The rise of the gourmet bartender has drink-makers in California pushing the limits of the law. Not that they're trying to infuse your drinks with marijuana (which would be kind of cool). Rather, they want to push other herbs on your cocktails, but the law says no.
A nearly 100-year-old ban on cocktails that are infused with flavors and ingredients at the bar instead of the distillery has sparked a movement in favor of a law by state Sen. Mark Leno that would overturn the ban.
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It's awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown's approval. San Francisco bartender Josh Harris, who helped to launched an online campaign in favor of the bill:
The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has been using this nearly century old law to harass small businesses. It's hurting these establishments financially and hindering the creative and artistic craft of the cocktail.
Seems like regulators could be doing other things rather than sniffing around your $15 drink to see if its juniper was added by a sneaky guy in a vest.
Read Jonathan Gold's cover story about L.A.'s own cocktail movement here.