drink all of the bellinis. Otherwise just continue being a mimosa drinking super woman.

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@contrary Wow, I'd never heard of a bellini but that sounds fantastic! Unfortunately, I am quite allergic to peaches so I'd have to make it with pasteurized peach juice instead of purée. That wouldn't be nearly as good, but it would still be good, dontcha think?


@jen325 Probably you get this all the time, and I'm sorry if I'm being too invasive, but I'm so science-geeky curious about why processed fruits won't make you sick, but fresh fruits will. What about vegetables?

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@katevetrano No worries, I'm science-geeky curious too! Unfortunately, I have no idea why. I think it's totally weird that citrus is okay when seemingly everything else isn't. I really should see an allergist and find out but I'm kind of poor these days.

Fresh veggies are bad too, btw. It's so hard to eat well, especially when it comes to snacking! It's a wonder I'm not fatter than I am (according to BMI charts, I'm borderline overweight/obese).


@jen325 That sounds awful, I'm sorry. In my (extensive) experience with allergists though, there's not all that much they can do for you besides maybe a test to see specifically what you react to and tell you to stay away from it. Maybe they'll give you an epipen. But obviously you already know these things. At least you get to have limes in your cocktails :/ (and yes the bellinis are SO MUCH GOOD)


@jen325 Delurking to offer that it's probably because heat or processing will change the structure of the proteins in the fruit, so that they no longer cause the same allergies that the intact proteins would have. Science!

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@katevetrano Yeah, I don't really need an epipen because my allergies are not that severe. I would have to eat more than a bite in order to put myself in any danger, and I can immediately tell when I eat something I shouldn't. It would be helpful to know what exactly it is that I'm allergic to, though. Maybe there are some foods out there I've assumed (reasonably) that I'm allergic to that I'm really not.

@crookedlegs Yeah, that's what I figured, too. Science is awesome!


@katevetrano Tiny threadjack here - I haven't eaten a strawberry since I was about 8, and have lived in mortal fear of bees since I was 8 or 9 (my throat swelled shut twice in about a year- my poor parents). I've thought about going to an allergist to get tested, but my understanding is that they do the scratch test, and make you wait, then scratch you more if you don't react, then more, etc. Which sounds like torture. Of course, I heard this about 10+ years ago, so maybe there have been improvements in the process?


@Bebe Every center will probably have a somewhat different protocol, but my understanding is that they repeat the test every 15 minutes up to an hour, and if there is still no response then they stop the test. It might be worth discussing what the test would entail with your doctor, and what benefits it could bring you - if it still sounds like torture, you don't have to get it done!


@crookedlegs Thanks! I probably should go, since I do carry an epi pen for the bees, and fear what will happen if I take it when I don't need to. Maybe even more than I fear being scratched with needles 4 times in an hour....


i love sad lemon, and want to hug it, but not too hard.



Sad lemon needs a shave.


@atipofthehat NOT TODAY


Is it just me, or did the clock strike sangria o'clock?


@tortietabbie The sangria clock, much like the metaphorical clock on a moving train, operates on relativity-time. We each arrive at sangria o'clock at our own time and place.


@Emby That sounds like an SAT question! (only a lot more fun!)

oh, disaster

@tortietabbie ALWAYS. (Unrelated, but are you reading at a certain local reading series?!)


@Emby It's always sangria o'clock somewhere.


@andrea disaster I am indeed! :)

oh, disaster

@tortietabbie Hooray! I'm going to try to go!


@andrea disaster Awesome! At least 1/3 of the readers will be brilliant, so... :)


@tortietabbie @Emby The clock in my friend's workplace has had its "5" erased and replaced with the word "whiskey."


White peach sangria, y'all. White. Peach. Sangria.


@@serenityfound GET IN MY MOUTH.
(The sangria, that is.)


@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I do not miss the creepy bartenders/waiter at the bar near where I lived in Queens, but DEAR GOD I miss their white peach sangria!


@@serenityfound This sounds like an excuse for a boozy science experiment. 'Pinners, to your kitchens!


This makes me want to start making cocktails all the time. (Like, for example, right now?) Do you all have any recommendations (besides the happy hour posts!) for solid places to find recipes? Like books or websites? Or...?


@tea Hey tea! Serious Eats has good recipies, and also a helpful "Cocktails 101" series that discusses basic but kind of fancy things like ice and simple syrups. Here's the non-fancy link:


@tea 12 Bottle Bar! I'm afraid IT will notice if I start going to drinking blogs at work, but if you google it the link should come up. It's a blog dedicated to recreating the "Golden Age of Cocktails" with a limited selection of liquor. It's all retro-style cocktails, though, which are pretty much all "Take this liquor, add this other liquor, add a third liquor and a twist of lemon peel" so they're super strong and none of them taste like candy.


@MilesofMountains Thanks to both of you! I checked out the links and they look great. I'M SO EXCITED. Ok. Getting the caps-lock over-enthusiasm under control now...


@tea I recommend The Backyard Bartender, also. But generally, like they said, go ahead and google. If you're looking for slightly off-the-beaten-path cocktail book, there's a nice list here!

Also, I find it very helpful to go out and drink a lot of cocktails at bars/restaurants (budget allowing, of course). Over time you get a pretty good practical education.


@tea I love Liqurious.

Also, it's called liqurious and that's adorable.

Hot Doom

I'm allergic to orange and sometimes lemon (my mouth and throat swell up and get itchy), but I usually still go for it in my dranks. Are milk/cream-based drinks like Brandy Alexanders and white russians considered cop-outs? Because let's be real, they're pretty great.
The greatest noncitrusy, wintertime delight I've had is from a bar in the LA area called 1886. The drink is called the Con Abuelita, and is basically Mexican hot chocolate for adults. It is ancho-chile infused reposado tequila mixed in to hot Mexican cocoa (so it's cinnamon-y too), with a toasted chile-dusted marshmallow on top. Utterly delicious and adaptable for the unspicy among you.

Did I mention I'm lactose-intolerant too? Still, no boozes left unturned.

Porn Peddler

@LolaLaBalc Lactose intolerant? Black Russian. Black Russians forever they are wonderful.


@LolaLaBalc I really really really want one of those Con Abuelita things for lunch. Right now. Do you think they would have them in San Jose/San Francisco area? Because I'm going there for my brother's graduation in June and I think he needs to find me a place that can make me one.


@LolaLaBalc I love Abuelita hot chocolate! I usually toss in some whiskey and a touch of Baileys.


@LolaLaBalc I also LOVE this drink recipe, it is DEE-VINE:

Splash of Buttershots
Touch of cream
Sprinkled with powdered cinnamon

Nomie @twitter

@Third Wave Housewife I had a bartender in a sketchy underground bar (no, LITERALLY underground, in converted tunnels) make me a Black Russian with vodka, Kahlua... and Coke. I have never had another one like that before or since.


@LolaLaBalc I cannot tell if that is a good thing or not.... Verdict?

Hot Doom

@TeresaOtter That sounds insanely nice. Black Russians though! I need to delve further into that subject.
@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher: I doubt you could find that very drink, but you could certainly get your hands on some Abuelita hot chocolate to make your own and make all of your friends and brother (as long as he's over 21 or you have permissive parents) say hallelujah that they know you!

Another noncitrus but fruity drink is something with applejack or bourbon and cider, with spices or maple to taste. Also, rum, pumpkin, maple (or a touch of molasses & brown suge), nutmeg, cream and then shake- you've got yourself a pumpkin pie in a glass.

Autumn is clearly my 'spirit' animal.


@Nomie @twitter Oops, my reply to LolaLolaBalc was supposed to be to you! So...how was the sketchy Black Russian? (that looks all kinds of wrong, doesn't it?)


@Nomie @twitter Inquiring minds want to know!

Porn Peddler

@Nomie @twitter THAT IS A GODDAMN TRAVESTY. ICE. VODKA. KAHLUA. AND MAKE IT GOOD FUCKING VODKA. I'm in a slight rage, maybe I need a black russian.

Nomie @twitter

@Bebe @The Everpresent Wordsnatcher It was... odd. I don't normally drink regular soda anyway so it was too sweet and kind of clung to my teeth. I don't think we ever went back, for good reason.


@Nomie @twitter Whoa. A bartender let me try his rum and root beer the other day, and it should have been awful, but because the rum he was using was sooooooo goooooooooooood, it was actually kind of cramazing. That Black Russian sounds janked, though.


@Nomie @twitter Ew. Thanks for taking one for the team, and letting us know it is never necessary to try that. (I also hate regular soda, because of that "clinging to my teeth" feeling).

@miwome That sounds like it could be a kind of delicious, alcoholic, root beer float!


@LolaLaBalc I'm so excited by your recommendation -- the con abuelita sounds delicious, and I live in LA area so I looked up 1886... and it's in my city! Everything in LA is so spread out, so I get happy when things are only ten minutes away from me, especially when those things are alcoholic Mexican hot chocolates.

Hot Doom

@lilsebastian Hooray! I'm from Pasadena, so I understand the excitement :) I hope you enjoy that place as much as I do!


@LolaLaBalc That is actually called a Tootsie Roll (at least in my family) YUM.


Is the lemon resting, moping, or being apologetic?

Also, can we see it happy and bouncy next, like after that egg took Zoloft?

I can't keep drinking whiskey forever.

Not with that attitude.

Hot Doom

@JessicaLovejoy The face I make in quiet resignation to drinking whiskey looks nothing like that.


@JessicaLovejoy Maybe there should be a self-help book for How to Successfully Drink Whiskey Forever. A positive attitude and lots of practice are the keys.


Bourbon and cucumber water go really well together with a bit of simple syrup. You could muddle up some basil in there too for a really refreshing cocktail. I like to drink them in the hot Texas summer when other bourbon drinks are a bit too heavy.


@boysplz whoah, that sounds delish!

I like refreshing, not too sweet drinks (I have sugar issues)so another one of my faves is blackberry brandy with a berry infused seltzer (raspberry is good)... so clean and crisp!


@boysplz That sounds genius. I had a bourbon cocktail last summer with orange peel and a little rosemary syrup. It was wonderfully refreshing.


Is there some reason we aren't advocating vodka-cranberry type concoctions? Or vodka-pomegranate with a splash of diet 7up?

Get all fancy and muddle a cardamon pod, some vanilla bean, and a quarter of a pear. Add vodka, ice, and shake like hell. Now you fancy and citrus-free.


@karion Doesn't 7up have citric acid in it?

Totally for all your other suggestions though.


@marley: it does - my bad. Replace it with prosecco or champagne? Something bubbly and non-citric.

Agave nectar will be a big help. It adds sweetness, but more of the honey, not lemony variety. Kind of herbally sweetness? A fun drink - blueberry agave nectar goodness. Muddle half a dozen blueberries and a tablespoon of agave nectar. Add vodka, ice, and a splash of pomegranate juice. Shake and serve with some sprigs of basil or mint.


try a grasshopper: http://www.drinksmixer.com/drink3946.html
if you want something similar with less alcohol / easier to make, pour some vodka on a mint milkshake.




@kayjay potato peels and spruce nettle tea?


"...a few ounces of Champagne and a few splashes of brandy, over vanilla ice cream"

I want that right now. For lunch. And then for dinner?


What about sake? Or rum? I think rum is reeeeeeally good with sweet/creamy mixers (as opposed to citrusy mixers). And sake is super versatile. AND you can drink it hot or cold!


@roadtrips Yes, sake-tinis.... mmmmmm...

Don't Panic

If you want to be fancy about your cocktails, you might try making a shrub, which uses vinegar as the balancing acid instead of citrus.

Also, keep in mind that most bitters have citrus peel in them and probably are a no-go as well.


@Don't Panic I saw this article and promptly started scrolling the comments for anyone mentioning shrubs. In addition to them being awesome for so many reasons, they really do represent and add variety in the "slightly sweet acidic ingredient" category, that has been so long dominated by citrus. And can be considered soooooper fancy (with several extra "o"s)!


@Don't Panic @ThatWench Dudes, I'm here to extoll the virtues of shrub, too. Pre-made shrubs usually have citrus, but if you're allergic, you can make your own. Raspberry shrub is amazing, and I bet you could make an infused vinegar with lemongrass or lemon balm that would have citrus-esque flavor but wouldn't trigger a terrible allergic reaction.


@dinos WHOA raspberry shrub! What a wonderful thing! That would be a nice gift, in pretty little bottles, if you could convince the recipients that it was good for something other than raspberry vinaigrettes. Maybe I will use my returned security deposit to purchase liquor now. It's an investment!


So this is semi-off topic but are there any 'pinners out there with nut allergies? Because I have never been able to get a consensus on what it's okay for me to drink. For example, I actually can drink amaretto, which is almond liqueur. But I've heard it's made from peach pits and that's why I can drink it? Or maybe I'm not actually allergic to almonds? That would be super important information to know, because certain gins are also made with almonds. And Southern Comfort may or may not have nuts in it. And Bailey's and Kahlua. But again, I've had Bailey's before, no problem, so WHO KNOWS.

Allergies are haaaarrrrrd. /whine

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@phenylalanine Almonds are related to peaches, so it sounds possible that the the pits could taste like almond. I'm allergic to almonds too, but amaretto is fine. Processing (cooking, fermenting, etc.) foods I'm allergic to seems to change their makeup enough that I'm not allergic to them. So I'm allergic to apples but can eat applesauce. I'm not allergic to any of the liqueurs you mentioned. I would guess that if you can drink amaretto you can probably drink the other ones too, but the only way to be sure is to ask an allergist. Or just try it and see what happens, if that's an option for you.

Allergies ARE hard!

Diana Vilibert

@phenylalanine Some are made with almond pits, some are made with apricot pits, and some are made with both. Do you remember which brand you drank? Stick with that one—if it didn't give you problems, it was probably made only with apricot pits. Off the top of my head, Disaronno is almond-free.

Diana Vilibert

@phenylalanine: Also, check the bottle! Some of them will specifically have a nut allergy warning.

Cat named Virtute

@phenylalanine Technically almonds aren't actually nuts; they're part of the rose family. Which is not to say that you are or aren't allergic to them, just that they are distinct from nuts.

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@Diana Vilibert That's a good idea, but I wouldn't trust that something is nut-free just because there's no nut allergy warning. FDA regulations don't apply to alcohol labeling because it falls under ATF jurisdiction (that's why they're not required to list ingredients and nutritional information).

Diana Vilibert

@jen325 Oh, definitely not—I meant more in the sense that it's worth searching for a nut allergy warning in teeny tiny font, so you know what you definitely need to steer clear from. But of course alcohol without that warning may still contain nuts.

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@Diana Vilibert It's definitely worth searching for! I suppose if you really want to know you could write to the company. Some may even have allergy information on their web sites. I just looked at Disaronno's FAQ page, and it says it "doesn't contain any nuts and is not made from almonds." You were right!


@Diana Vilibert So I was inspired to do some more research!

I've always had the Amaretto Di Amore brand of amaretto. The website says that it's "made with the crushed essence of apricot," although that doesn't exactly rule out almonds, either, since there's no other information. Good to know about Disaronno, though!

No information on the horrible Kahlua website, or the horrible SoCo website. The Bailey's website is great, though, and even has nutrition info! And no traces of nuts.

It's just a shame that only two of the websites in question had any legitimate allergy information. You'd think they'd want to include that, since I'd be more likely to DRINK your beverage if I could be sure what was in it.

@Marika Pea@twitter Yeahhh, I'm definitely not allergic to peanuts (also not a nut), so I actually might be okay with almonds? I just REALLY don't want to test it on my own, and I've never been to an allergist. So I just avoid as many nut-like things as I can, on principle. Maybe not the BEST strategy, haha.

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@phenylalanine Try Disaronno! It's more expensive, but it tastes so much better!

You can probably send an email to Kahlua and SoCo and find out if they contain nuts.


The sad lemon. The sad lemon! (This is why I love the hairpin.)

Infinite Jess

Is this a good place to grumble about how, in the US, alcoholic beverages are not required by the FDA to include a complete list of ingredients and nutrition facts on their labels for consumers? And this is on purpose, because it is in the best interests of alcoholic beverage manufacturers for their consumers to NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DRINKING?


@Infinite Jess I hope so, it's one of my big gripes as well. I don't really ever go one about dismantling sectors of the federal government but the ATF is pretty shitty.


@Infinite Jess YES. Drives me BONKERS. I do not understand the reasoning at all - every other thing I consume, and most products I put on my body in any form, have to tell me what's in them but not this one segment? No sense.

I have noticed, though, that hard ciders do have nutrition labels on them. By this I mean the two hard ciders I've drank in the last year or so: Woodchuck and Strongbow. Innnteresting.


@KeLynn I have no notion what nutritional antics it gets up to, but try Harpoon cider! It is the best one, or that's how I feel anyway.


@Infinite Jess I will! Thank you!

Barry Grant

People, people! Qream.


@Barry Grant Completely off topic, but I want you to comment all day, every day, so I can look at your super-dreamy avatar. Hellllooooo Mr. Grant. How you doin'?


Thank god I'm not allergic to citrus and I'm so sorry for you who are. I am still buying port next time I run out of vermouth, maybe even sooner. I can taste the difference, in my mind's mouth, and I like it.


@whizz_dumb "in my mind's mouth" huzzah


i just crawled out from under my covers with the worst hangover of i've ever had picked up my laptop and opened it to this....you're all insane don't drink it don't drink it don't drink it


What about spiced rum and apple cider? Apple cider doesn't have citrus in it, does it? Maybe check the label first. But seriously, it's the greatest thing of all to drink now that it's starting to actually get cold out there.

down the rabbit hole

GINGER. Ginger in all of the things.


@down the rabbit hole I basically eat ginger as a vegetable. I made a ginger soup the other day. Ginger and miso broth and a little bit of leeks.

tea tray in the sky.

What a solemn lemon. Solemnon.


Ok. When you say "Port! Poooort." are you saying it in the voice of the teacher from To Kill a Mockingbird, or am I just reading it that way?

Theresa Borkowski@facebook

Thank you! I am one of the no-citrus ladies, such a pain.


@phenylalanine @Diana Vilibert I saw this article and was hoping to come across any nut-related conversation in the comments! I've got nut allergies too.
I skip amaretto, Frangelico, and SoCo (I read somewhere that it has tree nuts in it?). Kahlua's fine. Tanqueray and Bombay gin are no good, but Seagram's is fine. Glad to hear that Disaronno's actually OK-- something new to try!


So admittedly I'm too excited to verify that there is no citrus in this, but I had an amazing dessert/cocktail last night that everyone needs to put in their mouth:

Raspberry lambic beer float with cardamom ice cream.

So. Delightful.


St Germain and sparkling wine is my go-to easy fancy drink. Sparkling wine plus Canton Ginger Liqueur is pretty great too.

Pear and lychee white sangria is also rad as hell. Pear vodka or brandy plus sliced pears, plus lychee syrup, plus white wine, plus plain soda water. I am not all a fan of lychee (cloying! slimy!) and I love this stuff.


I'm allergic to oranges, but luckily not to lemons and limes. Even with just that limitation, I've run into problems with mixed drinks. Berry-based drinks are usually safe, although I've mostly started just ordering wine or beer that isn't Blue Moon.


I, too, have a citrus allergy that bars me from some delicious cocktails! I do find, though, that if it's only a little bit of citrus, and I'm sure to rinse my mouth after drinking, I'm fine. I don't know about other citrus-allergic people, but I get nasty canker sores in my mouth and throat that last FOREVER.


@Felicia ... I get the full treatment. Hives, flushing, facial swelling, anaphylaxis. I cannot even share airspace with an orange!


Probably not, but anybody else not allergic to citrus, but get hives when you drink Grand Marnier? It is the only drink that does this to me-- purplish hives on my cheeks, swollen lips and usually the hives carry down onto my neck, chest and trunk.


This is a mystery I've been trying to solve for years.


I am deathly allergic to oranges, grapefruits and tangerines. I cannot even walk into a grocery store without breaking into hives! I go nowhere without allergy meds already in my system and an Epipen in my purse. My question is, does the brewing process somehow denature the proteins in the citrus peel oil to which I react? I can drink some wheat beers without issue while others make my tongue swell after about a liter.


I have citrus allergy too (although not anaphylactic). I break out in hives if I eat grapefruit, and oranges just a red rash on my shins. For citrus replacement in mixed drinks, I sometimes use other acid fruits like kiwi or pineapple. Also, sub-acid berries like blackberry, strawberry, raspberry work well. For a lemon-esqe herb flavor try lemon balm or lemon grass. Also ginger is a nice complement to many cocktails!


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