Leave the bloody marys alone!
Adding strips of bacon to bottles of vodka lead to a three-day, tax-payer-funded stay in county lock-up and a few criminal charges for one Oklahoma bartender.
According to The Pump Bar’s owner, the state’s laws on alcohol infusions are opaque at best.
The Pump Bar has been infusing vodka with bacon, garlic, and jalepenos to serve in their brunch bloody marys.
Local news reported:
Back in February, the ABLE Commission was called out to investigate a noise complaint. While it didn’t find any noise problems, there was something else suspicious.
“They found bottles of alcohol were being emptied, contents put in the liquor and put back into the bottle,” said M.Sgt. Gary Knight with the Oklahoma City Police Department.
The police report shows a list of things – garlic, pickles, beef and even bacon, being infused into vodka.
“Obviously this is a violation of law,” he said. “You cannot pour alcohol out and pour anything back into the bottle then serve it.”
Initially, the bar and on-duty manager Colin Grizzle, were warned. But, Knight says the VICE unit was called back in April and again found infused liquors.
“You simply cannot do that,” he said. “Regardless of what you’re putting in it, even if it’s just water.”
Grizzle was hauled off to jail. The Pump’s owner, Ian McDermid, tells FOX 25 his employee spent three days behind bars.
“There was no second thought to go to bat for our man after he was arrested on the job for criminal charges,” McDermid told us over email. “We believe there was no violation.”
Yet another tangle to the state’s case is the various other establishments known for selling infused drinks that have yet to be cited or charged for doing so.
During June’s ABLE Commission meeting, director Keith Burt said he hadn’t received a notice from the Oklahoma City Police Department about the arrest. John Maisch, a former ABLE attorney, presented the declaration to commissioners, who seemed supportive of the infusion process. But they decided to hold off on answering questions, Denwalt writes:
“If the restaurants are doing something unlawful, then they need to be notified that it’s unlawful,” Maisch said. “There are dozens of restaurants throughout the state of Oklahoma that are infusing drinks, so if it’s illegal then someone has neglected to tell them.”
The ABLE Commission could present its ruling at the next meeting on July 15.
McDermid says he’s losing thousands of dollars in bloody mary sales to customers brunching at other locals who’ve not been dinged for serving infused drinks.
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