What business establishments are eligible to sell mixed drinks to consumers for off-premises consumption?
A food service establishment with a food service permit that is licensed to sell distilled spirits for consumption on the premises may sell mixed drinks for off-premises consumption, except where prohibited by local ordinance or resolution.
Below is a list of qualified alcohol licensees that may be eligible to sell mixed drinks to-go:
What is an entrée?
An entrée is the main course of a meal. For the purposes of mixed drinks to-go, an appetizer, starter or dessert is not an entrée.
What is a mixed drink?
A mixed drink is an alcoholic beverage, composed of a liquor (distilled spirit) and may be combined with other alcoholic beverages, nonalcoholic beverages or ingredients including, but not limited to ice, water, fruit juices, soft drinks, or flavorings.
Mixed drinks are commonly referred to as “cocktails.” A mixed drink to-go must not exceed three (3) ounces of distilled spirits per mixed drink.
What is not a mixed drink?
A canned or bottled ready to drink cocktail. A ready to drink cocktail in the manufacturer’s original sealed container is not a mixed drink prepared by the licensee or the licensee’s employee.
Are there specific requirements a qualified alcohol licensee must follow to sell mixed drinks for off-premises consumption?
Yes, the licensee must comply with the following requirements:
- A mixed drink may only be sold to a consumer 21 years of age or older. Licensees shall verify the consumer’s age pursuant to Georgia law. An alcohol licensee shall not sell mixed drinks to persons that are visibly intoxicated.
- The sale of mixed drinks to-go shall be accompanied with the purchase of a food entrée. A licensee may sell a maximum of two (2) mixed drinks to-go with the purchase of an entrée.
- The food and mixed drink(s) purchase shall be reflected on the same order and receipt. The receipt must be provided to the customer with a time stamp including the time and date of the purchase.
- The mixed drink must be a combination of distilled spirits and mixers and shall not contain more than 3 ounces of distilled spirits. The mixed drink must be prepared, filled and sealed in an approved container by the licensee or an employee of the licensee on the same day of the customer’s order.
- Mixed drinks must be sold in an approved, sealed and tamper-evident container. The licensee or the licensee’s employee is responsible for filling and sealing the approved container. The container shall not have any openings or straw holes. Please see Approved Tamper-Evident Containers for detailed information and examples.
- A label or marking shall be affixed to the container and must include the following:
- Name, address and alcohol license number of the licensee that prepared and sold the mixed drink(s).
- The licensee shall also include “Alcoholic Beverage” or “Contains Alcohol” on the above-referenced label or on a secondary label.
- Mixed drinks shall be sold during lawful business hours and mixed drinks to-go must be picked up by the customer at the licensed premises via counter service or curbside takeaway.
Is a qualified alcohol licensee selling mixed drinks to-go required to obtain an additional alcohol license or permit?
No, a qualified licensee that sells mixed drinks to-go is not required to obtain an additional license or permit from the Department of Revenue. However, licensees should ensure the sales of mixed drinks to-go comply with any local jurisdiction requirements
What types of containers are approved for mixed drinks to-go?
A mixed drink to-go must be a placed in a (unused) sealed and tamper evident container. Containers shall be sealed in such a way to prevent reopening without visible evidence that the seal was removed or broken. The container can be plastic, glass, or metal, as long as it meets the sealing and tamper evident requirements. Please see Approved Tamper-Evident Containers for detailed information and examples.
What is an example of an approved sealed and tamper evident container?
- An approved sealed and tamper-evident container is a closed container that prevents consumption, leakage or alteration of its contents in any manner.
- This container shall have a secure cap or lid that contains one or more indicators or barriers to entry that would provide visible evidence if the container has been opened or breached.
- The secure cap or lid of this container shall not have sipping holes or holes designed for straws.
Please see Approved Tamper-Evident Containers for detailed information and examples.
What is tamper-evident tape?
Tamper evident tape is a material that is used to cover a container and to deter the tampering of a container. Although we find this product to be tamper resistant, it is insufficient on its own to meet the requirements for an approved tamper-evident container. Please see Approved Tamper-Evident Containers for detailed information and examples.
Senate Bill 236 (2021) allows food service establishments that are licensed to sell distilled spirits for consumption on the premises to sell mixed drinks to-go in approved containers. Mixed drinks sold for off-premises consumption shall be accompanied with the purchase of a food entrée and in conformance with state and local open container laws. View detailed information and examples of approved containers.
The following FAQs are intended to provide guidance to alcohol retail establishments that are permitted to sell mixed drinks to-go and guidance to individual consumers that purchase mixed drinks to-go. Senate Bill 236 does not modify the existing laws governing the delivery of unopened alcoholic beverages in the original container sealed by the manufacturer. For more information on the delivery of alcoholic beverages, please visit Delivery of Alcoholic Beverages - FAQ
Alcohol Licensee Requirements
Who can purchase mixed drinks to-go?
A consumer 21 years of age or older may order a maximum of two (2) mixed drinks per entrée for personal use and not for resale. The consumer that placed the order and provided payment must show valid identification before taking possession of mixed drinks. A consumer that is visibly intoxicated shall not be permitted to purchase mixed drinks to-go.
What is required to purchase a mixed drink to-go?
Mixed drinks to-go must be ordered and purchased with a food entrée. A consumer may pick-up the order at the licensed food service establishment at curbside or counter service.
How many mixed drinks to-go can be sold to a consumer?
A consumer may order a maximum of two (2) mixed drinks per entrée purchased from a qualified alcohol licensee.
How can a mixed drink be transferred to a consumer?
- A consumer must pick-up an order containing an entrée with mixed drinks from the licensed food service establishment via carryout or curbside.
- Mixed drinks are not permitted to be transferred to the consumer by home delivery or third-party delivery services, such as DoorDash, GrubHub, Postmates, etc.
Who can pick up mixed drinks to-go?
Only the person who placed the order and provided payment for the order is permitted to pick up the order at the licensed food service establishment via carryout or curbside takeaway. The establishment is required to verify the age of the consumer and confirm this person is not visibly intoxicated.
Can mixed drinks be delivered to my home?
No, mixed drinks cannot be delivered to the consumer. While mixed drinks to-go may be sold for off-premises consumption via counter service and curbside, the delivery of mixed drinks to-go is not permitted.
Can a consumer provide an approved tamper evident-container to the licensed food service establishment to be used for a mixed drink to-go?
No, a mixed drink to-go must be filled and properly sealed in an approved container provided by the licensee.
As a dine-in customer, can I take an unfinished mixed drink to-go?
No, a mixed drink to-go must be accompanied by a food entrée order on the same receipt and sold for off-premises consumption.
If a consumer is driving a motor vehicle, where should the mixed drink(s) to-go be placed in the vehicle?
- The consumer is required to place the mixed drink(s) in a locked glove box or in the trunk.
- Only if the vehicle does not have a trunk, the consumer may place the mixed drink(s) behind the last upright seat in the vehicle.