New York State has pretty strict liquor laws, which are regulated by the State Liquor Authority. Not only are licenses, liquor stores, and restaurants/venues regulated in the state; certain types of alcohol are banned.

1. Powdered Alcohol


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According to Wikipedia,

Alcohol powder or powdered alcohol or dry alcohol is a product generally made using micro-encapsulation. When reconstituted with water, alcohol (specifically ethanol) in powder form becomes an alcoholic drink.

In New York State, the sale of any powdered alcohol product is banned by Assembly Bill 1357 / Senate Bill 1757,

Prohibits the sale or offering for sale of any powdered or crystalline alcohol product.


2. Nutcrackers


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According to Wikipedia,

A nutcracker is a type of cocktail consisting of a mixture of hard liquor and sugary beverages such as fruit juice. Nutcrackers originated and are typically made and sold in New York City.

They are banned because many of the people selling them don't have a liquor license from New York State. Also, they are often sold and consumed in areas where alcohol is banned like public parks and beaches.

Senate Bill S1880B / Assembly Bill A6324B addresses the sale of Nutcrackers (and other alcoholic beverages) in barbershops,

Establishes penalties for licensed barbers who sell alcohol to persons under the age of twenty-one years, including the loss of barbering license.


3. Vapor Alcohol


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New York Consolidated Laws, Alcoholic Beverage Control Law - ABC § 117-b says,

Possession or use of alcohol vaporizing devices prohibited. For purposes of this section, "alcohol vaporizing device" means any device, machine or process which mixes spirits, liquor or other alcohol product with pure oxygen or other gas to produce a vaporized product for the purpose of consumption by inhalation.


4. Alcohol Infused With Marijuana


Photo by Elsa Olofsson on Unsplash
Photo by Elsa Olofsson on Unsplash

New York has strict regulations for combining cannabis with food products. When it comes to mixing alcohol with marijuana, it is in fact illegal in New York State,

Product requirements include but are not limited to: not containing more than 0.3% total Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol concentration; not containing tobacco or alcohol;


5. Phrosties


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Like Nutcrackers, Phrosties are banned for a number of reasons including unlicensed vendors, sales in restricted areas, and the appeal to underage drinkers. It's questionable as to whether a Phrosties vendor is checking IDs when selling them and the sugary aspect of the drink allegedly appeals to teenagers. According to the New York Post, Sen. Charles Schumer said,

A 12-year-old can probably buy these ‘sloshies’ online, get it and enjoy it because it’s filled with fruit juice and fruit punch and all the things that taste sweet and nice.


6. Homemade Moonshine


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New York State law is pretty clear about distilling alcohol in your home. Without a license, you could get into legal trouble,

Any person who shall manufacture any illicit alcoholic beverage or who, not being duly licensed as a distiller under the provisions of the alcoholic beverage control law, shall own, operate, possesses or have under his control any still or distilling apparatus is guilty of a felony.

Unfortunately, NYS does not allow you to legally use a still to make liquor at home.

7. Absinthe

EU Remains Divided On Absinthe Definition
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Absinthe is distilled from grand wormwood, sweet fennel, green anise, and other herbs.

According to The Spirit Business,

The most notorious banned spirit in drinks history, absinthe has long battled a tidal wave of myths and misconceptions which lead to its widespread ban across the US and Europe in the early 20th Century. Said to cause hallucinations and bouts of madness, the spirit was targeted by social conservatives and blamed for social degeneration.

Any "Absinthe" sold in the United States does not contain thujone. According to Wikipedia,

The chemical compound thujone, which is present in the spirit in trace amounts, was blamed for its alleged harmful effects.

You are allowed to order Absinthe with thujone from retailers outside of the U.S., according to Absinthe Original,

Thujone is still banned in the US, but as a food rather than a drug. You aren't allowed to distill or commercially make absinthe, but you can legally own a bottle and even make your own as long as it isn't distilled.

Surprisingly, this one drink is not yet banned in New York State:

Alcohol Mixed With Caffeine

FDA Investigates Dangers Of New Caffeinated Alcoholic Drinks
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While the New York Senate passed Senate Bill S3889A, the Assembly failed to pass its version, so it never became law. The Senate Bill would have prohibited,

the sale and delivery of certain caffeinated or stimulant-enhanced alcoholic beverages.

Many subsequent versions of the bill have been introduced, but nothing has been passed by both the Senate and Assembly and signed into law. However, the United States Food and Drug Administration threatened to ban the original version of Four Lokos, so the company removed the caffeine. According to Esquire,

It was November 17, 2010, and earlier that day it had been announced that after months of legal headaches, Four Loko would remove the caffeine and other stimulants from its controversial beverage formula.

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