Cocktails to-go forever? Michigan Senate approves takeout booze permanently

The Michigan Senate passed a bill Thursday that would allow businesses to sell takeout cocktails permanently.

"Cocktails to-go continue to provide a stable source of revenue as Michigan businesses cope with the lasting challenges related to the pandemic, including staff shortages, supply chain disruptions, and inflation," said Andy Deloney, Distilled Spirits Council Vice President of State Government Relations. "This is a great step towards offering increased support for Michigan’s hospitality businesses."

The bill now goes to the House.

To-go cocktails in sealed containers were first allowed in July 2020 when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill during the Covid pandemic, which forced restaurants to pivot to takeout operations. That is set to end on Jan. 1. 2026.

"Cocktails to-go were instrumental in helping many Michigan distilleries navigate and survive the challenges of COVID," said Jon O'Connor, owner of Long Road Distillers and president of the Michigan Craft Distillers Association. "Making permanent cocktails to-go will allow consumers to enjoy safely, comfortably and responsibly from home, the amazing spirits made here in Michigan and will help Michigan distilleries to recover and thrive as hospitality trends continue to change with consumer demands."

Some states have already made the Covid to-go cocktail rules permanent, including Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.