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Texas Restaurants and Bars Can Finally Make and Sell Mixed Drinks To-Go Legally

This applies to restaurants and bars with mixed-beverage permits and on-site kitchens

Plastic takeout cocktails from Dante in Greenwich Village.
Takeout cocktails in New York
Gary He/ENY
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

Texas restaurants and bars can now make and sell their own mixed drinks for pickups and deliveries, according to waivers granted by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott through the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC).

Restaurants and bars with mixed-beverage permits and on-site kitchens will be able to sell to-go mixed alcoholic drinks while observing the following rules:

  • The mixed drinks have to be made at the restaurant or bar
  • The mixed drinks have to be sealed at the restaurant or bar with tape or some sort of adhesive that has the name of the business and states that it is an “alcoholic beverage” (this also means that there can’t be any visible straw or sipping holes)
  • The mixed drinks will have to put into bags that are then zip-tied closed
  • The mixed drinks must be sold with food
  • The mixed drinks can’t be placed in the passenger areas of vehicles (this means the drinks must be placed in the trunks or glove compartments or the backseats of cars without trunks)
  • There is no size limit for the mixed drinks

This waiver applies to restaurants and bars that already have kitchens (must “have permanent food service capabilities at the premises,” as the TABC notice reads), which means that bars that don’t make their own food aren’t allowed to team up with food trucks for this waiver, as confirmed by TRA and TABC. Third-party deliveries are allowed under this waiver too.

Previously, restaurants and bars were allowed to just sell manufacturer-sealed alcoholic beverages (aka original containers) that were 375 milliliters or less for takeout and delivery services, i.e. cocktail kits. These sales are still allowed during this time.

Other states have already passed similar waivers: New York, California, and even Pennsylvania.

On Friday, Abbott suddenly announced that all Texas bars had to close by noon in response to the quickly growing number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Texas. Likewise, restaurants will have to revert back to operating at 50 percent indoor capacities on Monday, June 29.