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Gov. Mills approves bar, restaurants to sell 'cocktails to go'

A clarification to the "beverage" definition made in a previous Order was revisited Monday to include bars and restaurants to sell spirits-based cocktails

MAINE, USA — The State Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages initially ruled that Gov, Mills' order to close bar and restaurant dining rooms allowed for those facilities to sell beer and wine to adults. 

A clarification Monday says the definition of beverage now includes spirits-based cocktails to go.

The sale of beverages by bars and restaurants must be accompanied by a food order. The food requirement is based upon the type of liquor license issued by the Bureau.

There are several guidelines, including the requirement that cocktails are accompanied by a food order, and a container of cocktails cannot exceed four and a half ounces of spirits.

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The full list of guidelines that must be followed are: 

1. Cocktails must be accompanied by a food order and a sales receipt with a timestamp that indicates the time of purchase; 

2. Cocktails must be batched for immediate use or created individually as needed to fill a customer order; 

3. A container of cocktails must not exceed 4½ ounces of spirits; 

4. Cocktails must be in a tamper-evident container provided by the licensees using one of the following processes, for example: 

  • Crown capped glass bottles; 
  • Screw tops like a water bottle cap that breaks apart when opened; or 
  • Vacuum and heat-sealed pouches. 

5. The container must have a label affixed that contains the following: 

  • Name of establishment with date and time of production; and 
  • The contents of cocktail including the proof the spirits used to create. 

6. Licensees must only create “cocktails to go” for their own establishment. 

7. Licensee opting to add cocktails to go must send an email to MaineLiquor@Maine.gov and to the licensee’s assigned liquor licensing inspector (see below for contact info) to provide notification that the licensee is conducting “cocktails to go” activities. The email must contain the following information: 

  • The name and license number of the participating licensee;
  • Name, telephone and email address of a person requesting permission; and 
  • The type of tamper-proof container that the licensee will be using to create “cocktails to go”

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