The “infusion” process is used by some bartenders to create exotic martinis in fancy restaurants. Soaking fruit or candy in vodka, for instance, creates a uniquely-flavored liquor that can be used in a martini.
Under current law, bars are technically breaking the law to keep such “infused” liquors or mixed drinks around for more than 24 hours. Senator Rick Bertrand, a Republican from Sioux City, says the Iowa Restaurant Association supports the bill. “This is solving a problem,” Bertrand says.
Senator Steve Sodders, a Democrat from State Center who is a deputy sheriff, voted against the bill. “Once we allow for bartenders to start mixing drinks for two or three days and being able to keep that and put it behind the shelf, who knows what they’ll put it in,” Sodders said. “…I think this is a problem for young people going into these bars and drinking this stuff.”
Bertrand says the bill has a list of products that cannot be added to liquor. “Things like caffeine, stimulants, hallucinogens,” Bertrand says. “Things that we should not be putting in (alcohol).” The bill passed the Senate on a 47-2 vote and now goes to the House for consideration.