Remember that whole kerfuffle with the state alcohol control board over house-infused liquor, related to an archaic law from Prohibition times, which ended up with some dramatic moments at Rickhouse and the whole local bartending community running scared with their artisanal shrubs and bitters? Well, as promised, State Senator Mark Leno is introducing a bill today that would exempt all small-batch infusions made by bars and intended to be served in-house, putting to an official end what had already seemed over a few months ago anyway.
Leno says he put it “in the context of the fiscal crisis,” and adds, “This is exactly the wrong time for government to be interfering with the entrepreneurial spirit and opportunities for local businesses to attract customers.” The bill won’t be taken up until next month or later, but since Leno’s begun fighting it and pointing out to the ABC that they had no logical basis for enforcing it all of a sudden, crackdowns have pretty much ceased.
When asked whether he’d be running out for some of Zuni’s house-infused citron vodka or Bourbon & Branch’s infused bourbon, Leno admits his tastes run more toward vodka sodas and plain martinis. “Quite honestly, call me old-fashioned, but I like my vodka clear,” he said. “You can’t improve on perfection.”
Mark Leno Bill Puts Fruits, Veggies Back in Booze [Chron]
Earlier: More Details Emerge About the ABC’s Infused Booze Bust [Grub Street]
Mark Leno Comes to the Rescue of Infused Booze [Grub Street]
Bars Running Scared as Alcohol Board Cracks Down on Infused Booze [Grub Street]