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New Tennessee ABC Prohibition Against Infused Spirits May Also Prevent Pre-Mixing Sangria, Margaritas and Other Drinks
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New Tennessee ABC Prohibition Against Infused Spirits May Also Prevent Pre-Mixing Sangria, Margaritas and Other Drinks

06.29.17
This week, Tennessee ABC Director Keith Bell issued a proclamation that threatened citations for any restaurant or bar that makes infused drinks after July 1, 2013.

We think the ABC is wrong about the law on this point and have previously blogged about the issue. We joined with attorneys for the Tennessee Hospitality Association to request that the ABC reconsider its position. A copy is here:  Attorney Letter to Bell re Infusions (00931444).

Although many bars feature infused spirits, it is the ban on pre-mixing that we see as having the broadest impact on the industry. Based on our reading of Director Bell's announcement, we are advising folks to stop pre-mixing drinks like sangria, margaritas and shooters.

Many bars pre-mix popular drinks and shooters to cut down on wait times at peak hours for crowd-pleasing cocktails. Think Cinco de Mayo. Bartenders regularly make margaritas a few days in advance, so customers do not have long waits for margaritas as they are ordered.

The infusion ban will undoubtedly hurt purveyors of high end cocktails. Even sangria is affected - anyone in the industry knows that sangria tastes better when it ages overnight.

Tennessee has become known as a destination for food and beverage connoisseurs. We see the infusion ban as a blow to purveyors of cutting edge cocktails that are drawing national attention to Tennessee.

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