So much for "large format" cocktails

By Elizabeth King
Updated February 13, 2018
EC: Alabama Bans Pitchers of Margaritas with Dumb New Law [Updated]
Credit: Photo via Getty Images

Update: Shortly after banning the sale of pitchers of cocktails, the state of Alabama has called off the ban.

Bad news for Alabamians who like to imbibe in margaritas: the state of Alabama has banned pitchers of margaritas, and pitchers of any drink other than beer, for that matter. No longer will anyone be able to go to a restaurant and go big on a pitcher of margaritas; it’s strictly one cup at a time from now on. The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC) says that a provision in Alabama’s alcohol laws that restricts restaurants from tampering with the integrity of the alcohol they serve also bars restaurants from serving cocktails in a pitcher. Naturally, restaurants, bars, and tequila-lovers are unhappy.

In an attempt to justify this interpretation of the provision, Dean Argo, the government-relations manager for ABC, tells that pitchers need to be banned because alcohol settles at the bottom of pitchers, and that could be dangerous. It’s ABC’s thinking that a person who gets the first pour of a pitcher will have less alcohol than the person who gets the last pour in a pitcher that’s been sitting for awhile. Hmm… okay?

Argo also noted that a person could order an entire pitcher of margaritas for themselves, which would get them exceedingly drunk. If you’re thinking that someone could just order a bunch of individual drinks and get wasted anyways (and that this does in fact happen in bars around the world every day), you’re not alone. Cameron Smith, who wrote about the ABC’s ban on pitchers for called this move “the nanny state gone wild.”

Nonsensical though the pitcher-ban may be, it’s still the law of the land in Alabama now, which means it’s lights out for lovely, group-sized portions of tequila goodness in the Yellowhammer State.