Senate Votes to Permit “Mixed Drinks to Go” Permanently, Enact Other Steps to Help Hospitality Sector Employers

HARRISBURG – The state Senate voted this week to permanently allow “mixed drinks to go” from restaurants and hotels, extend sales for outdoor dining and expand the number of locations where ready-to-drink mixed drinks can be sold, according to Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23).      

House Bill 1154 makes permanent the sale of mixed drinks to-go by restaurant or hotel licensees for off-premise consumption. Originally, mixed drinks to-go was a temporary measure allowed during the COVID-19 disaster declaration. A licensee that chooses to sell mixed drinks to-go must display a sign that the product is to be transported in an area of the vehicle that is not readily accessible to the driver, and each drink must be affixed with a label designating that it contains alcohol.

HB 1154 also provides additional temporary COVID provisions to extend licensed premises to allow outdoor dining, off-premise catering permits without restrictions, the waiving of fees, and an additional year of safekeeping of liquor licenses by licensees that are not able to operate. HB 1154 allows a holder of a liquor license to sell their stock of liquor and wine to another license holder when they close their business.

Additionally, HB 1154 was amended to allow for a different type of product called Ready-to-Drink cocktails, or RTDs, to be sold by liquor licensees, including restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, and beer distributors, for off-premise consumption. 

The total maximum alcohol by volume content (ABV) allowed for sale under the legislation is 12.5%, comparable to many beer products available for sale to consumers. Container size would also be limited to 16 ounces with a maximum total sale for off-premise consumption of 192 fluid ounces, with the exception of sales by beer distributors.