While much of Louisiana doesn't share New Orleans' laissez-faire attitude toward alcohol, Gov. Bobby Jindal nonetheless signed two drinker-friendly bills at the end of the recent session. One of the bills would allow more movie houses to sell alcoholic beverages, and the other allows the sale of distilled spirits in smaller, 100-milliliter bottles (3.8 ounces).
Senate Bill 654, sponsored by state Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, lets qualifying movie houses sell alcoholic beverages. Qualifications include having a separate concession stand where minors are not allowed. The contentious bill, which was opposed by family values groups, passed 53-44 and was signed by Jindal June 19.
Senate Bill 204, also sponsored by Morrell, allows the sale of distilled spirits in 100-milliliter bottles. The state's previous minimum bottle size was 200 milliliters. By comparison, the miniature bottles sold on domestic airline flights are 50 milliliters, while a fifth of liquor is 750 milliliters.
The Sazerac Company, a Metairie-based international distillery owner and one of the area's oldest family-owned companies, said the change would "allow consumers to sample more varieties of spirit brands before investing in larger format bottles."
Sazerac says several of its brands already are available in the 100-milliliter size — and that initial sales in the smaller-size bottles have been brisk. Among them are Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, Taaka vodka, Platinum 7x vodka, R&R Reserve small batch Canadian whisky, Benchmark bourbon, 99 Bananas, 99 Peppermint, 99 Cinnamon, 99 Peach and Canadian LTD.
The bill, which also bans the import of "powdered alcohol," was signed by Jindal June 18.