Margaritas, for many, are perfect to pair with Mexican food. So considering the fact that 4 billion tacos are eaten every year, many Mexican restaurants serve margaritas of all flavors to pair with their spicy creations. That is until the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board stepped in.
Back in June, the ABC banned the selling of margaritas by the pitcher in restaurants all over Alabama. And the ban wasn’t put in place to prevent drunk driving, or because of the fact that every two minutes, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash. Rather it was based on an old rule that makes it illegal for bartenders to “adulterate” beverages. What this means is that since the margarita manufacturers have created standards for how much liquor comes in one serving, the ABC believes that serving them in a pitcher can rip off consumers as they may be getting different quantities of alcohol in each glass.
So, they banned the selling of margarita pitchers and only allowed these drinks to be sold in single serve quantities, with beer being the only alcoholic beverage allowed to be served in a pitcher. This is because the alcohol content in beer does not fluctuate or sink to the bottom of the pitcher when sitting on a counter, according to Al.com. To enforce this rule, the ABC would send inspectors to bars across the state to make periodic margarita check-ups.
But now, the ban is lifted.
The spokesman for the ABC, Dean Argo, explained in a statement that they decided to lift this ban after speaking with members of the Alabama Beverages Licenses Association. According to the BLA, margaritas are customarily sold in pitchers, and it doesn’t matter about the alcohol content. They also believe that the ABC is having some training problems, as bars across the state were getting fined for serving sangria in pitchers even though sangria was not a part of the new rule.
Argo believes that lifting this ban will give small businesses “the flexibility they need to meet the needs of their customers while maintaining the integrity of the original rule.”
The decision to lift the ban comes the day after Al.com posted a column publicly bashing the rule. Many people believe the ban was lifted as a way to deflect criticism, but Argo is adamant that is not the case.
So rejoice Alabamians. The margarita pitcher is back.