Bills to Make Cocktails To-Go Permanent in Virginia Pass Legislature, Head to Governor’s Desk for Signature

HB 688 & SB 635 eliminate July expiration date for consumer- & business-friendly measure

RICHMOND, Va. – Today, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) and ​The Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association (VRLTA) applauded the Virginia Legislature for passing HB 688 and SB 635, companion bills that would permanently allow cocktails to-go to be sold from bars, restaurants and distilleries in support of businesses and consumers.

The bills now head to Governor Glenn Youngkin’s desk for signature. Currently, cocktails to-go for takeout and delivery in Virginia are set to expire July 1, 2024.

“Cocktails to-go have not only been a great additional source of revenue for local bars, restaurants and distilleries, but adult consumers have come to expect the added convenience they offer,” said Andy Deloney, senior vice president and head of state public policy at DISCUS. “We applaud the Legislature for supporting Virginia businesses and consumers by passing these measures and urge the governor to sign these bills making cocktails to-go permanent.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 23 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to permanently allow cocktails to-go, and 9 others have enacted laws that allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis. Numerous states are still considering cocktails to-go legislation.

“VRLTA is very excited to see the broad legislative consensus that has formed around making cocktails-to-go permanent,” said Eric Terry, president and CEO of VRLTA. “It has been key for restaurateurs throughout the pandemic, and continues to be a valuable tool in the toolbox as operating costs continue to rise. From utilities to food costs and more, the restaurant industry is facing clear economic headwinds, but common-sense policy like cocktails-to-go helps keep us in business and growing. The data paints a clear picture that restaurants are following the proper laws and procedures, and we look forward to a bright future in the Commonwealth for this policy.”

The distilled spirits industry is committed to responsibility and encourages moderation for adults who choose to drink alcohol. Cocktails to-go are intended for home consumption. Laws governing alcohol consumption must always be observed.


States that signed legislation to make cocktails to-go permanent into law:

Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia have all made COVID-era cocktails to-go measures permanent.

States that signed legislation to allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis into law:

California (expires December 31, 2026), Colorado (expires July 1, 2025), Illinois (expires August 1, 2028), Massachusetts (expires April 1, 2024), Michigan (expires January 1, 2026), New Jersey (TBD), New York (expires April 9, 2025), Vermont (expires July 1, 2025) and Virginia (expires July 1, 2024) passed legislation to allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis.


The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States is the leading voice and advocate for distilled spirits in the U.S.