The Massachusetts Legislature approved a measure last night allowing restaurants to sell cocktails to-go with the purchase of food until February 2021 or until the state of emergency is lifted, whichever is later.
“Cocktails to-go are a vital economic lifeline for hospitality businesses struggling to cope with the harsh economic impacts of COVID-19,” said Jay Hibbard, Distilled Spirits Council Vice President of State Government Relations. “By allowing cocktails to-go, local restaurants will have a fighting chance to survive, and consumers will have increased convenience. We are grateful both the House and Senate passed this legislation and urge the governor to sign it as soon as possible so that Massachusetts businesses can get the support they need.”
House Bill 4856 permits certain beverage alcohol licensees to sell mixed drinks with a food purchase during the declared state of emergency or until February 28, 2021, whichever is later. Under the legislation, mixed drinks must be in sealed containers and placed in the trunk or non-passenger compartments of the vehicle. The Distilled Spirits Council provided testimony in support of cocktails to-go in Massachusetts.
Currently, more than 30 states plus the District of Columbia are allowing restaurants and/or bars to sell cocktails to-go, bottled spirits to-go or both. Iowa became the first state to make the cocktails to-go measure permanent on June 29. Other states, including Texas, Florida, Ohio, Oklahoma, and the District of Columbia, are also considering making their policies permanent.
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.