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Scores of TGI Fridays in New Jersey 'busted for selling caramel-colored rubbing alcohol
(UK) Daily Mail ^ | May 24, 2013

Posted on 05/24/2013 4:55:38 AM PDT by Zakeet

Complete Headline: Scores of TGI Fridays in New Jersey 'busted for selling caramel-colored rubbing alcohol as top-shelf scotch' in statewide crackdown dubbed Operation Swill

At one bar, a mixture that included rubbing alcohol and caramel coloring was sold as scotch. In another, premium liquor bottles were refilled with water - and apparently not even clean water at that.

State officials provided those new details Thursday on raids they conducted a day earlier as part of a yearlong investigation dubbed Operation Swill.

Twenty-nine New Jersey bars and restaurants, including 13 TGI Fridays, were accused of substituting cheap booze - or worse - for top-shelf brands while charging premium prices.

As part of Operation Swill, investigators collected 1,000 open bottles of vodka, gin, rum, scotch, whiskey and tequila from the wells of the bars, state Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa said.

‘This alleged scheme is a dishonest ruse to increase profits and is a slap in the face of the consumer,’ Chiesa said.

[Snip]

The undercover inspectors tested vodka brands such as Grey Goose and Ketel One; scotch, such as Johnny Walker Black and Dewar’s; and Jose Cuervo Silver and Gold tequila.

Of 150 samples collected, 30 were not the brand as which they were being sold.

(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events; US: New Jersey
KEYWORDS: alcohol; crime; fraud; newjersey; poison
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Didn't even have the decency to properly
strain the stuff through a loaf of bread

It is understood that the cops and district attorneys will be testing the seized evidence for several years.

1 posted on 05/24/2013 4:55:38 AM PDT by Zakeet
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To: Zakeet
Geez, when I first heard this, I thought that they were serving cheap brands as top shelf, not pulling crap like this. It's a wonder someone didn't get seriously sick.

Second thing I wonder is who goes to TGI Friday's for their alcohol needs?

2 posted on 05/24/2013 4:57:54 AM PDT by Tanniker Smith (Rome didn't fall in a day, either.)
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To: Tanniker Smith

3 posted on 05/24/2013 5:04:48 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: Tanniker Smith

I love to sip Cuervo Tequilla. It’s not even the expensive stuff. I like the mix of sweet and spicy.

So one day I go into one of my local Kentucky bars and I see they have it so I order a shot. It was some sort of tequilla, but it was NOT remotely what I know this stuff tastes like. I figure this stuff goes on all the time. It’s why, since I left Seattle, I tend to just order beer when I’m in public and save the good stuff for when I have friends over at home.


4 posted on 05/24/2013 5:06:46 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: Zakeet

One of these restaurants, Cucina Calandara, Fairfield, is run by the Calandra family, owners of the highest rated bakery, and also one of the top three pastry shops in NJ.

That Cake Boss guy on TV doesn’t even come close.

Surprised the Calandras were hit, they have kept up the highest standards for bread, cake and pastry in the NYC metro area.

Also a bit upset, but I don’t drink liquor at Italian restaurants.


5 posted on 05/24/2013 5:07:08 AM PDT by JerseyHighlander
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To: Zakeet

My policy of sticking to bottom-shelf booze is vindicated!


6 posted on 05/24/2013 5:12:08 AM PDT by jiggyboy (Ten percent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: Zakeet

I wonder what they used for beer?????


7 posted on 05/24/2013 5:12:09 AM PDT by mirkwood
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To: Zakeet

“At one bar, a mixture that included rubbing alcohol and caramel coloring was sold as scotch.”
__________________________________

Sorry, but this story does not pass the smell test.
The bars may very well be watering down liquors, but with rubbing alcohol? They might use diluted PGA, vodka, or water, but surely not rubbing alcohol.


8 posted on 05/24/2013 5:18:45 AM PDT by AlexW
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To: Tanniker Smith

I simply don’t believe they were using rubbing alcohol. It makes no sense. Soemone has to know how to mix the sh**. A cheap replacement makes more sense or short shots.


9 posted on 05/24/2013 5:19:05 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Zakeet
Twenty-nine New Jersey bars and restaurants, including 13 TGI Fridays, were accused of substituting cheap booze - or worse - for top-shelf brands while charging premium prices.

Scores?

10 posted on 05/24/2013 5:19:53 AM PDT by pgkdan (Some taglines never go away....)
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To: Tanniker Smith
Second thing I wonder is who goes to TGI Friday's for their alcohol needs?

Young 20 somethings that wouldn't know good booze from swill.

11 posted on 05/24/2013 5:23:02 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: Zakeet

This is one of the oldest tricks in the bar business. One way to tell if the bar is refilling premium bottles with the cheap stuff (or worse) is to take a look at the bottles behind tha bar: If you see torn, faded, or stained labels on popular premium brands, then there is a good chance that the bottles are being refilled with the generic stuff.

Another way to tell is to taste it. If a person can’t tell the difference between Jameson’s Irish Whiskey and Powers, then perhaps the person shouldn’t order the good stuff in the first place.

The second oldest trick inthe book is for the bartender to pour a “premium” drink below the bar out of the customer’s sight using the cheap stuff. This is a common practice in tourist type bars with a high turnover of non-repeat customers. If the drink doesn’t taste quite right, then ask for another in a clean glass and keep your eye on the bartender.


12 posted on 05/24/2013 5:24:00 AM PDT by Labyrinthos
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To: mirkwood
"I wonder what they used for beer?????"

I'm afraid to find out......

13 posted on 05/24/2013 5:24:11 AM PDT by Lockbar (The guy that fires the last bullet gets to write the history books,)
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To: Lockbar

That’s a photo of the Corona Brewery, if you believe the rumors....


14 posted on 05/24/2013 5:26:56 AM PDT by ErnBatavia (Piffle....)
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To: Tanniker Smith

“...who goes to TGI Friday’s for their alcohol needs?”

Who goes to TGI Fridays?

And another question...Is this limited to New Jersey? Or is this common in all 57 states...


15 posted on 05/24/2013 5:27:17 AM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea
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To: AlexW

Exactly: This story sucks.

Rubbing alcohol and caramel Coloring would have people in the hospital.

They could be using grain alcohol, you can purchase that in most liquor stores, it is about 170 proof, water that down and add caramel coloring and you have a drink. Not good one, but a drink,

Rubbing alcohol is deliberately poisoned by the government.


16 posted on 05/24/2013 5:28:32 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: Zakeet

Once again, we hear about this only from a real news agency - one from overseas.


17 posted on 05/24/2013 5:29:40 AM PDT by Real Cynic No More
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To: Labyrinthos

“...then perhaps the person shouldn’t order the good stuff in the first place.”

Jameson’s is good stuff? Bushmill’s, and especially Black Bush is far better than Jameson’s.


18 posted on 05/24/2013 5:30:18 AM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea
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To: pgkdan

Its the AP, you can’t expect them to use words AND know what they mean.


19 posted on 05/24/2013 5:30:21 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: AlexW

I agree with your thoughts. Rubbing alcohol is denatured and poisonous; serving it would be akin to aggravated assault. If you’re going to purposely cheat and poison your customers you may as well go whole hog and buy methanol by the 55 gallon drum.


20 posted on 05/24/2013 5:32:48 AM PDT by WinMod70
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To: Zakeet

I realize rubbing alcohol can kill you, but does it show up in a breath test?


21 posted on 05/24/2013 5:35:25 AM PDT by BobL (To us it's a game, to them it's personal - therefore they win.)
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To: Zakeet

About 45 years ago my brother got his first job pumping gas at an Exxon (then Esso) station on Rt. 22 in NJ. He was told it was the busiest gas station in the United States.

Also said they routinely added regular gasoline to the premium tank, and kerosene to the regular tank.


22 posted on 05/24/2013 5:40:38 AM PDT by Williams (No Obama)
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To: Zakeet

Rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol is poison. If there’s any truth to this story, people need to go to jail for a long, long time.

More likely they were using grain alcohol.


23 posted on 05/24/2013 5:40:47 AM PDT by Fresh Wind (The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.)
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To: Zakeet

“So, so, I really didn’t get drunk?”


24 posted on 05/24/2013 5:43:23 AM PDT by muir_redwoods (Don't fire until you see the blue of their helmets)
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To: Tanniker Smith
"Second thing I wonder is who goes to TGI Friday's for their alcohol needs?

Lots and lots of 20-somethings.

25 posted on 05/24/2013 5:45:12 AM PDT by muir_redwoods (Don't fire until you see the blue of their helmets)
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To: Zakeet

Can someone tell me why TGIF was targeted? Why weren’t other places tested simultaneously?


26 posted on 05/24/2013 5:46:48 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: AlexW
Watering the liquor is harmless, but isopropyl alcohol is poisonous - it can make you sick & drinking enough can kill you.

So, this is not some scam on customers, this is POISONING! Whoever did this should be arrested for serious felony crimes, the businesses closed.

27 posted on 05/24/2013 5:49:52 AM PDT by Mister Da (The mark of a wise man is not what he knows, but what he knows he doesn't know!)
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To: Sacajaweau
"Twenty-nine New Jersey bars and restaurants, including 13 TGI Fridays, were accused of substituting cheap booze - or worse - for top-shelf brands while charging premium prices."
28 posted on 05/24/2013 5:50:28 AM PDT by Fresh Wind (The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.)
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To: Fresh Wind

Sounds Mafia-ish


29 posted on 05/24/2013 5:52:25 AM PDT by AppyPappy (Obama: What did I not know and when did I not know it?)
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To: Lockbar
Right idea. Wrong Species.

The Fount of all Budweiser. . .

30 posted on 05/24/2013 5:53:15 AM PDT by Salgak (Acme Lasers presents: The Energizer Border. I **DARE** you to cross it. . . .)
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To: AlexW
Would it be believable if the bar owners donated to Republicans?
31 posted on 05/24/2013 5:57:29 AM PDT by sportutegrl
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To: AppyPappy
Sounds Mafia-ish

In New Joisey? Naaahhh. Fuggedaboutit.

32 posted on 05/24/2013 5:58:05 AM PDT by Fresh Wind (The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.)
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To: Zakeet

My guess is that they were being ripped off by their employees. Bartender gives out free drinks to friends or a freebie for a good tip or not ringing one up. Taking some home..whatever. They need to cover that inventory lest they be caught.


33 posted on 05/24/2013 5:58:45 AM PDT by Irenic (The pencil sharpener and Elmer's glue is put away-- we've lost the red wheel barrow)
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To: Salgak

Long ago, a xeroxed cartoon circulated through my workplace. It depicted a well-hung horse simultaneously drinking from a bucket of Budweiser and filling a bucket of Miller Light.


34 posted on 05/24/2013 6:00:25 AM PDT by Fresh Wind (The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.)
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To: Venturer
Rubbing alcohol and caramel coloring would have people in the hospital.

Correct. Kitty Dukakis once tried chugging rubbing alcohol when her booze ran out, and it didn't go so well...

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1989-11-09/news/8902090013_1_kitty-dukakis-gerald-r-plotkin-dukakis-aide

35 posted on 05/24/2013 6:02:10 AM PDT by NotYourAverageDhimmi
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To: SampleMan

I thought they all closed. At least they did where I live.


36 posted on 05/24/2013 6:05:10 AM PDT by formosa
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To: Salgak
The Fount of all Budweiser. . .

Bud Lite is the brew of choice for my in-laws, and regrettably, my son. I thought I had raised him better than that.

Of course, I was spoiled by living in Germany for 4+ years. I don't drink much anymore, but when I do, it's Guinness (draft only), Shiner Bock, Buffalo Butt, or a good German brew.

At a family gathering last weekend, a BIL ordered a glass of water and a Bud Lite. I replied, "aren't they one and the same?"

37 posted on 05/24/2013 6:08:05 AM PDT by Night Hides Not (The Tea Party was the earthquake, and Chick Fil A the tsunami...100's of aftershocks to come.)
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To: Zakeet

Sounds like the NJ Mafia was involved.


38 posted on 05/24/2013 6:08:13 AM PDT by mohresearcher
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To: Williams
Also said they routinely added regular gasoline to the premium tank, and kerosene to the regular tank.

Most of the fuel treatments which are sold on the shelves of auto parts stores and other retailers are nothing more than kerosene. He may have been cleaning carbs without knowing it.

39 posted on 05/24/2013 6:09:02 AM PDT by RobertClark (My shrink just killed himself - he blamed me in his note!)
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To: Zakeet
"Twenty-nine New Jersey bars and restaurants, including 13 TGI Fridays"

A "score" is a group of 20. "Scores" would imply more than 40.....

40 posted on 05/24/2013 6:10:31 AM PDT by cincinnati65
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To: Sacajaweau
Can someone tell me why TGIF was targeted? Why weren’t other places tested simultaneously?

Did you read the article? They investigate 63 different locations based on complaints and collected 150 samples. TGIF was not targeted, they just happened to be the recipient of a high number of complaints resulting in several of their locations being investigated.

41 posted on 05/24/2013 6:12:32 AM PDT by RobertClark (My shrink just killed himself - he blamed me in his note!)
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To: Zakeet

Doc, let’s make some scotch.

Scotch?

As naval officers, we’re supposed to be resourceful.

Frank here’s got a great opportunity. Let’s fix him up.

Right.

Frank, where is the rest of that alcohol we were drinking last night?

-Now, that ain’t even the right color.

-Quiet, boy.

Color?

Coke. You got any?

l haven’t seen a Coke in four months. No, it’s five months.

l forgot l had it.

What shade would you like?

Shade?

Pale, smokey?

Well, l told her Red Label.

-Red Label?

-Red Label.

lt may look like it,

but it sure won’t taste like it.

Doc, what does scotch taste like?

lt tastes like....

You know what it’s always tasted a little like to me?
lodine.

Of course.

One drop of iodine, for taste.

Let me try that.

This calls for a medical opinion.

How about it?

We’re on the right track.

Now we need something extra for age.

What have you got there, Doug?

Seltzer, some fruit salts, hair tonic....

Hair tonic! That’s got a coal tar base.

One drop of hair tonic, for age.

That’ll age the daylights out of it.

That’s it!

You know, it does taste a little like scotch.

Do you know, it does.

That dumb little blonde will never know the difference!

All right, Frank,

Doug and l made the scotch...

...the nurse is your department.

‘’She won’t know the difference

She won’t know the difference’’

Thanks, Doc.

‘’She’ll never know the difference’’

You won’t know the difference,

will you, baby?

No, you won’t. No, you won’t.

Thank you, Doc. Thanks, Doug.


42 posted on 05/24/2013 6:18:53 AM PDT by COBOL2Java (Fighting Obama without Boehner & McConnell is like going deer hunting without your accordion)
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To: Zakeet

Their customers should be jailed for not having any taste.


43 posted on 05/24/2013 6:25:43 AM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Zakeet
'Tis also illegal at the federal level

From the TTB.GOV site

6. Refilling, Reusing and Disposing of Liquor Bottles

(a) Refilling or reusing liquor bottles - Any retail dealer, or agent or employee of such dealer, who refills any liquor bottle with distilled spirits, or who reuses any liquor bottle by adding distilled spirits or any substance (including water) to the original contents is subject to a fine of not more than $1000 or imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or both.

(b) Disposition of liquor bottle - The possession of used liquor bottles by any person other than the one who emptied the contents thereof is prohibited, except that this prohibition shall not:

(1) prevent the owner or occupant of any premises on which such bottles have been lawfully emptied from assembling the same on such premises
(i) for delivery to a bottler or importer on specific request for such bottler or importer;
(ii) for destruction either on the premises on which the bottles are emptied or elsewhere, including disposition for purposes which will result in the bottles being rendered unusable as bottles; or
(iii) in the case of unusual or distinctive bottles, for disposition as collectors' items or for other purposes not involving the packaging of any products for sale;

(2) prevent any person from possessing, offering for sale, or selling such unusual or distinctive bottles for purposes not involving the packaging of any product for sale; or

(3) prevent any person from assembling used liquor bottles for the purpose of recycling or reclaiming the glass or other approved liquor bottle material.

Any person possessing liquor bottles in violation of law or regulations is subject to a fine of not more that $1000, imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or both.

44 posted on 05/24/2013 6:47:57 AM PDT by IYAS9YAS
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To: COBOL2Java
Mr Roberts...I presume. :-)
45 posted on 05/24/2013 6:51:00 AM PDT by Conservative4Ever (I'm going Galt)
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To: Zakeet

My grandparents knew people who had gone blind from drinking that stuff during prohibition.


46 posted on 05/24/2013 6:53:30 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Conservative4Ever
Mr Roberts...I presume. :-)

Exactly! One of my favorite scenes.

47 posted on 05/24/2013 6:54:01 AM PDT by COBOL2Java (Fighting Obama without Boehner & McConnell is like going deer hunting without your accordion)
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To: Tanniker Smith
Second thing I wonder is who goes to TGI Friday's for their alcohol needs?

Kitty Dukakkis apparently.

48 posted on 05/24/2013 6:59:19 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: GGpaX4DumpedTea

By “good stuff” I meant premium priced. Taste is personal.


49 posted on 05/24/2013 7:33:27 AM PDT by Labyrinthos
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To: SampleMan
Young 20 somethings that wouldn't know good booze from swill.

I guess that's why the ruse worked. Actually, I do remember a time going out with coworkers when someone would order a mixed drink (even if it was lunchtime and we had to go back to work), but no one ever ordered top shelf stuff.

50 posted on 05/24/2013 7:43:26 AM PDT by Tanniker Smith (Rome didn't fall in a day, either.)
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