Prohibition: The Sangria Sequel in Virginia

Prohibition: The Sangria Sequel in Virginia

News of Virginia's 75-year-old law banning restaurants from serving sangria spread rapidly around the web this week when a restaurant was cited for a violation, according to a story in the Washington Post. Bartenders serving the Spanish cocktail, or any drink in which spirits are added to beer and wine, could go to jail for a year.

The law was passed just after the repeal of Prohibition in 1934, and technically includes cocktails such as kir royale and beer cocktails in an effort to encourage patrons to "drink less intoxicating beverages."

Commenting on this blast from past, Brandon Arnold, a scholar with the Cato Institute, said:

"The U.S. is riddled with ridiculous state liquor laws that impose restrictions on the size of beer bottles, the number of ounces of spirits allowed in a particular beverage, and the percentage of alcohol in beer, just to name a few. These attempts to reduce alcohol consumption are misguided and often counterproductive. State governments should get out of the nanny business and allow responsible adults to enjoy the alcoholic beverage of their choosing."

It seems bizarre that in 2008, the state would still be telling us how to choose our cocktails. Do you think that this is an arcane law that will soon be abolished or does it represent the stronghold that neo-Prohibition thinking still has on our culture?


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