Restaurants pay penalty for passing off cheap booze as top shelf labels | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Restaurants pay penalty for passing off cheap booze as top shelf labels

Posted By on Thu, Aug 1, 2013 at 6:56 AM

ARE YOU GETTING THE REAL THING? In New Jersey, testing found substitutes.
  • ARE YOU GETTING THE REAL THING? In New Jersey, testing found substitutes.
You don't suppose this has ever happened in an Arkansas club or restaurant do you?

(And surely no Arkie has ever filled an empty Bombay Sapphire bottle with Old Mr. Boston gin for pouring to home visitors.)

The New York Times reports that the operator of a popular restaurant/bar chain in New Jersey has agreed to pay $500,000 to settle a consumer complaint about just such routine, profit-enhancing substitutions. Time was, this bait-and-switch was hard to detect.

But technology has entered the picture.

In this case, investigators — ordering their drinks “neat,” with no ice or mixers — took 150 samples from 63 licensed bars.

They tested the samples in a device called the True Spirit Authenticator, which is manufactured in Britain and was recently made available on the commercial market. Mr. Halfacre said he believed it was the first time the machine has been used in an investigation in the United States. Samples were also sent to brand manufacturers, where more tests were conducted.

In all, 30 of the 150 samples were not what they purported to be. In most cases, cheaper brands were used instead of high-end labels like Bombay Sapphire gin.

Arkansas ABC, got one of these on order?

This raises a whole set of other question about whether the expensive stuff really is better and whether drinkers are really as discerning as they say they are. I'm reminded of Calvin Trillin's important reporting on the inability of wine drinkers to tell the difference between red and white wines in blindfolded tests.

KISMET: An industry news release informs me that today, Aug. 1, is the 80th anniversary of Arkansas's vote to ratify the 18th Amendment and end Prohibition. Today, the alcohol business produces $97 million in taxes annually in Arkansas, the industry release notes.

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Judge Griffen: Why black lives matter

    Another few words from Judge Wendell Griffen growing from the controversy over the sale of Black Lives Matter T-shirts at the state black history museum — removed by the administration and restored after protests from Griffen and others stirred by a story in the Arkansas Times:
    • Mar 13, 2016
  • Mitch Landrieu on the removal of Confederate tributes in New Orleans

    You want to hear the words of a strong mayor? Read the speech delivered by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu on the removal of the last of four Lost Cause tributes in the city. THIS is a strong mayor. Brilliant.
    • May 22, 2017
  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation