ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What's in your glass?

Updated on July 21, 2016


Have you ever woken up on a Saturday morning after a night on the town and asked yourself – ‘what did I drink’?

Makers of alcoholic drinks don’t need to display the ingredients on their labels. They are unique in this respect as all other food and drink makers need to clearly list their ingredients by law. It seems that a hangover might be the least of our worries.

Harmful Chemicals

Wine has sulphur dioxide added to it to preserve it and keep its colour (exposure to light may otherwise cause wines to ‘brown’). Many of us are allergic to sulphur dioxide and will suffer from prolonged pressure headaches and heartburn among other symptoms after consuming even a little wine.

Some alcoholic drinks use artificial colours; red colours often come from the innocently named ‘caramel’ colours also known as the ‘E150s’. As the name ‘caramel’ suggests they contain heated sugar however these are combined with slightly less innocent chemicals. For E150a the caramel colour comes from sugar heated with acids or alkalis, E150b the sugar is heated with sulphur dioxide, E150c it’s the highly corrosive chemical ammonia, E150d its ammonia and sulphur. Needless to say these artificial chemicals cause a wide range of allergic reactions.

Cow's stomach and fish bladders

Isinglass is added to drinks to get rid of suspended proteins to make it clearer. Isinglass is the dried swim bladder of fish. Not great news if you are vegetarian or vegan. Then again neither is the protease (from pig or cows stomach), Gelatine (made from boiling skin, bones, ligaments etc) or the milk products used to remove unwanted flavours.


Insects love to eat grapes and grape vines. Farmers spray the vines with pesticides that kill these unwanted insects. Many of these pesticides are harmful to us and cause asthma, allergies, hypersensitivity and mild neurological damage. Vineyards should wash the grapes before use, however they don’t tend to as the grapes get punctured and damaged during the automated picking process. The collecting vats are already full of mush and grape juice so any attempt at washing would dilute the product.

Some wine producers declare that their wine is made with organic grapes, this may well be the case however there are often other chemicals added as the wine is prepared.

What can we do about it?

if you really want to know what is in your alcoholic drinks, make them yourself. This is fun, it will save you a fortune and you’ll quickly find you can make drinks of a superior quality to the junk you buy in the shops and the ingredients; 100% pure.

Lemon juice, root ginger, pure grape juice, yeast, honey, sugar, chilli peppers, pure apple juice and raisins – now that’s what I call ingredients.

Try this Kindle book: Breaking booze, it’ll get you started without the purchase of any specialised equipment using ingredients and equipment you’ll find in your local supermarket. You’ll make your money back on the first batch and from then on you’ll wonder how it was that the drinks industry had such a hold on you.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)