Skip to comments.Scores of TGI Fridays in New Jersey 'busted for selling caramel-colored rubbing alcohol
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.
The undercover inspectors tested vodka brands such as Grey Goose and Ketel One; scotch, such as Johnny Walker Black and Dewars; 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 ...
It is understood that the cops and district attorneys will be testing the seized evidence for several years.
Second thing I wonder is who goes to TGI Friday's for their alcohol needs?
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.
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.
My policy of sticking to bottom-shelf booze is vindicated!
I wonder what they used for beer?????
“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.
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.
Young 20 somethings that wouldn't know good booze from swill.
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.
I'm afraid to find out......
That’s a photo of the Corona Brewery, if you believe the rumors....
“...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...
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.
Once again, we hear about this only from a real news agency - one from overseas.
“...then perhaps the person shouldnt 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.
Its the AP, you can’t expect them to use words AND know what they mean.
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.
I realize rubbing alcohol can kill you, but does it show up in a breath test?
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.
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.
“So, so, I really didn’t get drunk?”
Lots and lots of 20-somethings.
Can someone tell me why TGIF was targeted? Why weren’t other places tested simultaneously?
So, this is not some scam on customers, this is POISONING! Whoever did this should be arrested for serious felony crimes, the businesses closed.
The Fount of all Budweiser. . .
In New Joisey? Naaahhh. Fuggedaboutit.
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.
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.
Correct. Kitty Dukakis once tried chugging rubbing alcohol when her booze ran out, and it didn't go so well...
I thought they all closed. At least they did where I live.
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?"
Sounds like the NJ Mafia was involved.
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.
A "score" is a group of 20. "Scores" would imply more than 40.....
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.
Doc, let’s make some scotch.
As naval officers, we’re supposed to be resourceful.
Frank here’s got a great opportunity. Let’s fix him up.
Frank, where is the rest of that alcohol we were drinking last night?
-Now, that ain’t even the right 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?
Well, l told her 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?
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.
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’’
‘’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.
Their customers should be jailed for not having any taste.
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.
My grandparents knew people who had gone blind from drinking that stuff during prohibition.
Exactly! One of my favorite scenes.
Kitty Dukakkis apparently.
By “good stuff” I meant premium priced. Taste is personal.
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.