California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law this week overturning a Prohibition-era ban blocking bars from serving alcoholic drinks infused with fruits or other substances. Under the old law bartenders could be fined for serving fruit-infused drinks like sangria, as well as alcohol infused with spices, herbs or vegetables.
The new law was authored by state Senator Mark Leno, after he received complaints from bar owners, according to NBC Los Angeles:
“In San Francisco and other cities where tourism is critical to the local economy, restaurant owners have been asked to stop serving infused cocktails in the name of an outdated law written decades ago. This Prohibition-era statute did nothing more than punish California restaurants and small businesses that are using culinary innovations to survive in this difficult economy,” Leno said.
He wrote the bill after hearing from bar owners who were threatened by state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control workers who said that as far as the law was concerned, their alcoholic infusions amounted to illegal moonshine, Leno said.
The new law included an “urgency” clause, allowing it to go into effect the day the governor signed it, so drinkers could get their fix of infused booze that night, reported NBC LA.