NEW JERSEY — Bars and restaurants with liquor licenses in the Garden State have been able to sell alcohol in its original containers during the COVID-19 crisis. Now, thanks to legislation signed by Gov. Phil Murphy before the weekend, they can sell mixed drinks for pick up and delivery, too.

Craft distilleries, which operate under a different kind of license, can also sell the alcoholic beverages they make mixed into cocktails to go under the new rule.

The drinks must be sold in closed and sealed containers and must be consumed elsewhere.

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“I feel like people must have felt at the end of Prohibition,” said Tim Boyle, owner of 16 Prospect Wine Bar & Bistro in Westfield, who will be selling cocktails like their popular “corpse reviver” and espresso martinis in sealed pouches.

“It’s a great idea and if it doesn’t bring in a large amount of income it does bring a large amount of hope,” Boyle said.

The law expires in six months or when the coronavirus-related occupancy or customer seating restrictions no longer apply to the licensed premises, whichever occurs later.

“New Jersey’s restaurant and hospitality industry, like so many other businesses, has suffered tremendous financial losses due to COVID-19,” said Murphy in a press release. “Allowing business owners with certain licenses and permits to sell beverages directly to consumers is a creative way to alleviate some of their financial uncertainty.”

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