An Oklahoma City bar manager was arrested and jailed recently after authorities found bottles of vodka infused with bacon, beef, pickles, garlic and jalapeños in a storage area. Thankfully, not all of these ingredients went into a single infusion (which certainly would be an arrestable offense, in our opinion).
The Pump Bar’s on-duty manager Colin Grizzle spent three days in jail after the incident. It wasn’t the notion of infusions that sparked Grizzle’s arrest—even if beef-infused vodka does sound highly regrettable. Instead, it was the method he was using to infuse the vodka that proved problematic, as Oklahoma law forbids refilling open bottles of liquor. Grizzle was emptying the vodka bottles, adding the ingredients to infuse the vodka and then refilling the bottles with the vodka.
"Obviously this is a violation of law," Master Sgt. Gary Knight of the Oklahoma City Police Department told KOKH. "You cannot pour alcohol out and pour anything back into the bottle then serve it."
The bar had already received a warning for its infusion practices in February of this year, before Grizzle’s arrest. Violations of this law are punishable by up to six months in jail, but the bar’s owner Ian McDermid is helping Grizzle fight the charge. He says Oklahoma law is unclear in terms of liquor infusions. He maintains that there was no violation and charges should be dropped.
While we applaud The Pump Bar in its cocktail-inspired fight against the authorities and its no-waste infusion approach, we think Grizzle’s life would be made a lot easier if someone would just tell him about Mason jars.