Starting July 1, 2023, diners who pick up meals to go will continue to be able to take home cocktails with their orders.

The Connecticut Legislature recently passed and Governor Ned Lamont signed into law, House Bill 6548, making “alcohol to go” a permanent offering for Connecticut’s on-premises locations, such as restaurants and bars. Under the new legislation, diners may take home their favorite alcoholic beverages as long as these drinks are part of a food order. Further, any alcoholic liquor sold for off-premises consumption must be accompanied by food orders prepared on the restaurant’s or bar’s premises.

Under the law, alcoholic drinks “to go” must be given to a customer in a securely sealed container that prevents consumption without the removal of a tamper-evident lid, cap, or seal. By way of clarification, a securely sealed container cannot include a lid with sipping holes or openings for straws. The container must then be placed in a bag prior to removal from the permit premises and be accompanied by the food order prepared on the premises. The new legislation does limit the amount of alcoholic liquor – wine, beer and spirits – that can accompany any order.

The “alcohol to go” legislation was supported by the Department of Consumer Protection, the Connecticut Restaurant Association, the Distilled Spirits Council, and others during the past legislative session. The prior version of this legislation was set to expire on June 5, 2024. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Governor Lamont issued an executive order allowing “drinks to go,” a measure that was well-received by the restaurant and hospitality industry.

If you would like to learn more about this topic or other liquor-related matters, please contact:
Liz Suchy

This information is for educational purposes only to provide general information and a general understanding of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not establish any attorney-client relationship.