What’s the big deal about it being legal to infuse cocktails with flavors in California?
A lot, especially for bars and crafters wanting to get creative and old timey. A few months ago, we visited the intriguing and experimental Test Kitchen LA restaurant and bar in West Los Angeles. LA Confidential-style, the vice had raided the bar only days earlier to seize their house-made fruit-infused liqueurs that were–gasp!–illegal. Literally had busted in during dinner hour to take the jars.
Only months earlier, I’d enjoyed some fabulous Cherry Bounce elixirs at The Old Fashioned in Madison, Wisconsin, made with fresh Wisconsin cherries steeped 6 month in vodka, brandy and bourbon. I did not die after consuming.
Sfoodie pointed out that the ban dated back to “a Prohibition-era law banned bars from creating infusions, allowing the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to ticket barkeeps for serving sangria, limoncello, and fruit-flavored tequilas — basically any drink where a bar has altered the alcohol content with its own fruit, vegetables, herbs, or spices.”
Cheers to Governor Jerry Brown, Senator Mark Leno, and the groups the LA Times says advocated the law: “the Golden Gate Restaurant Assn., the California Chamber of Commerce, the Family Wine Makers of California and the California Restaurant Assn.”
It’s a good time to throw out the antiquated laws such as those preventing home / cottage food businesses and support our state and livelihoods however we can…especially with so much great fruit waiting to be turned into amazing drinks and foods!