State won't stop bars from infusing alcohol

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- After warning bars and restaurants not to infuse alcohol for specialty drinks, the head of the state alcohol commission said the agency is suspending its plan to begin issuing penalties to establishments serving infused drinks.

The Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission sent letters to businesses saying that cocktails made by infusing or blending alcohol with other flavors, like fruit or herbs, are prohibited under a rarely enforced 2006 law.

But restaurant owners started complaining, and TABC director Keith Bell said Monday that officials would indefinitely suspend enforcement of the regulation while they develop guidelines and definitions for the use of infused alcohol.

Bell said the process of manufacturing infused alcoholic beverages not for immediate consumption is still a violation of the state law.

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