Thirty states have taken legislative action to allow to-go cocktails either on a permanent or temporary basis providing a lifeline for hospitality businesses that continue to face repercussions from the harsh economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During COVID-19, more than 35 states began allowing restaurants and/or bars to sell cocktails to-go as an economic relief measure via executive orders or other temporary measures. Since then, 16 states and the District of Columbia passed legislation to make cocktails to-go permanent, and 14 other states passed legislation to allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis. Some states are still considering cocktails to-go legislation, according to a news release from the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS).
Three states, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and New York, that allowed cocktails to-go during the pandemic have let those measures expire.
States that passed legislation to make cocktails to-go permanent:
Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia have all made COVID-era cocktails to-go measures permanent.
States that passed legislation to allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis:
Colorado (expires July 1, 2025), Connecticut (expires June 4, 2024), Delaware (expires March 31, 2022), Illinois (expires Jan. 3, 2024), Maine (expires Sept. 10, 2022), Maryland (local option – expires June 30, 2023), Massachusetts (expires May 1, 2022), Michigan (expires December 31, 2025), Jersey (expires January 1, 2022), Rhode Island (expires March 1, 2022), Tennessee (expires July 1, 2023), Vermont (expires July 1, 2023), Virginia (expires July 1, 2022) and Washington (expires July 1, 2023) passed legislation to allow cocktails to-go on a temporary basis.
The distilled spirits industry is committed to responsibility and encourages moderation for adults who choose to drink alcohol. Cocktails to-go are intended for home consumption. Laws governing alcohol consumption must always be observed.