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California's Cocktailers Pressure Gov. Brown to Lift Ban on Infused Booze

Photo by PozitivStudija via Shutterstock
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Hundreds of Californians are getting into the spirit of the judicial process, and are working to get a bill signed into law that would overturn an almost-100-year-old ban on serving cocktails made with infused alcohol in the state.

Currently, it is illegal for a bar to serve you a drink that has been made with spirits infused with other flavors (with herbs, fruits, or veggies, for example) when the infusion did not happen at the distillery prior to the bottling process.

Bay Area State Senator Mark Leno introduced SB 32 last year, which creates an exemption for bars and restaurants who act as "rectifiers" of alcohol and sell the drinks at their establishment. The bill passed the Senate and Assembly, and now a campaign has mounted to pressure Governor Jerry Brown to sign the bill into law.

Josh Harris and Scott Biard, San Francisco-based bartenders and board members of San Francisco Cocktail Week, have created a petition to gather supporter signatures for SB 32.

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"The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has been using this nearly century old law to harass small businesses,"said Harris. "It's hurting these establishments financially and hindering the creative and artistic craft of the cocktail."

Over 500 people have signed the petition so far. It's a change we can definitely drink to!