For the rest of the stay-home order, you’ll be able to get pre-mixed cocktails from your favorite bar or restaurant—when you order a meal.
The Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board has made it legal to order a cocktail, so long as it’s purchased alongside a “bona fide complete meal”, which they say must be an entree-sized dish. Cocktails must be sealed in to-go cups or bottles, and must be transported in the trunk of a vehicle (or beyond the reach of the driver) to ensure they are not consumed en-route.
Deliveries or pick-ups must be made by a person who is 21 or over. Restaurants and bars must also post a notice that states the requirements for transport.
Previously, liquor, beer, and wine were permitted for delivery and to-go orders, but not pre-mixed drinks. Many restaurants offered cocktail kits as an alternative, but that required customers to purchase an entire bottle of liquor in its original packaging.
As The Stranger reports, the new allowance is expected to help boost restaurant sales considerably. In a letter to the LCB in April, the Washington Hospitality Association said that for many liquor license holders, cocktails are the only margin that generates an actual profit.
“Cocktails provide a valuable revenue source in the form of high profit repeated in small transactions allowing bars and restaurants to capitalize on the sale of spirits. Selling liquor by the bottle in a channel-pricing state means restaurants and bars cannot compete with grocery store pricing,” the association writes.
The allowance will last through the stay-home order, which is supposed to end June 4.
File photo from Seattle Cocktail Week in 2019