Cocktail Crackdown


At Sacramento watering holes such as Ella, Shady Lady Saloon and Lounge on 20, artisan cocktails made with house-infused liquors are all the rage. But those handcrafted cocktails may be under threat. The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control reportedly has issued warnings to bars and restaurants, telling them it’s illegal to “rectify” distilled spirits in order to create concoctions such as limoncello and herb- or fruit-infused vodka. Dan Mitchell, a longtime Sacramento bartender who makes his own plum gin and strawberry vodka, calls the crackdown ridiculous. “I’ve been infusing alcohol for years because it’s fun. It’s a more superior, fresher product” than commercially infused spirits, says Mitchell. We have to agree.