Applebees Serves Toddler Margarita In A Sippy Cup

Applebees in the San Francisco Bay area, until last Monday, kept the pre-made margaritas in a jug that was identical to the one where they kept the apple juice. No more. Why? Because they served a margarita to a toddler, complete with sippy cup,

“I wasn’t going to make a big deal about it,” the mother told the Contra Costa Times on Thursday, “but then he got sick.”

The 2 year-old’s Mom first realized that something was wrong when the toddler started making faces and pushing away his drink. She opened the lid of his sippy cup and was hit by the smell of taquila. The toddler grew drowsy and began vomiting a few hours later. Applebee’s has agreed to pay for the child’s medical bills, and offered free meals, but the Mom says, “If they think I’m going back there, they’re ridiculous.”

Free Applebee’s food is Applebee’s solution to everything, isn’t it? It’s almost cute. As to whether it was intentional, the article fails to mention whether they salted the rim of the sippy cup…—MEGHANN MARCO

Toddler served margarita in a sippy cup [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]
(Photo:Mrs. Flinger)


Edit Your Comment

  1. jeffj-nj says:

    “…the article fails to mention whether they salted the rim of the sippy cup…”


    (I lol’d)

  2. acambras says:

    How does the person filling the sippy cup NOT NOTICE that it’s a margarita and not apple juice??? They don’t look alike or smell alike.

    BTW, Meghann, I think the world of you, but the word is spelled “tequila.” I did like the bit about salting the sippy cup. :-)

  3. Falconfire says:

    Free food is the solution to EVERY restaurants complaint. Mac Shack (Macaroni Grill a Brinker resturant along with Chiles, On the Boarder and a bunch of others) gives out probably half a mil in free food vouchers to unsatisfied customers and its a racket. Why?

    If your that pissed off about the place you ate at, your never going back again. Whats it cost for the company when you give a voucher they are never going to redeem? There are plenty of schmucks like you to fill the seat.

    If your not that pissed off, your going to redeem your free appetizer along with spending money of a meal, and maybe even alcohol (which they are begging you to, since they make the most profit off of booze) So at the cost of maybe 6-7 bucks your going to be giving them 30-40 dollars, possibly even more.

  4. missdona says:

    Is it me or do Sippy Cups seem to need their own tags around here?

  5. slapstick says:

    I prefer to order off the childrens’ booze list. Sure, it’s a little limited, but the portions are better for what you get.

  6. Hawk07 says:


  7. Ray Wert Jr says:

    I foresee a law suit, in the future about 18 years from now. The child is a raging alcoholic, it’s Applebee’s fault.

  8. palegreenstars says:

    When I was young, my mother found a dead fly in my milk at a chain steakhouse. Their solution? “We’ll gladly replace the milk for you at no charge!”

  9. enm4r says:

    I can potentially see how this came about. I can remember at the restaurant I worked for years ago that someone had spilled something in the back room. So, in true genius fashion, used a water pitcher to mix some water and bleach to clean it up. After they were done, they set the bleach water on the counter, which happened to be near the actual water pitchers, while they went to put the rags away. Another waitress came back in a rush to get a customer some more water, and as should be no surprise from the story, grabbed the bleach water. Of course the customer drank the water, and the rest is history.

    The point of the story is, no matter how unlikely something is to occur, don’t keep things in similar containers next to each other, eventually they will be mixed up.

  10. ctate says:

    “The apple juice and margarita mix were stored in identical plastic bottles, and the manager mistakenly grabbed the margarita container to pour the boy’s drink”…

    Key word being MANAGER… When I was a bartender the managers loved to hang out behind the bar and act like they knew what they were doing. Half the time they screwed up drinks and got in the way. I had to redo many drinks made by managers. Prime example.

  11. iMike says:

    1. Order apple juice, get margarita
    2. ???
    3. Profit

  12. add_robinson says:

    The same thing happened when I worked at a Joe’s Crab Shack in Atlanta. Except the mngt. noticed very quickly and mangaed to go switch 6 kids cups that were full of jungle juice. The parents were never the wiser, one time I was glad to be in the kitchen.

  13. tcp100 says:

    I love taquila. It’s almost as good as vokka and rumm. Does anyone here like wyne and bear?

    Spell check, kids. Tip for the day.

    Seriously, I wouldn’t blame the whole chain for this; this was just the dumbass actions of a dumbass manager that could have happened everywhere. Honestly, though, aren’t margaritas a bit more neon or lime green colored than your standard-issue apple juice? Just thinking he should have noticed…

  14. LTS! says:

    To all those who complain about the offer here… you exemplify the vast majority of people I deal with.

    You can all criticize very well, however you tend to suck at creating solutions.

    So, other than what Applebee’s offered (covered the medical charges and offering free meals)what do you suggest they have done?

  15. ancientsociety says:

    @LTS!: Ummmm, I don’t know maybe, refund her bill for the meal?

  16. acambras says:

    I’m wondering if the mom got so worked up about the situation that the kid took a cue from her and developed symptoms?

    Consider this:
    Ever see a little kid fall down? Smart grown-ups will wait a second or two. Often, the kid will get up, dust himself off, and go about his business, laughing, playing, and having fun. But if the grown-ups around him immediately go into hysterics, the kid’ll probably get hysterical himself.

    Maybe the well-meaning mom was keyed up to the point of being hypervigilant about the kid’s symptoms (OMG, he sure LOOKS drowsy!)

    I’m not a doctor, but I just don’t see how one sip (since he rejected the sippy cup after the first sip) could cause vomiting and drowsiness hours later, even in a 2-year-old.

  17. ancientsociety says:

    @acambras: If it’s a strong margarita, the kid could easily get violently ill.

    Blood-alcohol levels (and their related effects on the body) coincide with height and weight. While you, as an adult, might feel absolutely no effect from a few sips of margarita, a 2-year old (who probably weighs ~20-30 lbs.) is a different story.

  18. strathmeyer says:

    @LTS!: They should have had the foresight to prevent this. We are only satisfied with perfection.

  19. bbbici says:

    Yup, it’s the job of companies to protect losers from themselves.

    If you can’t tell the difference (from 100feet even!) of lime green boozy margarita from clear, straw colored apple juice when filling your rotten kid’s cup, then you probably shouldn’t be driving (that whole green and amber light issue).

    Oh, and why did they order a PITCHER of apple juice for their kid? I assume someone else at the table was partaking in this apple juice. Did none of the other members of this inbred family notice something different about the juice?

  20. Falconfire says:

    @bbbici: Tool, if your going to think your Mr. Smarty Pants and make some rude comments about the metal capacity of the patrons, you need to RTFA.

    They DIDNT order a pitcher, they ordered a sippy cup. The manager probably took their sippy cup to the back to put Apple Juice in it for them, not unheard of many restaurants will fill sippy cups for you instead of giving you a glass you have to dump in yourself.

    So the question you could have posed was why didnt the MANAGER see this, which would easily have been answered by he didnt, knowing managers he probably was paying attention to other things back there while filling it.

  21. Hoss says:

    It’s a girlie drink anyway — I’d puke it

  22. lincolnparadox says:

    @ancientsociety: I dunno if the kid could have gotten that ill from a few sips of margarita. Think about it, unless that kid was dying for a drink, they would have only pulled a few milliliters of margarita from the drink. But, let’s say the kid drank 10-mL (a big gulp). Pre-made margaritas are probably about 20 to 35 proof (let’s just say around 14% alcohol). So, the kid consumed about 1.4-mL of pure alcohol. The figure 30 pounds was thrown out there, so if they drank 1.4-mL of ethanol, their BAP would be 0.049% (using a baby BMI). Not enough for a buzz, but probably enough to turn a kid’s stomach. And that’s assuming the kid took a big swallow of the stuff before they tasted it.

    Maybe I’m wrong? I still think the lady should have called the police. Serving alcohol to a minor is one thing. Serving it to an infant, that’s pretty criminal.

    Personally, after my third margarita, I would probably do better with a sippy cup. But, that’s just me.


  23. acambras says:


    I understand that the kid is much smaller. Still, I am a little skeptical, since the drowsiness and vomiting didn’t happen until a few hours later. And if I read correctly, he rejected the sippy cup after one sip (a toddler sippy-cup sized sip, not a grownup gulp).

    Still, whoever filled the sippy cup with margarita instead of apple juice just was not paying attention.

  24. slapstick says:

    Calling the police on an honest mistake seems like overkill, especially since Applebees is footing the bill and seems to be doing their best to rectify the situation.

    Also, the tag ‘Drunk Babies’ is probably my favorite tag ever.

  25. slapstick says:

    That w

  26. slapstick says:

    That was at

  27. slapstick says:

    That was

  28. slapstick says:


  29. slapstick says:

    Jesus christ.

  30. acambras says:

    Oh, and I imagine that Applebees’ drinks are probably pretty watered-down anyway, just as a cost-cutting measure.

  31. shad0ws says:
  32. Newmy79 says:

    enm4r, your story reminds me of an incident that occurred when I worked at Pizza Hut while in high school. At that time (and perhaps still) the stuffed crust pizza crusts were sprayed with this artificial butter flavoring from a generically designed aerosol can; a can which looked very similar to the aerosol can of noxious oven cleaner used by the chain.

    Well, you guessed it, one day someone left the cleaner in the vicinity of the food prep area and a co-worker who wasn’t paying attention sprayed a crust with oven cleaner. Fortunately, I happened to notice and the pizza was scrapped instead of served.

  33. royal72 says:

    yay it’s time for “comment multiple choice”:
    (a) applebees will soon air commercials citing their “unwavering devotion and dedication to you and your family, to bring you delicious quality meals that the whole family will enjoy”.
    (b) alcohol will now be banned in all public establishments unless they have a minimum age limit of 21.
    (c) applebees countersues on the basis of parental negligence. the final verdict: an out of court settlement is reached.
    (d) who fucking cares, applebees sucks ass anyway.

  34. Naomi says:

    @jeffj-nj: OMG you made my day! Just when I thought nothing could cheer me up more than this story, I read your post! Classic!

  35. Brazell says:

    In other news, if you order a margarite from Applebees, you get a pre-made mix with tequila already in it.

    When I worked in restaurants, usually we had our sour mix pre-mixed, and then we’d add the liquor to it… this is mostly because you’d have to throw it away after a couple days and wouldn’t want to throw away the booze. To pre-mix it is just stupid.

    I can understand why the Juice is near the Rita mix, though… often times at restaurants, juice, milk, and other uncommon ordered items are behind the bar (although I don’t know many alcoholic drinks that use apple juice…)

  36. Triteon says:

    Semantics police: The beverage was reported as both a margarita and as margarita mix. So my question is: Who the hell adds tequila into the margarita mix? Once all the ingredients are present in the same vessel it is no longer a mix.

  37. Triteon says:

    @MichaelBrazell: Exactly!

  38. TWinter says:

    Concerning the vomiting – you really can’t judge this by adult standards or by doing any sort of BMI & alcohol math. Some little kids just have a strong tendency to throw up and will do it at the least little thing. My friends’ kid used to throw up from crying – if he cried hard for more than two or three minutes, he threw up.

  39. Brazell says:

    @slapstick: If I went to a restaurant and ordered juice for my toddler, and they got booze, I’d sue the restaurant. Thankfully the toddler had the where-with-all to push it away … a lot of times those Rita’s are so sweet that somebody tasting it is not turned off from the burning alcohol feeling after… if he drank the whole thing, he could have been killed.

  40. Brazell says:

    @TWinter: That’s also because your friend would punch the kid in the stomach to stop him from crying.

  41. superlayne says:

    It was margarita mix. Depending on the flavor, it could have easily looked more like juice than booze. My mom keeps some in the fridge, and it looks like cool aid.

    It was an accident. Repay the family, throw some money at them, and apologize until your eyeballs fall out.

    Now please, can the f@#4ing idiots like bbbici get banned from commenting? I am so tired of seeing innocent parents and kids getting insulted, dragged through the mud, and sometimes threatened because they didn’t bother to read and comprehend the article they were reading. It’s just sickening some times.

  42. shimsham says:

    I agree with superlayne: bbbici needs to have his commenting priveleges revoked.

  43. AuntNi says:

    My husband is a claims adjustor for a restaurant chain. I can’t give specifics, but I’ll just say that since he started that job, he tastes every drink he orders for our daughter. I think that through negligence and disgruntled employees, this happens more than we’d like to think.

  44. bbbici says:

    to falconfire, shimsham, superlayne, and shad0ws:

    holy smokes! are you related to this whiny family?

    what a bunch of spazzes!

    the point is, regardless of who filled the cup, it was a pretty minor incident, no harm was intended nor (likely) caused, and the family overreacted. I’d be more worried about food poisoning than a kid having a tiny, accidental sip of tacquilia.

    anyways, i’ll be sure to note all your posts from now on. grow up.

  45. shdwsclan says:


    Seriously…i went to a subway, and when i noticed the mexican not spreading the different cheeses evenly, i told her to spread it evenly and she DID not even know what i said and had to ask here co-worker what it wwas and the other mexian didnt know what the word evenly meant either….

    If anything….report then to the department of labor so they can investigate that location. Also, you can sue for pain+suffering and get the kid some descent college education thanks to applebees

    In my opinion, it should be legal to shoot+kill illegals since they are technically invaders….are they not?

  46. Hawk07 says:

    The real reason the baby rejected the drink was because he’s a top shelf only kid.

    why so many different spellings of tequila in this thread? maybe I need to take a closer look but every hecho en mexico I’ve seen spells it tequila.

  47. bbbici says:

    Re: shooting illegal aliens.

    Ha! Yeah, but do you mean to say that it was perfectly okay for native indians to scalp the pilgrims?

  48. madktdisease says:


    Just admit you didn’t read the damn article already. The mother took it pretty much in stride. She didn’t overreact. She wasn’t calling to banninate everything or shut the place down, she just said she wasn’t going to return, and accepted their payment of the ER bill. That’s pretty level-headed. She even mentioned she wasn’t going to make a deal out of it until he got sick.

    and shdwsncln: why is your racist rant even here? take it somewhere else, like into a bridge abutment, it’s completely irrelevant.

  49. lincolnparadox says:

    @bbbici: What kind of parent doesn’t call the police when a restaurant breaks State Liquor Law? Honestly, if Applebee’s served my teenager alcohol, I’d want that to be recorded.

    If they accidentally served my toddler a margarita in their sippy cup, I’d be more concerned. Especially if it was the manager who was doing the serving.

    The law isn’t there for you to hold over some business’s head, it’s there to hold businesses accountable for how they treat consumers. Whether it’s alcohol/tobacco/drug violations, refusing service to certain races because you’re a racist sniz (hi shdwsclan!) or continuing to sell poison dog food after a recall, it all is a breach of law.

    If you want to be a responsible citizen and consumer, you need to report things to the proper authorities. You’re not being a narc. You’re protecting your interests.

  50. yg17 says:

    @shdwsclan: You worthless tool. Where does it say it was an illegal immigrant?

  51. bbbici says:

    “lincolnparadox says: [reply to this comment]

    @bbbici: What kind of parent doesn’t call the police when a restaurant breaks State Liquor Law? Honestly, if Applebee’s served my teenager alcohol, I’d want that to be recorded.”

    It was accidental, not purposely ‘serving’ a minor. There is a difference.

    I guess there’s still a prohibitionist mentality in some people. You’d never see a big freakout like this in Europe. People would just laugh about it, then refill the sippy cup with wine or beer.

  52. Triteon says:

    I think there are definitely a couple of folks on this thread who have earned the garrote today.

  53. arachnophilia says:


    see? i told you guys.

    ok, two things to add on a serious note: if it was the actual drink, and not just a mix, that’s cause to have the place’s liquor license revoked. but the article seems to say “mix.”

    and frankly, applebees is quickly becoming the last place in the world i would ever want to eat. last time we went, they brought us dirty dishes, and messed up our order, and then tried to charge us for something twice. i’m very understanding, having worked my fair share of minimum wage jobs, and i know people make mistakes — but it just seems that everytime i go there is mistake after mistake after mistake.

  54. Applebee’s is a horrendous restaurant. I’ve been there once. I believe, if I recall correctly, the party of 4 I was in sent our plates back atleast twice before they were satisfactory. That was enough for me.

  55. bnissan97 says:

    You know-this was an honest mistake that Applebee’s tried to make right. I am anti corporation but they did try to right this so the mother needs to just get over it and forgive.