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Sangria, beer pops soon to be legal in Virginia

They take their cocktails seriously, those folks in Alexandria. And because the folks at the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control take the rules seriously, it look legislation from the 2008 General Assembly to make it legal for Northern Virginians (and the rest of us) to get such treats as sangria wine and frozen beer on a stick. As of Tuesday, both will be legal for sale at Virginia restaurants.

The sangria controversy apparently arose from charges brought against La Tasca restaurant in Alexandria in 2006. Sangria wine is often served fortified with brandy. Virginia law forbade premixing wine or beer with harder liquor (a rule that technically outlawed the martini and well as sangria and boilermakers).

Similarly, Alexandria’s Rustico restaurant was barred from serving “brew pops,” frozen beer-flavored desserts.

Sympathetic lawmakers came to the rescue with a bill to reform the ABC statutes. Now signed by Governor Kaine, the liberalized libation legislation takes effect July 1.

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