From the Iowa City Press-Citizen
All the clamoring by a local restaurant owner to change the state’s liquor law appears to be paying off.
Three state senators — two Democrats and a Republican — have introduced a bill that would allow restaurant and bar owners to infuse their own liquors in-house, an idea pushed by Kurt Michael Friese, owner of Iowa City’s Devotay restaurant. As the law currently exists, liquor must be stored in the same container in which it was purchased, except in the case of mixed cocktails that will be consumed immediately. That wouldn’t work for infusing liquors, a process that requires several weeks.
Tea party activists, move over. Here come the cocktail party activists.
The Iowa Restaurant Association and several prominent Iowa food establishments and bars have targeted the Iowa Capitol for a hospitality-minded lobbying campaign. They’re proposing to toast an end to what they see as antiquated alcoholic beverage statutes, some of them enacted before Prohibition.
If these folks have their way, state lawmakers will legalize trendy drinks that Iowa restaurants and taverns are now banned from making. Some examples include cocktails aged in oak barrels, distilled spirits flavored with herbs, known as bitters, and infused vodka steeped in glass jars for a week or so with raspberries, cherries, or even bacon.
Beyond seeking to add panache to Iowa’s drinking and dining scene, proponents of the change see the current rules as the kind of government over-regulation of business that Iowa lawmakers have pledged to end.
The nice folks at the Press-Citizen today posted a great story about our campaign to free the bartenders, which we’re calling “Raise the Bar!” Please sign the petition here, and like the FB page here.
Kurt Michael Friese, owner and chef of the northside Iowa City restaurant Devotay, is all about local — and that means local drinks, too.In that spirit, Friese wants to make his own infused drinks and bitters, herbs that change an alcohol’s flavor. He planned to set out on that venture after adding on a bar inside the restaurant but was surprised to learn that it’s illegal. He has met with state officials about the issue and has started a petition to get the law changed, an endeavor he calls Raising the Bar.
“I think it’s about time we’re able to free the bartenders,” he said. “Allow us to be a little more creative.”
According to Iowa Code 123.49, liquor must be stored in the same container in which it was purchased, except in the case of mixed cocktails that will be consumed immediately. That wouldn’t work for infusing liquors or making bitters because those processes require several weeks for the flavors to be extracted, Friese said.
Read the whole story at Iowa City Press Citizen | press-citizen.com.
Wine 2 of the following cocktails, plus a tapa to share at our new copper-top bar for dreaming up the appropriate name for this new recipe:
Fill a shaker with ice. Add:
- 2 shots pear nectar
- 1 shot Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum
- 1/2 shot Noilly Prat dry vermouth
- 3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
Shake vigorously, and serve up, garnished with a cherry.
Post your suggestions for a name for this in the comment section below, or on our Facebook page, or on Twitter @Devotay