Cocktails To-go Made Permanent Post COVID, a Good Idea?

Making cocktails to-go permanent is very popular. Businesses, their employees, and consumers love it.

I. Economic Impact of Covid 19.

Covid 19 has had a devastating effect on the restaurant and bar industry. It supports about 10% of all payroll jobs in the country. In 2020 alone, the industry lost an estimated $240 billion dollars. Unfortunately, nearly 2,500,000 people lost their jobs. Also, many people lost their businesses and livelihoods.

The impact on individuals is staggering. In addition, families, businesses, and taxpayers were all negatively effected. 

II. The Response

In response, over 35 states began permitting restaurants and/or bars to sell cocktails to-go. They did this to give economic relief to both businesses and their employees. This was possible because of executive orders or other temporary means.

Cocktails to-go became extremely important to the survival of restaurants and bars. Of course, this was very popular with both businesses and their employees. It also greatly helped the economy.

But it was also very popular with the public. People saw it as a way to support their local establishments and found it to be a convenient way to have a handcrafted cocktail at home during the pandemic.

III. Cocktails To-go Are Sticking Around in Numerous States

Because its value, 14 states have passed legislation to extend cocktails to-go and 16 states and the District of Columbia passed laws making cocktails to-go permanent. Here’s the list.

  • Arizonacocktails to-go
  • Arkansas
  • Iowa
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Montanacocktails to-go
  • Nebraska
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin 
  • & District of Columbia

In addition, California, Massachusetts, and New Jersey have bills that would make cocktails to-go permanent. However, New York failed to do so. That’s because of conflicts between package stores and restaurants. And a bill in Pennsylvania failed to make it through the legislature.

Elva Ramirez, writing for Forbes, made a good point. “The to-go cocktail, a lifeline to restaurants and a favorite of patrons, may be one of the few good things to come out of the pandemic.”1

IV. Alcohol Equivalence

cocktails to-go
Standard drinks have equal alcohol.

Alcohol equivalence is the fact that standard drinks of beer, wine, and spirits all contain the same amount of alcohol. Spirits are products like whiskey, rum, tequila, etc.

Alcohol equivalence helps us understand that having two beers before driving is no safer than having two glasses of wine. Nor two shots of whiskey or two Martinis. There are no drinks of moderation, only behaviors of moderation. Period.

V. Resources


1. Ramirez, E. Will To-go Cocktails Survive The Pandemic? In Some States, Yes. Forbes, Apr 29, 2021.

Web Pages

Covid-19 and the U.S. Economy. (Congess Res Service)

Standard Drinks and Alcohol Equivalence. Why Knowing them is Important.

Covid-19 and Unemployment.


Tooze, J. Shutdown. How COVID Shook the World’s Economy. NY: Viking, 2021.

US states make cocktails to-go permanent. AIM Digest, 2021, 57(3), 25.

State of the Restaurant Industry. Washington: Nat. Rest. Ass’n, 2021.


Of course, this website makes no suggestions about drinking. So for that, please see your doctor.