Last updated on May 19th, 2022 at 06:45 pm

Governor Hochul reinstates sale of alcohol to-go subject to NYS Liquor Authority restrictions.Takeout and delivery of alcoholic beverages became a significant revenue stream for many struggling New York restaurants and bars during the pandemic. Ever since the program abruptly expired in June 2021, we have been waiting for legislation to bring it back. It’s finally here. Cocktails to-go are back!

As part of the FY 2023 State Budget, Governor Kathy Hochul announced legislation temporarily reauthorizing the sale of to-go cocktails for the next three years.

What You need to know:

  • All businesses licensed to sell wine and liquor on premises can sell wine and liquor for take-out and delivery, subject to restrictions and conditions.
  • All alcohol orders must be accompanied by a “substantial food item”
  • On April 11th, NYS Liquor authority issued guidance defining a “substantial food item” as “sandwiches, soups or other foods, whether fresh, processed, precooked or frozen”. Follow this link complete guidance info.
  • These restrictions only apply to wine and liquor to-go.
  • Wine and liquor sold and consumed on-premises are not subject to any food purchase requirement.
  • Beer and cider to-go are not subject to any food purchase requirement.
  • Wine and liquor sold by the bottle to be consumed on-premises are also not subject to this requirement,
  • The new law is only meant to allow drinks by the glass to be sold to-go, whole bottles of wine or spirits cannot be sold to-go
  • Drinks must be served in sealed containers, no open containers
  • Price and serving size of drinks must be the same whether consumed on premises or taken to-go

As New Yorkers, we were hoping alcohol to-go was here to stay, however there is a three-year limit. Lawmakers will then decide whether alcohol-to-go will need to be ended, extended, or made permanent.