The Government of New York state in the US has passed a new bill that allows bars and restaurants in the region to sell ‘to-go’ drinks for off-premises consumption, under appropriate limitations.

As part of the Fiscal Year 2023 State Budget, the new bill was passed by the New York State Senate and Assembly, making the sale and delivery of to-go cocktails legal for three years.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul explained that to-go drinks were a critical revenue stream for bars and restaurants in the state during the Covid-19 pandemic, helping many small businesses to pay their rent or mortgages. 

Hochul said: “New York’s nightlife and hospitality industry is second to none, and by allowing the sale of to-go drinks we will continue to support the industry’s recovery from the pandemic.

“Cheers to both Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Heastie for their help in making this change, which will drive business for the hospitality industry and be a lifeline, helping them come back stronger than before.” 

Under the new bill, restaurants and other retail licence holders will be able to sell alcoholic beverages to-go as long as they are in sealed containers and with food orders.

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Sales of to-go cocktails should also only be carried out during a restaurant’s normal hours of operation.

The licensee, or the agent or employee of the licensee making the delivery, must ensure that the consumer has a valid ID to verify their identity and age at the time of delivery.     

Additionally, the budget creates a temporary state commission to study reforms to modernise the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law in New York State.

The new bill will soon be sent to Governor Hochul for signing.