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Cocktails to-go are here to stay through 2026

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Posted at 11:26 AM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 14:26:23-05

A bill signed by governor Gavin Newsom is set to go into effect in January 2022 that will keep “cocktails to-go” legal.

"It saved our business," said Aaron Bergh, Calwise Spirits Company Owner.

"We weren't able to serve food we weren't able to serve cocktails anymore, we weren't able to run our business in the way that we did before," said Bergh.

Before the pandemic Calwise had a full bar and restaurant where they made custom cocktails for people to enjoy in house.

"When the pandemic hit we weren't able to do that anymore so we switched to doing bottled cocktails," said Bergh.

The ability allowed customers to take the drinks to-go helping save the business.

"We use our same, famous Calwise cocktail recipes, but we bashed them together and now we put them in sealed bottles for people to take to go," said Bergh.

This new way of enjoying specialty cocktails during the pandemic will continue even after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, thanks to a bill signed in California that allows restaurants to continue selling to-go cocktails through 2026.

"People love it! Especially When we first came out with it it was just such a novel new thing that we'd never been able to do before and people thought cocktails to go, that' so cool I'm so glad I can do this now," said Bergh.

CHP officers say this new law could have both positive and negative impacts

"Hopefully there is no impact as far as DUI as a result of these to-go cocktails," said Mike Poelking, San Luis Obispo Area California Highway Patrol Public Information Officer.

Poelking says as long as the cocktails aren't opened and consumed in the car, this new law could potentially have a positive impact on impaired driving by keeping people at home once they've started drinking.

"You know if somebody opts to take a to go cocktail, enjoy their meal at the restaurant and then take their cocktail home, then they could enjoy that while being at home without having to consider driving," said Poelking.