Beth holding low histamine alcohol, low histamine cocktails

Low Histamine Alcohol & Cocktails Recipe (Low Oxalate, Low Lectin, Low FODMAP, Low Salicylate, & Mocktail Options)  

Drinking alcohol can be a big trigger of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) and Histamine Intolerance, but you may be able to enjoy some low histamine alcohol like low histamine cocktails (or mocktail!) 

If you don’t drink because of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance, it may be easy to feel left out. Especially around special occasions.  

Alcoholic beverages are a big part of many social activities. Many people like to share a bottle of wine at dinner. Maybe have a beer at a ballgame. Or have cocktails at parties. 

I used to be a big social drinker, myself. 

I enjoyed fun cocktails. And I liked sharing a glass of white wine or red wine with friends over dinner. 

But even in moderation, alcohol was making me feel worse.  

I’d later find out that alcohol is high histamine.  

But there was so much I didn’t know back then. For a long time, I didn’t know that I even had MCAS or Histamine Intolerance. 

So, I certainly didn’t know that high histamine food and beverages like alcohol could trigger my immune system symptoms like hives, sneezing, and migraines.  

Once I learned more, I made some changes. I quit alcoholic drinks of any kind to avoid a histamine reaction. 

But on special occasions like New Year or birthdays, I’d still long for something more than sparkling water to toast with. 

Even once I started to regain my health, a lot of alcoholic beverages were still too much for me to handle. But I’ve now got some options for having a celebratory drink now and then.

And I’m excited to share that with you. 

Keep reading to learn how to:  

  • Avoid histamine and mast cell triggers in alcoholic beverages  
  • Find low histamine alcohol  
  • Create low histamine cocktails  
  • Make my favorite mixed drinks 

You’ll even get low oxalate, low salicylate, low lectin, and low FODMAP cocktail mixer ideas! 

What’s even better is that you can share these low histamine alcohol options with your friends and family and they won’t miss a thing.  

And they’ll be better off without the additives and byproducts of high histamine alcohol, too!  

Why Low Histamine Alcohol?  

Alcohol can worsen Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance a few ways. 

  1. Alcohol decreases the histamine degrading enzyme your body makes called Diamine Oxidase (DAO).  
  2. Aged alcohols are also high histamine. That means drinking histamine-rich alcohol will add to your overall histamine load. 
  3. Last, many types of alcohol have unhealthy additives, in addition to histamine content.

For example, some wine making processes add an antifungal to stop the fermentation process. This is so they taste more sugary. 

And many liquors have flavors and colors added. Think everything from lemon flavored vodka to blue colored Curacao. 

Definitely not natural! 

Here are examples of high histamine alcohols: 

  • Aged rum 
  • Beer 
  • Bourbon 
  • Brandy 
  • Flavored or colored spirits 
  • Hard cider 
  • Liqueurs 
  • Scotch 
  • Whiskey 
  • Wine 

You may also have a reaction to gluten or corn if you have MCAS.

But it’s not just the alcohol that can contribute to worse symptoms. Next, read about the problem with popular mixers. 
 
Then, I’ll share with you more on low histamine cocktails and wine options. 

The Problem with Mixers 

Packaged mixers are full of colors, artificial flavors, and preservatives. All these aren’t great if you have MCAS or Histamine Intolerance.  

For example, let’s look at grenadine. Grenadine is a sweet syrup made from pomegranate. And it’s used in a lot of tropical cocktails.  

Here are the mast-cell and histamine triggering ingredients for one popular brand: Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Red 40, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Blue 1 

On top of this, grenadine has high fructose corn syrup.

This raises blood sugar fast. And increases in blood sugar are another mast cell trigger. 

This is why sugar isn’t good if you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance. 

Another popular mixer is Margarita Mix. 

Here are the triggering ingredients found in a popular Margarita Mix: high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, natural flavors, sodium citrate, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, cellulose gum, sucrose acetoisobutyrate (SAIB), polysorbate 60, and fd&c yellow 5. 

The Problem with Most Juice in Cocktails 

Most juice isn’t 100% juice. 

It often has preservatives that can trigger mast cell degranulation and histamine release. 

But preservatives aren’t the only thing to be aware of. 

First of all, you’ll want to avoid juices made from high histamine fruits. 

Higher histamine juices will come from fruits like:

  • Grapefruit 
  • Orange 
  • Pineapple 
  • Strawberry 
  • Tomato 

The fruit you choose is important. But another thing to consider is freshness. 

Juices can also be higher histamine if they aren’t freshly squeezed. 

So, you might start with a low histamine fruit like apples. 

But if that fruit isn’t freshy squeezed or pressed, histamine levels may be higher.  

For example, freshly pressed apple juice would be better than store-bought apple juice in a glass jar.  

So use fresh fruit to make your own juice for low histamine cocktails.

The Problem with Club Soda and Tonic Water 

Even club soda and tonic water have mast cell and histamine triggering ingredients. 

In club soda, you’ll often find sodium citrate. Citrates are from fermentation. That makes them higher histamine. 

And here are ingredients for tonic water: Carbonated Water, Sugar, Citric Acid, Acidity Regulator (Sodium Citrate), Flavourings (Including Quinine), Sweetener (Aspartame, Acesulfame K) 

See any problems there for Histamine and Mast Cell issues? 

So be sure to skip on the club soda and tonic water if you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance! 

Those are some very popular mixers found in many cocktails! 

So, what can you use instead? Here are some options to consider. 

Low Histamine Cocktails Mixer Options 

You do still have some choices when it comes to putting together a fun, low histamine cocktail for your next party. 

Instead of club soda or tonic water, you can try sparkling mineral water or seltzer. These will give you a similar fizz. 

And you can still use juice. Here are some of the better choices.  

Use 100% pure organic low histamine juice in glass like: 

Again, juice is going to be best if it is freshly squeezed or pressed.  
 
However, if you have to use store-bought, read the recipes below to find some of your better options. 
 
But when it comes to cocktails, the key ingredient isn’t the mixer. It’s the alcohol. 

And when it comes to lower histamine alcohol, you’ll want to know a few tips for choosing better options. That’s next. 

Tips for Making Low Histamine Cocktails   

I definitely recommend limiting alcohol intake if you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance. 

But if you are like me, you might want to have a low histamine cocktail on New Year’s Eve or to celebrate a birthday or other important milestone. 

And by keeping a few things in mind, you may be able to! More on that next. 

So, what can you do if you want to have the occasional drink when you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance? 

The first thing you want to consider is where you are in your health journey. 

If you are still very sensitive, your best bet may be an alcohol-free option. In that case, stick with a fun mocktail.  

You can make a mocktail using low histamine cocktail ingredients. Just leave out the alcohol and keep it virgin aka alcohol-free.  

Sourcing Low Histamine Cocktails

Now, if you are a little further along in your health journey, you may be able to have some alcohol on occasions. 

But the keys are to 1) limit quantity and 2) choose good-quality, low histamine alcohol options. 

You may be only able to have a splash or two of alcohol. Adjust any recipe according to what you can tolerate.

If I am going to have a cocktail, I only use a splash or two of alcohol.

And if you are having alcohol, you definitely want to start with a low histamine alcohol option. 

Clear liquors like the ones listed below tend to be better. This is because they have less additives that can be mast cell triggers.  

Low Histamine Alcohol Options: 

  • Vodka
    • Clear, unflavored, top-shelf like Gray Goose or Prairie 
  • Tequila
    • Clear, Silver/Blanco, top-shelf like Patron Silver or 1800 Silver 
  • Gin
    • Clear, Top shelf, unflavored like Hendricks or Tanqueray 
  • Rum
    • Clear/White, unflavored like Bacardi Silver or Appleton White  

Another great choice is low histamine wine. That’s right! Low histamine wine. You can opt to enjoy a glass of wine straight from the bottle or you can use this low histamine wine as the base for some delicious cocktails.  

Note: I prefer to not call it histamine-free since that is not accurate.  

So where do you get low histamine wine?  

These are the best low-histamine wines because they also don’t cause the release of histamine from mast cell triggering ingredients. Learn all about lower histamine wine in this post.

Before I share more about the 7 Lower Histamine Cocktail options for you, here are some tips for navigating low histamine alcohol with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome.

Tips for Success With Low Histamine Alcohol

If you are just starting on the Low Histamine Diet, you’ll want to avoid all alcohol for the first 6 months or longer.

Wait until your histamine levels are lower. If you’ve been lowering histamine levels for a while, you might be able to enjoy a drink on occasion.

Remember, moderation is the key to not feeling bad. You will have your own limits. 

Be sure to take your DAO and antihistamines beforehand to help reduce your levels of histamine.

I’ve included both bottled juice and fresh juice options. For lower histamine levels, always make juice freshly squeezed from whole fruit. 

Low Histamine Cocktails (and Mocktails Options)

I’ve listed multiple different flavors for you to try! Let me know in the comments which one you like the best.  

Before we get to the recipes, here’s info on the health benefits of the ingredients and some presentation ideas for each flavor of the low histamine cocktails!  

Pomegranate Martini – Lower Histamine, Low to Medium Oxalate, Low Lectin, Low Salicylate 

This is a really beautiful martini. The deep red of the pomegranate and bright green of the rosemary make for a festive presentation.

Even better, both pomegranate and rosemary have histamine lowering and mast cell stabilizing properties! 

Optional Presentation Idea: 

  • Freeze pomegranate juice ahead of time into ice cubes and float in glass 

Blueberry Martini – Lower Histamine, Lower Oxalate, Low Lectin 

This is a different take on the pomegranate martini and not too sweet. The basil brings an interesting complexity to the flavor.

Both blueberries and basil have histamine lowering and mast cell stabilizing properties! 

Optional Presentation Ideas: 

  • Freeze blueberry juice ahead of time into ice cubes and float in glass 
  • Skewer blueberries, lemon slices, and basil leaves onto a cocktail stick 

Vodka Cranberry – Lower Histamine, Low Oxalate, Low Lectin, Low FODMAP 

This is another great, festive drink. It is bright and pretty.

Cranberries are loaded with antioxidants.

This drink is also low-FODMAP! If you have problems with SIBO, bloating, gas, etc – go with this one and make it a mocktail. 

Blended Coconut “Dirty” Russian – Lower Histamine, Lower Oxalate, Low Lectin 

Traditional White Russians use coffee-flavored liqueur. That flavor is hard to replicate without using coffee.

But you can get a roasty flavor with using toasted pecan butter in this blended, frozen recipe. This won’t be as white as a White Russian typically is. Hence the name “Dirty” Russian.  

I almost never use any form of sugar. But I made an exception for this recipe. Use Amber Grade maple syrup for a deeper, richer flavor. 

Optional Presentation Idea: 

  • If you want to really step this up, make the Coconut Cream Topping to float on top! 

Autumn Sparkler – Lower Histamine, Low Oxalate, Low Lectin 

This drink is made with apple juice, sparkling water, and gin. It’s a nice fall and winter drink. But you could really have this anytime of the year. 

Apples are loaded with quercetin. Especially just under the peel. So, if possible make the apple juice fresh at home with the peel on. 

Classic Mojito – Lower Histamine, Low Oxalate, Low Lectin, Low FODMAP 

Mint is high in salicylates. And this makes it have pain relieving properties similar to aspirin.

Mint also has mast cell stabilizing properties. 

Be sure to use an organic lime for Mojitos. You’ll need to leave the peel on to get the oils out of the peel. 

TIP: Remember to muddle this in batches as described in the instructions below to get the best flavor. 

Mojitos are hard to do right without sugar. So I made an exception to this one too. You can use cane sugar or coconut sugar. If you are low FODMAP, use the cane sugar. 

Frozen Mango Margarita – Lower Histamine, Low Oxalate, Low Lectin 

This is probably my favorite drink. I love mangos. This frozen margarita is so creamy and delicious. 

Since my histamine bucket is lower, I do add 1 drop of Rocky Mountain Oils Orange Essential Oil. This is my secret ingredient. But only use once you’re 6 months or more into the Low Histamine Diet

Only use therapeutic grade oils in foods. Not all brands of essential oils are safe to use. And not all types of oils are safe to use internally. 

Related Article: Must Have Essential Oils for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance

Are you ready to make some low histamine cocktails? First, I’ll list the ingredients for each flavor. Then, I’ll share instructions for how to make them so they taste delicious!

Low Histamine alcohol Cocktails

Low Histamine Cocktails Recipe

7 Flavors for Low Histamine Alcohol & Cocktails Recipe with Low Oxalate, Low Lectin, Low FODMAP, Low Salicylate, & Mocktail Options)
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 2 servings

Ingredients
  

Pomegranate Martini – Lower Histamine, Low to Medium Oxalate, Low Lectin, Low Salicylates

Blueberry Martini – Lower Histamine, Lower Oxalate, Low Lectin

Vodka Cranberry – Lower Histamine, Low Oxalate, Low Lectin, Low FODMAP

Blended Coconut “Dirty” Russian – Lower Histamine, Lower Oxalate, Low Lectin

Autumn Sparkler – Lower Histamine, Low Oxalate, Low Lectin

Classic Mojito – Lower Histamine, Low Oxalate, Low Lectin, Low FODMAP

Frozen Mango Margarita – Lower Histamine, Low Oxalate, Low Lectin

Instructions
 

Pomegranate Martini, Blueberry Martini, Vodka Cranberry, Autumn Sparkler

  • Add all non garnish ingredients to a cocktail shaker.
  • Shake thoroughly and strain into a glass.
  • Garnish as desired.

Blended Coconut “Dirty” Russian

  • Freeze coconut milk in ice cube trays for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
  • When ready to make the drink, first make cream topping, if using, with directions below.
  • Place vodka, frozen coconut ice cubes, pecan butter, and maple syrup in a blender and blend until smooth. Don’t over-blend or it will start to melt.
  • Pour into 2 tall glasses.
  • Top with optional coconut whipped cream, if desired.

Coconut Cream for Blended Coconut “Dirty” Russian

  • Scoop out 1 cup of coconut cream.
  • Whip the coconut cream, monk fruit extract, and raw vanilla powder with a whisk until thick and stiff. Avoid overwhipping.
  • Top the Frozen White Russian with coconut cream.

Classic Mojito

  • Put 10 mint leaves and 2 lime wedges into a heavy highball glass.
  • Crush the mint and lime with a muddler to release the oils.
  • Add 2 more lime wedges and 2 Tbsp sugar and muddle again.
  • Repeat steps 1 to 3 in a second glass.
  • Don’t strain the mixture.
  • Fill each highball glass nearly to the top with ice.
  • Add ½ the rum to each glass.
  • Top the glass with sparkling mineral water.
  • Garnish with a lime slice and fresh mint (optional).

Frozen Mango Margarita

  • Put tequila, frozen mango, lime juice (optional), ice, sweetener, and orange essential oil (optional) in blender.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Run a lime wedge around the edge of glass. Dip into sugar or sea salt, if desired.
  • Pour frozen mango mixture into glasses.
  • Garnish with a couple lime slices (optional).

Notes

See notes in section above for presentation tips for the various flavors. 
Keyword dairy free, gluten free, grain free, low FODMAP, low histamine, low lectin, low oxalate, low salicylate

Did you enjoy these low histamine alcohol and mocktail recipes? I’d love to hear your favorite low histamine cocktail flavor in the comments below! 

More Low Histamine Alcohol & Drinks 

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References

Compound Interest. (2016, June 8). The Chemistry of Vodka – Structure, Additives, and Impurities. Retrieved December 5, 2021, from https://www.compoundchem.com/
2016/06/08/vodka/
 

Ede, MD, G. (2017). Histamine Intolerance: why freshness matters. Journal of Evolution and Health. https://doi.org/10.15310/2334-3591.1054 

Reese, I., Ballmer-Weber, B., Beyer, K., Fuchs, T., Kleine-Tebbe, J., Klimek, L., Lepp, U., Niggemann, B., Saloga, J., Schäfer, C., Werfel, T., Zuberbier, T., & Worm, M. (2017). German guideline for the management of adverse reactions to ingested histamine: Guideline of the German Society for Allergology and Clinical Immunology (DGAKI), the German Society for Pediatric Allergology and Environmental Medicine (GPA), the German Association of Allergologists (AeDA), and the Swiss Society for Allergology and Immunology (SGAI). Allergo journal international, 26(2), 72–79. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40629-017-0011-5  

Wüthrich B. (2018). Allergic and intolerance reactions to wine.  Allergologie select, 2(1), 80–88. https://doi.org/10.5414/ALX01420E  

Zimatkin, S. M., & Anichtchik, O. V. (1999). Alcohol-histamine interactions. Alcohol and alcoholism (Oxford, Oxfordshire), 34(2), 141–147. https://doi.org/10.1093/alcalc/34.2.141 

Comments

  1. Carla

    Hi, I noticed this article mentioned the issues with club soda, I was wondering if there were issues with soda water made from a soda stream? As far as I’m aware the cylinder you use with it is C02.

    1. Beth O'Hara

      Hi Carla, Just adding carbon dioxide is fine. I doubt the flavorings are ok, though. Also, make sure to keep the machine clean and mold free!

  2. Rebecca

    Hi there,
    I am a 23 year old student that has been suffering histamine-related issues for a couple of months now. Most of mine are neurological and originally I thought alcohol took away a lot of my issues but I think it was just reducing my anxiety. I worry I have MCAS because I reacted to a sweet potato a couple weeks ago. I am almost done with finals and I would really like to be able to enjoy a drink with friends. I’m not worried about the side effects as much as I am curious about whether it could have detrimental long-term effects. If it is currently just a histamine intolerance, do you know if it could become MCAS from me not being careful?

    Thank you so much for everything; you and your site have been a tremendous help in this process.

    1. Suz, Mast Cell 360 Team

      Hi Rebecca,
      Histamine Intolerance and MCAS are two different things. In the Mast Cell 360 practice, we can see them together for a number of reasons. You can check out these two articles to get a better idea of how they differ but also instances where they overlap.
      https://mastcell360.com/mast-cells-and-mast-cell-activation-syndrome-101-what-to-know-if-you-have-mast-cell-activation-syndrome-or-histamine-intolerance/
      and
      https://mastcell360.com/what-is-histamine-intolerance-and-how-can-you-address-it-what-to-know-if-you-have-mast-cell-activation-syndrome-and-histamine-intolerance/

      I hope this helps!

  3. Carlo

    Thank you so much! And I suppose the “20 fresh lime leaves” in the Classic Mojito are ment to be “20 fresh mint leaves” 😉

    1. Suz, Mast Cell 360 Team

      Ah! Thank you so much! Yes, that should say mint leaves. I’ve updated it now. Thank you so much for bringing that to our attention!

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