Well, it was fun while it lasted? Gin Palace, the newcomer in Alphabet City, has been forced by the SLA to turn off its special G&T taps. Boo! Still, the battle isn't quite over. And it isn't like it is that hard to mix a G&T.
Ravi DeRossi, the owner of the bar, tells Diner's Journal that the New York State Liquor Authority requested the taps be turned off on Monday night—though the SLA is not commenting on the matter ("No charges were brought against the place you asked me about. If we are investigating a matter, we cannot comment."). So that's what the bar did. On the plus side, the SLA didn't shut Gin Palace down, just the one tap. And the battle is just begun:
Mr. DeRossi, who also a co-owner of such well-known watering holes as Death & Co. and Mayahuel, said, “I think what we’re doing is not illegal.”
He said he believed that the liquor authority’s action was rooted in a Prohibition-era law that forbids a bar from taking alcohol from a bottle, pouring it into another and serving it. The rule was created to protect consumers against unscrupulous tavern keepers who might be adulterating their liquor. “But in 1989, they changed the law,” Mr. DeRossi said. “People wanted to serve frozen margaritas.” The rule was amended to allow for the use of a “machine” that holds an alcoholic mix of more than one gallon, and is in “continuous motion.”
DeRossi and the Gin Palace team are hoping to fight the ruling at a hearing on July 20, arguing that their G&T on tap is pretty much the same thing as those frozen margies (their argument depends on how you define "continuous motion" and "machine"). And how that goes could be of real import for the future of cocktails in the city—DeRossi argues that his taps (but not the bar) were only shut down because of all the press his joint got for the taps when it opened (guilty as charged). "There are 30 other bars that are doing cocktails on tap. But no one’s getting as much attention for it."