Most of the mixed drinks in Baltimore are illegal

Got your attention yet?

It's true. According to city liquor laws:

"No licensee shall serve more than two ounces of liquor to one person at one time for consumption on the premises."

Two ounces! How many ounces are in the average martini? More than two, most likely. How about the average double gin and tonic? Or the average double anything for that matter?

If the city enforced this law, half the bars in Baltimore would be fined or shut down. 

I spoke with Douglas Paige, the spokesman for the Board of Liquor License Commissioners (that's a fancy way of saying the Baltimore Liquor Board) to try and wrap my head around this law ...

Paige said in his 20 years with the liquor board, he has never once heard of a bar being punished for this law. In fact, he implied that it would be absurd for liquor board inspectors and police officers to enforce it.

"It's something that's on the books," Paige said. "Unless a police officer or an inspector is right there real time, how do you catch it?"

Wink, wink.

That's probably the best way to handle the law. Otherwise, it would turn this city's nightlife scene upside down.

(Baltimore Sun photo of the pomegranate margarita at Holy Frijoles by Gene Sweeney Jr.)

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