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Ice cream containing spirits now legal in New York state

The manufacture and sale of spirit-infused ice cream and frozen desserts has been authorised in New York to meet “increasing consumer demand”.

Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, signed legislation on 3 August legalising the practice in a move which is designed to help the state’s dairy farmers, drinks makers, dairy processors, food retailers and restaurants.

The legislation states that ice cream may not contain more than 5% of alcohol by volume (ABV) and must have the same labelling as other products, such as confectionery, that contain booze.

Ice cream containing wine was legalised in the state in 2008, while beer and cider were added to the list of approved ingredients in 2018. 2020 has seen the turn of spirits.

As per legal requirements, such products can only be sold to those over 21.

Cuomo said: “The craft beverage industry has experienced explosive growth in New York and with that comes a responsibility to advance regulations that help ensure long-term viability, protect consumers and provide farmers with opportunities to increase their business.

“This legislation will further grow a burgeoning industry and boost small businesses while helping to put them on a path of sustained growth that empowers both producers and consumers.”

According to a statement published on his website, Cuomo, who has been the governor of New York since 2011, has worked hard to eliminate barriers preventing craft drinks makers from setting up operations.

Since October 2012, the number of “farm-based” alcohol licences has increased by over 190%, from 282 to 823. New York is within in the top five US states containing the most craft beverage producers. It ranks first for cider, second for breweries and distilleries and fourth for wineries.

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