Are Cocktails on Tap Fizzling Out?

One New York City bar was forced to shut its gin and tonic tap down

We've heard how cocktails on tap are the latest thing on the bar scene — but thanks to some unheard of liquor laws, the trend could be quickly fizzling out.

The bar making headlines is the newly opened Gin Palace in New York City, which serves its signature spirit on tap. That's a gin and tonic tap, which sounds pretty awesome, right? Lots of people thought so — but the New York State Liquor Authority had a different opinion. The G&T tap was shut down this week, after the state declared "the free flowing refreshments illegal," reports The New York Times' Diner Journal.

What makes it illegal? The owner of the Gin Palace, Ravi DeRossi, told the NYT that he thought the rule came from a Prohibition-era law, that states a bar cannot take alcohol from a bottle, pour it into another, and serve it. At the time, the law was put in place to protect consumers from bartenders adulterating liquor; however, the laws were changed because of a particular invention: the frozen margarita machine. Now, the law states that alcohol can be served from a machine that's "in continuous motion" and holds an alcoholic mix of more than one gallon. DeRossi plans to use the machine argument to keep the G&T tap line flowing.

In short, however the SLA rules on the Gin Palace's G&T tap line could impact other bars in New York City, and the future of draft cocktails. DeRossi told the NYT that the Gin Palace was one of 30 bars in the city doing the same thing, but they were the ones to get busted. Will cocktails on tap be forced out of bars? We sure hope not.

In the meantime, learn how to make the perfect gin and tonic from Saxon + Parole's Naren Young — without a tap. 

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