Illinois votes to allow sale of cocktails to go

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If you live in Illinois and really want a margarita, here’s some good news.

In an effort to help restaurants and bars stay in business until the COVID-19 lockdowns are fully lifted, Illinois recently voted to allow the sale of cocktails to go. Businesses were already allowed to deliver beer and wine, but mixed drinks were not allowed.

Governor Pritzker said that he would sign a bill allowing the sale of cocktails-to-go after state officials voted to allow it.
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The Illinois House and Senate voted in favor of the new law on Saturday, Eater Chicago reports. While the bill still needs to make its way to Governor Pritzker’s desk, he publicly stated that he will sign it into law.

Before this, restaurants and bars had been selling drinks with the ingredients still separated, Fox 2 reports. Now, bartenders will be able to mix the drinks and sell them as a finished product. The bill does require that mixed drinks be sold in a tamper-proof container, however.

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Eater Chicago reports that some of the city’s bars have already been selling cocktails in to-go cups, but it was technically not allowed and these businesses were risking fines if caught. The state only allowed the sale of packaged goods and home cocktail kits, as long as the drinks were still in their original container.

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Mixed drinks and cocktails typically have higher profit margins and are an important part of most bars and restaurants’ success.

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According to reports, the new law will only last a year, as it is only designed to help businesses struggling during the lockdowns and periods of social distancing.