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Washington bars allowed to sell cocktail kits, instead of drinks to-go

During the stay-at-home order, some Washington state bars are now selling cocktail kits with all the ingredients to make your favorite drinks at home. [Photo by tanialee gonzalez/Unsplash]

Bars have struggled to maintain revenue as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, and have complained that liquor regulations were not relaxed enough when the stay-at-home order was put in place.

Two changes sought to address that: First, allowing bars and restaurants to sell liquor for takeout as long as it’s part of a food order. And second, now being able to sell cocktail kits, which contain the ingredients so customers can make their own drinks at home.

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“At first, the only thing you could do is sell an unopened bottle of something, … bar owners complained and said, ‘Listen, other states are allowing people like us to sell cocktails that we would mix it for them, put it in a pouch, and then just buy the pouch and pour it into a glass at home,” said KIRO Radio’s Tom Tangney.

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“Jay Inslee and his administration decided, ‘No, we won’t let you do that, but we will allow you to sell cocktail kits,’ which is basically where you give somebody all the ingredients, and they have to mix it.”

According to the Seattle Times, the kits can contain items like bottles of gin or whiskey, with limes, simple syrup, and various other cocktail ingredients. In New York, Texas, and California, bars have been allowed to sell cocktails to-go, a move that has helped them weather the economic storm, and which Washington bar owners are pushing for the state to allow.

“Have you ever had cocktails in a bag, Tom?” asked co-host John Curley.

“No, I haven’t,” Tangney replied.

If you’re a Washington bar or restaurant still open for business, submit your info to us here.

Listen to the Tom and Curley Show weekdays from 3 – 7 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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