Tag Archives: mixed

ABC Retreats from Ban on ‘Infusion’ Mixed Drinks

The Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission’s executive director retreated Monday from plans to begin enforcing on July 1 a law he had interpreted as prohibiting restaurants from soaking fruits and juices in alcoholic beverages to create “infused” mixed drinks.
Critics had disputed the legal interpretation and said the prohibition would hurt the business of bars and restaurants that cater to customers with specialty drinks.
In an emailed statement, Keith Bell said the TABC still believes “the process of manufacturing infused alcoholic beverages, not for immediate consumption” by those holding only a liquor-by-the-drink license is a violation of a 2006 law and ABC rules.
“The TABC nevertheless determined it to be in the public interest that the regulatory enforcement of this prohibition be indefinitely suspended,” Bell said.
The retreat came after a Monday morning meeting between Bell and representatives of groups who disagreed with his interpretation of the 2006 law, including the Tennessee Hospitality Association and the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“There was a full and frank discussion of the matter and what was intended and what was not” by the 2006 law, said Dan Haskell, general counsel and lobbyist for the Tennessee Hospitality Association, which represents restaurants and motels.
With enforcement of the ban on infused drinks suspended, Haskell said he now anticipates further discussion on whether the ABC needs to change its rules or the Legislature needs to clarify the law in the 2014 session.
The law in question dealt with distilleries, effectively allowing them to sell products they make on premises that amount to a pre-mixed drink — Jack Daniels Lemonade or Jack Citrus, for example, produced by the whiskey distillery in Lynchburg, Tenn.
Bell decided earlier that the language of the law prohibits anyone but distilleries from mixing fruits and juices with alcohol if they are then stored and not consumed immediately. Such storage could raise health concerns, he said.
“I think calmer heads will prevail,” said Haskell, contending the the state Department of Health, which inspects restaurants, would have raised the issue if there were any health concerns. Connoisseurs believe some period of time is needed for the “flavors to marry up,” he said.

DNA Study Finds TN Melungeons of Mixed Race Ancestry

By Travis Lollar, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — For years, varied and sometimes wild claims have been made about the origins of a group of dark-skinned Appalachian residents once known derisively as the Melungeons. Some speculated they were descended from Portuguese explorers, or perhaps from Turkish slaves or Gypsies.
Now a new DNA study in the Journal of Genetic Genealogy attempts to separate truth from oral tradition and wishful thinking. The study found the truth to be somewhat less exotic: Genetic evidence shows that the families historically called Melungeons are the offspring of sub-Saharan African men and white women of northern or central European origin.
And that report, which was published in April in the peer-reviewed journal, doesn’t sit comfortably with some people who claim Melungeon ancestry.
“There were a whole lot of people upset by this study,” lead researcher Roberta Estes said. “They just knew they were Portuguese, or Native American.”

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Haslam Acknowledges ‘Mixed Reviews’ on Classroom Size Bill

By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Gov. Bill Haslam acknowledged Thursday that his class size proposal has received with “mixed reviews,” but vowed to press ahead with the measure intended to help schools fill high-priority teaching positions.
The Republican governor said in a speech at a luncheon hosted by The Associated Press and the Tennessee Press Association that his administration is still working to build support for the measure that would do away with average class size restrictions.
“It has been met with mixed reviews — I guess that’s a charitable way to say it,” the governor said in a speech to state editors and publishers.
Under current law, elementary school classes are capped at 25 students, but schools can maintain an average of no more than 20 students per class. Haslam says getting rid of the latter provision would free up money for schools to pay more for teachers in key locations or subjects.
“We think that flexibility is very, very helpful,” he told reporters after his speech. “The answer is not, I agree, to just increase class size to free up more money to do other things. That’s not the right answer.”
House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, said the proposal has met with some resistance.

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