Sour Mix: Clubs Fined for Lack of "Proof" - NBC New York

Sour Mix: Clubs Fined for Lack of "Proof"

Clubs give new meaning to term "watering hole"

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    And you thought $10 for a honest pour was ridiculous.

    And you thought your tolerance had increased.

    Afraid not -- it seems New York bars have been watering down the whiskey, violating the vodka and juicing the gin.

    The State Liquor Authority has hit many of the city's hot spots with whopping fines for refilling high-end liquor bottles with the cheap stuff and serving up cocktails with a twist of fruit fly, according to the New York Post.

    Records from 2008-09 show that swanky establishments like Marquee, BLVD/Crash Mansion, Alphabet Lounge, Discotheque, Balthazar and Salt bar were all slapped with fines by the SLA. Marquee paid out the most at $100,000.

    Many of the joints were in violation of Section 106, subdivision 2 of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law – which means they held their hooch in “containers the contents of which were not represented on the labels affixed hereto.”

    “We may find contaminated liquor or contaminated products, which may include refilling of liquor bottles with inferior liquor or fruit flies contaminating the bottle,” SLA spokesman Michael Smith told the Post.

    Club owners, however, were angrier than a disgruntled bouncer about the fines they called nothing more than a “hidden state tax.”

    “The SLA, in my view, jumped on it as nothing more than a revenue generating matter,” Warren Pesetsky, a lobbyist for the New York Nightlife Association, told the paper.
    At Hop Devil Grill, inspectors found “suds” in a bottle of Jameson whiskey, but didn’t define what suds are.
    "It made us sound like we are Public Enemy Number One,” the co-owner told the Post. “It could have put us out of business.”