Thursday, January 24, 2008

virginia laws are inhumane

One thing you may have guessed about me is that I heart booze. I mean, I'm not alcoholic or anything (shut up, I function), but I do enjoy libationary liquids every now and again. However, the liquors I prefer often change with the seasons. For instance, in the fall I like the cream liqueurs, like Baileys or Amarula. In the winter I prefer a nice mug of mulled wine, or glühwein as the Germans say (who doesn't love an umlaut?). In the spring I turn to mojitos and other herby cocktails. And in the summer I mack on sangria, a lovely concoction of wine, brandy and chilled fruits. Delish!

So, imagine my shock and horror when I learned this today from the Washington Post:

It's illegal to serve sangria in Virginia.
Say what?!
The fruity cocktail of wine and brandy that is a must-have at Spanish restaurants violates a law that forbids mixing wine or beer with spirits. If convicted, a bartender could go to jail for a year.
Not tight. Seriously. That sh*t is exceptionally messed up, or as the Post describes it:
"It's absolutely preposterous," said Robert Hall, the general manager of Jaleo restaurant in Crystal City, which altered its sangria recipe last year after hearing the news about La Tasca [Ed.: the restaurant was fined last year for serving sangria]. "What harm is this causing?"
None, I say! And luckily for those of you living in hell Virginia, you may be able to drink sangria in your neighborhoods sometime soon as apparently Del. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), a.k.a. the Crunkest Virginia State Delegate Ever, has introduced a bill to change the law. He told the Post:

"It just seems to make common sense that government should worry about big issues like transportation and not get too concerned about what people drink."

King of Crunk Del. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria)

And while I usually refrain from taking public political positions, I feel compelled to support this measure. Not only would it make sangria available in DC's Virginia suburbs, but it would decriminalize any drink that violates the "law" by mixing wine, beer and/or spirits. Honestly, can a place even be considered civilized if you can't enjoy a Kir Royal before (during and after) dinner? It's barbaric!


BAD said...

fight for your right to shandy!

Marissa said...


You are correct. Boozing is a right, not a privilege.

Peter said...

damn... no boilermakers?

Marissa said...

Not yet, Peter...not yet.

Anonymous said...

Del Ebbin may have possibly saved the Sangria, but he left the Kir Royale (and Belini and other lovely wine cocktails) out to dry (literally and figuratively).

For you legislative wonks out there - the provision that passed the House last week:

A. No licensee or any agent or employee of such licensee shall:
3. Sell wine to which spirits or alcohol, or both, have been added, otherwise than as required in the manufacture thereof under Board regulations, except that a mixed beverage licensee may make sangria that contains brandy, triple sec, or other similar spirits;

Our dumbasses in Richmond didn't fix our elixer issue. Champagne cocktails and wine drinks are still illicit, amoral, and otherwise illegal in the Commonwealth!

Gotta go to DC for a proper cocktail...

La Tasca appealed the fine - and it was denied last week.

Good blog.

Marissa said...

Wow. That is disheartening. Ebbin has failed me even if I don't live in Virginia. Perhaps he's not the King of Crunk after all...but, at least he saved sangria.

Thanks for that info, by the way. And thanks for the kudos!