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Is Vodka Vegan or Vegetarian — and Is It Bad For You?

is vodka vegan
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Fotorech

Is vodka vegan? Let’s have a look at one of the world’s most famous alcoholic drinks to see if it’s bad for you and some creative ideas for enjoying it.

Vodka, which translates to “little water,” can be made from many things. as we shall soon see. Is vodka vegan? The answer is usually a resounding “yes!”

Most strong liquor, including vodka, gin, whisky, and rum, is inherently vegan-friendly. The ones to often avoid if you’re looking for vegan alcoholic beverages are those containing ingredients like cream and honey.

Vodka is a colorless and odorless spirit, typically distilled using fermented grains or potatoes. It can even be made from horseradish. It has a higher alcohol content than beer and wine, usually hitting around 40-55% alcohol by volume (ABV). For comparison, an average bottle of wine is about 12% ABV.

Vodka is often mixed with soft drinks like coke or as a cocktail (like this vegan White Russian).

Flavored vodkas are also usually vegan and vegetarian. These varieties get their flavoring from extracts — similar to the vanilla extract you might add to a cake recipe.

Below, we’ll look at how vodka is produced and why the question “Is vodka vegan?” might come up in the first place. We’ll also discuss if drinking it comes with any health concerns.

Is Vodka Vegan? Production Standards


Officially, there are usually no animal ingredients whatsoever in vodka. So vodka is vegan and vegetarian — technically. However, those who want to avoid animal products may have a few about the production process.

In some cases, animal products are used as fining agents, which is why some wines and beers aren’t vegan. Fining agents remove impurities, such as unwanted tannins, and produce the best clarity. Production methods don’t need to be listed on the bottle, so if you aren’t sure if the brand you like is vegan, it’s a good idea to contact them and ask.


If you wish to know more about vegan ingredients or those used in the fining process, and to know if your vodka is vegan, ask the company if they use any of the following animal products:

  • Potassium caseinate or casein (both made from dairy)
  • Gelatin (a sticky substance made from ground bones and hooves)
  • Egg albumin (egg whites)
  • Isinglass (fish bladders)
  • Bone char (ground bones)

For more information, read our guide to vegan booze.

Is Vodka Bad for You?

A little of what you fancy can be good, but less is more.
Is vodka vegan? Is it bad for you? As with any alcohol, limiting your consumption is best. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / ColdwellPro)

Vodka doesn’t contain sugar, so it may be a better choice than some other liquors if you’re limiting your sugar intake. Of course, this doesn’t apply if you mix it with high-sugar soda or juice.

Vodka is also low in calories but doesn’t provide you with much mineral or nutrient content.

As with most alcohol use, low to moderate consumption is recommended to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Most medical bodies, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommend limiting alcohol consumption to one to two servings a day and keeping consumption low over the course of a week. One shot of vodka counts as 1 serving.

Studies suggest that ingesting vodka in small doses may have some potential health benefits; however, as with any alcohol, drinking too much can cause detrimental effects, including hypertension, blackouts, memory loss, abnormal heart rhythms, stroke and heart attack. In some cases, it can even be fatal.

If you’d like to play it safe and steer clear of alcoholic drinks but still want to have something in your hand or enjoy a refreshing mixed beverage, check out our recipes for the perfect summer margarita mocktail and the 9 Best Alcohol Alternatives. There are many benefits to not drinking alcohol.

Vodka Is a Vegan Spirit — With Caveats

So, the answer to “Is vodka vegan?” is usually “yes,” but you should still be mindful of the production process and speak with the company directly if you have any questions.

Whatever you choose, keep in mind the CDC’s recommendation for low daily and weekly alcohol consumption — anything more than that can risk your health. Furthermore, long-term alcohol use can cause a litany of health problems.

If you’d like to change your relationship with alcohol, there are many steps you can take and lots of support available.

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