The saga behind the illegal Jell-O shot

Restaurant Rewind: The ban in place within some jurisdictions is a telling example of how the rules governing alcohol sales may no longer make sense. Grab a stein of mead and give a listen.

It’s probably a myth that tax-code writers refine their knack for inscrutability by taking a whack at state and local liquor regulations. The complexity and illogic of the rules governing alcohol sales are enough to make a restaurateur long for a seat on the other side of the bar, knocking back Jell-O shots with fellow scofflaws.

In New York and other areas, theirs would be an outlaw’s life, the result of gelatin made with vodka being prohibited for sale or giveaway by restaurants and bars. Yes, you read that correctly. You can buy a hefty blunt from a streetside establishment, but a wiggly 1-inch cube of spiked Island Pineapple Jell-O is pure contraband, even in a place as wild as New York City.

Join us for this week’s episode of Restaurant Rewind as we look at why so many regulations governing the sale of alcoholic beverages seem stuck in the age when revelers would hit their local dram shop for a flagon of mead.

We won’t say a word if you should happen to listen with a cube of cherry-red gelatin at your elbow.

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