Infused Drinks Legal on July 1

This year, the standing appropriations bill (House File 2465) contained a provision legalizing the mixing, storing, and dispensing of mixed drinks, cocktails and alcohol infusions that are not for immediate consumption. Examples of these premixed drinks might include sangria or fruit-infused vodkas. Serving these drinks will become legal on July 1, 2012 for on-premises liquor licensees.

The code stipulates that the premixed drinks must be in compliance with the rules adopted by the Alcoholic Beverages Division. ABD filed emergency rules which will be effective July 1, 2012. There will however be time for citizen feedback at a public comment meeting scheduled for Thursday, August 2, 2012, at 10 a.m. at the ABD headquarters in Ankeny.

Under the new rules, a liquor licensee must only use alcohol in the premixed drink which are authorized by the license and obtained through the three-tier system, must comply with all state and federal food safety regulations, and must comply with all federal alcohol regulations. Substances that cannot be included in these premixed drinks include: hallucinogenic substances, added caffeine or stimulants, or controlled substances. The premixed drink batches must be used within 72 hours of mixing and must have been mixed, stored, and then be consumed on the licensed premises. Additionally, the premixed drink must be in a labeled container that is compliant with state and federal food safety statutes. The premixed drink batch cannot be more than three gallons, nor can it be removed from the licensed premises. The rules also contain very stringent and specific labeling and record-keeping provisions. The rules state that any failure to comply will result in a fine, license suspension, and/or license revocation.