Cocktails-to-go are in the mix for restaurants, pubs

PUBS and licensed restaurants are now allowed to provide piña coladas with pizzas and mojitos with main courses for takeout or delivery.

As of Thursday, July 8, B.C. has allowed food- and liquor-primary licensees package and sell single-serving, pre-mixed drinks for takeout with the purchase of a meal. The move builds on a change that permanently authorized these licensees to sell and deliver packaged liquor products alongside the purchase of a meal for off-site consumption.

“We’re continuing to open up new revenue-stream opportunities to help our hospitality sector rebuild in the wake of the pandemic,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “At the same time, appropriate safeguards will be in place to protect public safety and prevent minors’ access to liquor.”

The change, which responds to industry feedback from the Business Technical Advisory Panel, will provide an extra revenue stream for the licensees and give consumers more options. Ontario and Alberta have permitted cocktails-to-go since December 2020 and have not noted any public safety issues.

“It will be great to be able to offer our patrons the option of a single drink containing their favourite spirit when they don’t feel like buying a whole bottle,” said Kelly Gordon, partner, Romer’s Burgers. “This is another sensible shot in the arm for us as we continue to see sustained interest in delivery and takeout, even as more people are becoming comfortable with dining in once again.”

The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch will consult further with industry toward advising government on whether to expand the authorization to include single servings of beverages that are not mixed, such as neat spirits, wine, draught beer and other beverages available on tap.

Quick Facts

* Pre-mixed single servings for takeout will need to be packaged in a way that can be transported lawfully. A label must state the type and amount of alcohol the drink contains and list all other ingredients.

* Only adults who have completed Serving It Right training will be allowed to deliver cocktails with food. The recipient will need to be prepared to present two pieces of identification proving they are of legal drinking age.

* B.C.’s approximately 2,000 liquor-primary and 6,000 food-primary licensees already have the ability to sell packaged liquor in its original packaging with food for off-site consumption.