It’s like near-beer

I had no idea this stuff even existed:

Coweta County is, or so I had thought, a dry county when it comes to package liquor sales. You can buy cocktails in a dining establishment, but not the high-octane ingredients in a store — and certainly not in a supermarket. One city in the county allows package stores, but the three stores in that city are the only legal package stores in the entire county, and it’s a long drive from these home acres of ours. This is why I make a much shorter drive into neighboring southern Fulton County to buy my cheap Scotch.

And yet here, miles away from that one city, I was looking at small and large bottles of whiskey and gin. I was mystified. And tempted. I may prefer Scotch to bourbon, but I can deal with it. I’m not running low on Scotch, though, so I settled for looking. And that’s when I saw this on one of the shelf tags:

42 Proof

Oh, ho. Apparently 21% alcohol by volume falls below the threshold at which a distilled spirit is prohibited from sale except in designated package stores.

The Georgia Department of Revenue explains, sort of:

Distilled Spirit is any alcoholic beverage obtained by distillation or containing more than 21% alcohol by volume, including but not limited to all fortified wines.

So this is the moral equivalent of 3.2 beer, which, according to Oklahoma statutes, is “non-intoxicating.”

It is to laugh.


  1. McGehee »

    10 June 2018 · 7:34 pm

    So, I wonder what term would apply to these pre-watered spirits? “Slightly stilled”?

  2. fillyjonk »

    11 June 2018 · 6:58 am

    Maybe “quiescently stilled”?

    (Years and years ago, there was some kind of “frozen treat” my parents used to buy – I can’t remember if it was some variety of Popsicle or what – that claimed to have been “quiescently frozen” and that always intrigued and slightly scared me as a child. What could “quiescently frozen” possibly be?)

  3. hollyh »

    11 June 2018 · 8:15 am

    So fj got me curious about that phrase: As it turns out, the fancier title belongs to the much-simpler and cheaper method.

    “This phrase actually refers to the fact that flavored ice is simply put in a refrigerator and frozen. The word “quiescently” means in a restful state. This distinction is made because ice cream and most other frozen confections are stirred or agitated in a process known as overrunning. For example, overrunning is what causes the ice cream mixture to expand as it slowly freezes by creating little bubbles of air in the mixture. It requires constant agitation until the confection is ready. Quiescently frozen mixtures are not stirred or agitated at all after the mixture is prepared.”

  4. CGHill »

    11 June 2018 · 11:46 am

    And now we know.

    This is, in fact, the legal definition of a Popsicle; the phrase “A Quiescently Frozen Confection” appears on all Popsicle packaging. (Don’t know about the zillions of knock-off treats.)

  5. fillyjonk »

    11 June 2018 · 12:16 pm

    As a kid, “quiescently frozen” always struck a little – if not exactly fear, maybe “concern” – in my heart, because somehow it sounded a bit like some kind of ancient beast chained below Arctic ice and kept dormant, but maybe someday to re-emerge. (I did not know about Lovecraft’s writings as a child, fortunately.)

RSS feed for comments on this post