houston cocktails to go

Ever wondered when the day would come when we’d be able to get mixed drinks to go? Well, that day has come thanks to Texas Governor Greg Abbott. 

Restaurants and bars in Texas finally got some positive news recently. They’ll be able to sell already-mixed drinks to go starting immediately rather than just the takeout cocktail kits they had been allowed to sell up to this point. This welcomed change will greatly contribute in providing some needed revenue to the suffering industry. 

The Texas Restaurant Association and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission made an announcement last week stating that Gov. Greg Abbott has extended the alcohol-to-go waiver. This will allow for cocktails along with food take-out and delivery orders. 

This new announcement comes just one day after Gov. Greg Abbott declared significant setbacks for Texas restaurants and bars. This is referring to the capacity limit returning to 50 percent beginning on June 29. A decrease from the 75 percent that was in effect since June 12.  

In an effort to stop the surge of COVID-19 cases in Texas, Abbott also shut down all bars about a week ago.  

According to Abbott’s waiver, restaurants and bars with a mixed beverage permit will now be allowed to sell mixed drinks to go. Selling mixed drinks to go prior to this was prohibited. Only kits to make cocktails that came in the original packaging of the manufacturer could sold.   

“It’s a huge win. It’s a great day for restaurants,” said Emily Williams Knight, president and CEO of the restaurant association that lobbied for the expanded waiver. “As dining rooms slow and decrease capacity, this brings in revenue which is what restaurants need more than anything right now. This isn’t going to save the rest industry but it’s certainly giving us a lifeline.” 

The TABC also commented on Abbott’s waiver calling it a win, “Operating during this pandemic has proved an incredible challenge for all segments of the alcoholic beverage industry,” said Bentley Nettles, TABC executive director. “Opening up the ability for these businesses to sell mixed drinks to go will help ease the burden for many of these struggling businesses.” 

Under the guidelines of the new order, restaurants must mix the drinks on-site and seal the mixed drink with an adhesive label stating, “alcoholic beverage.” Then the sealed drink must be placed in a sealed bag with a zip tie.  

Some other things to take note of are that mixed drinks cannot be placed in the passenger area of a vehicle and alcohol must be ordered with food.