New York law revised to facilitate shochu sales at bars, restaurants

REUTERS / Mike Segar / File Photo
A glass of cognac is pictured on a bar in the Manhattan borough of New York City, November 13, 2015.

NEW YORK (Jiji Press) — New York State’s alcohol beverage control law has been revised recently to make it easier for Japanese shochu distilled spirits to be sold at local restaurants and bars.

The law revision was realized through intense lobbying efforts by a group of Japanese restaurants and others. “It was our long-cherished wish,” an official of the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association said. “We’re very excited.”

Before the revision, restaurants in the U.S. state had to obtain a license to serve Japanese shochu by paying expensive fees.

The revised law allows locals to sell Japanese shochu with an alcohol content of 24% or lower without the license if they have a separate license to sell beer or wine.

The revision is expected to lower the hurdle for restaurants with limited funds to put Japanese shochu on their menus.

In the state, such an expensive license was scrapped for similar alcoholic drinks from South Korea in 2002, placing Japanese shochu products at a disadvantage.