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Chicken-Fried News: Infusion confusion

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Recent legislation easing taproom laws and the possibility of wine sales in grocery stores might have some of us believing Oklahoma is getting downright progressive about alcohol. Then Oklahoma City police arrested a local bar manager for serving bacon-infused vodka.

Colin Grizzle, manager of The Pump Bar, 2425 N. Walker Ave., was arrested in April on charges of “maintaining a disorderly house” when police found bottles of house-infused vodka at the bar.

While serving flavor-infused alcohol has become more prevalent in our flourishing bar scene, there are a few wrinkles in state and local law that still need to be ironed out.

OKC Police Master Sgt. Gary Knight said Grizzle and the bar violated Article 5, Section 30-97 of the municipal code — unlawful refill of a liquor bottle.

So it’s not so much that the bar infused alcohol; it’s that the mixture was put back in the original bottles before serving.

“You cannot put anything into it and serve it,” Knight told KGOU in late June. “You can only pour out of it.”

Pump Bar owner Ian McDermid said his staff will follow the law, but it wants the rules to be clarified. He removed infused alcohols from the menu.

In response, Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement (ABLE) Commission is expected to vote at its July 15 meeting on a declaration that Oklahoma statutes do not prohibit bars from creating or selling infused alcohol if they are infused and dispensed in food-safe containers and not in tax-paid alcoholic beverage containers, The Oklahoman reported.

That means the Bloody Marys at The Pump might return July 16.

Print headline: Infusion confusion

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