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Proposed Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission Rules for Infused Cocktails
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Proposed Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission Rules for Infused Cocktails

11.06.13
Infused alcoholic beverages have been the talk of town among many restaurant and bar owners in Tennessee. The Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission's enforcement actions over the past few months have lead to uncertainty regarding what is permissible and what is illegal about infused alcoholic beverages.

Brings to mind the 2011 single from Sunny Sweeney, Drink Myself Single:

I'm gonna dress up, in my low-cut
My tight blue jeans, I'm gonna stir somethin' up
I'm gonna kiss all the boys 'til I kiss your memory goodbye
Yeah, I'm a gonna drink myself, single tonight
 

The TABC has issued a preliminary draft of rules about infusions. We see many potential problems with the proposed rules and encourage license-holders to send comments to Keith Bell, ABC Director, at Keith.Bell@tn.gov.

Here are the proposed rules as shared with us this summer:

Infused Alcoholic Beverages Not For Immediate Consumption

The rules define "immediate consumption" to mean the mixing and fulfilling of a mixed drink or cocktail order only after receiving the order. Licensees who intend to serve infused drinks should become familiar with the following rules to ensure compliance with Tennessee regulations.

A liquor licensee must:

• Utilize tax-paid alcoholic beverages in the infused drink which are authorized by the license and obtained through the three-tier system,

• Comply with all applicable state and federal food safety regulations, and

• Comply with all federal alcohol regulations.

A liquor licensee cannot:

• Add hallucinogenic substances, added caffeine or stimulants, or controlled substances to a premixed drink.

An infused alcoholic beverage batch must be:

• Disposed of within 72 96 hours of the completion of the infusion process,

• Infused, stored, and consumed on the licensed premises, and

• In a labeled container that is compliant with state and federal food safety statutes.

An infused alcoholic beverage batch cannot be:

• More than three gallons,

• Removed from the licensed premises,

• Infused, stored, or dispensed from an original package of liquor or wine, or a container bearing an alcoholic beverage name brand, and

• Added to a relabeled empty container or another infused alcoholic beverage batch if expired.

Label requirements

A label is required to be on each container that holds an infused alcoholic beverage batch. The label must adhere to the container, in a noticeable place, until the entire contents are dispensed or destroyed.

The label must legibly identify:

• The date and time of infusion of the alcoholic beverages with nonalcoholic ingredients in the container,

• The date and time the contents expire,

• The title of the recipe used for the contents,

• The size of batch, and

• The person who prepared the contents.

Each label must be marked clearly with the words "CONTAINS ALCOHOL."

Record keeping requirements

Records must be maintained for three years on each prepared batch of premixed drinks.

The records must identify:

• The date and time of infusion of the alcoholic beverages with nonalcoholic ingredients in the container,

• Each alcoholic beverage, including the brand and amount used in the batch,

• Each nonalcoholic ingredient used in the batch,

• The recipe title and directions,

• The size of batch,

• The person who prepared the contents,

• The date and time the contents were destroyed or entirely consumed,

• If not consumed, the method of destruction, and

• The person who destroyed the contents.

Dispensing machines

A dispensing machine that contains a premixed drink is required to follow the labeling, record keeping, and disposal requirements. Licensees who use a dispensing machine that contains a non-alcoholic premix, and add alcoholic beverages after receiving and dispensing a customer order for the beverage, are not required to label the container or maintain records.

Violations

• A failure to comply with the above rules will result in a fine, license suspension, and/or license revocation.

 

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