Just in time for warm weather weekends, some Pennsylvania restaurants and bars are now able to offer cocktails-to-go.
The curbside sale of cocktails was made possible when Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law House Bill 327 on May 21. The law took effect immediately and allows restaurants, bars and hotels with a liquor license to temporarily sell cocktails to go.
“This new temporary rule creates more business for bars and restaurants when they need it, helps to meet customer demand and supports social distancing,” Wolf said.
There are a variety of stipulations to the bill, which the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association breaks down in an infographic.
Businesses with liquor licenses must have lost more than 25 percent of their average monthly sales in order to be eligible to sell cocktails to go. Due to the government-mandated coronavirus pandemic shutdown that shuttered restaurant dining rooms for months, many have lost much more than that.
Businesses must also have prepared food available in order to offer to-go cocktail sales, although a customer does not need to purchase food to buy a cocktail.
Cocktails must be sold in a sealed container of between four and 64 ounces, and all sales must be made before 11 p.m.
To-go sales of cocktails will no longer be allowed when the COVID-19 disaster emergency ends, or when licensed businesses can operate at 60 percent of their regular capacity.
Many local eateries were quick to take advantage of their newfound ability to sell cocktails-to-go.
Melt and Torre, two popular restaurants in the Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley, announced cocktails-to-go the day the new bill was signed. Their cocktails will be served in 16 oz. sealed containers.
Bar Louie, also in the Promenade Shops, announced it would begin selling single-serve cocktails May 25. Their full cocktail menu includes 10 signature martinis, a variety of margaritas, spiked sangrias and more.
Steel Club in Hellertown began offering to-go sales of cocktails May 22 according to a Facebook announcement. The restaurant is offering more than a dozen different drinks, which include a variety of mules, frozen drinks and bartender specials.
Visit their to-go cocktail menu to browse their full selection of drinks.
Braveheart, which is also in Hellertown, joined Steel Club in announcing cocktail-to-go sales May 22. The pub announced that its full menu, now including cocktails, is available for takeout from 12 to 8 p.m. daily. Their nearly 20 cocktail offerings include an apple martini, raspberry cosmo and an alcoholic milkshake made with Kahlua and Bailey’s.
The Social Still in Bethlehem joined the cocktail-to-go trend on May 23, when they announced that they will be offering four cocktails for takeout. Their Cucumber Lemondrop is made with cucumber-infused vodka, and they are also offering their Jalapeno Heist made with jalapeno-infused vodka on Taco Tuesdays.
Durham Springs in Kintnersville also began offering cocktails-to-go last week. Their cocktail menu features eight selections, including their popular Bourbon and Blood, a delicious bourbon and blood orange liqueur drink.
Since cocktails-to-go are considered open containers of alcohol and technically illegal under Pennsylvania law, takeaway drinkers should note that the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has advised consumers that the drinks should be transported in the trunks of vehicles “or in some other area that is not occupied by the driver or passengers.”
For those who still prefer to prepare their own drinks at home, local craft cocktail mixer company ROOT is currently offering free shipping and local delivery on their products.