The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) sent a letter yesterday to Governor Ned Lamont requesting clarification on whether cocktails to-go are included in Executive Order 7G, which permits restaurant licensees to sell distilled spirits, beer and wine to-go in sealed containers.
In the letter, the Council asked Governor Lamont to issue a guidance making it clear that cocktails to-go by restaurant and bars is permitted, noting that there may be some confusion by the hospitality industry and the Department of Consumer Protection about what is allowed under the executive order.
“While the provision for a partial reopening of restaurants for outdoor dining will be the first step toward recovery of Connecticut’s hard-hit hospitality industry, the road back to economic stability will be long and difficult for many months to come,” said Chris Swonger, president and CEO of DISCUS. “The opportunity for restaurants to sell beer, wine and distilled spirits, along with cocktails to-go/mixed drinks for carry-out would be another valuable economic lifeline for those businesses.”
Across the country, states are permitting cocktails to-go and other innovative measures to support struggling local restaurants and bars. Currently, 32 states plus the District of Columbia are allowing restaurants and/or bars to sell cocktails to-go, bottled spirits to-go or both. Eighteen states plus the District of Columbia are allowing restaurants and/or bars to deliver distilled spirits in some form. In addition, 12 states plus the District of Columbia are now permitting curbside pickup of distilled spirits from restaurants and/or bars.
Some states, including Texas, Florida, Oklahoma and New Jersey, are considering extending these policies past COVID-19.
“We urge Governor Lamont to issue guidance as soon as possible to include cocktails to-go and provide these businesses with the certainty and assistance they need to recover from this pandemic,” said Swonger.