In 2020, House File 2540 was signed into law, legalizing the sale of mixed drinks or cocktails to-go by class ā€œCā€ retail alcohol licensees. 

The legislation also authorized the Iowa Department of Revenue Alcohol & Tax Operations Division (Division) to adopt administrative rules to implement the provisions of law related to mixed drinks or cocktails sold to-go.

A mixed drink or cocktail is an alcoholic beverage, composed in whole or in part of alcoholic liquor, that is combined with other alcoholic beverages or nonalcoholic beverages or ingredients including, but not limited to:

  • ice
  • water
  • soft drinks or 
  • flavorings.
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Approved Sellers

Holders of the class "C" retail alcohol license can sell mixed drinks or cocktails to-go.

Licensees selling mixed drinks or cocktails to-go must do so as described in the rules. Licensees found to be selling mixed drinks or cocktails to-go that are not in compliance with the rules could face civil penalty, license suspension or license revocation.

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Employee Requirements

An employee must be 18 or older to fill and sell mixed drinks or cocktails to-go. Please refer to Employing 16-17-Year-Olds  for information on employees under 18.

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Containers for Drinks

Containers including, but not limited to, plastic, glass, or metal bottles and glass jars are allowed provided they are able to meet the sealing requirements within the rules.

The following types of containers are not allowed to be used:

  • A container with a lid with sipping holes or openings for straws;
  • A cup made of paper or Styrofoam;
  • A plastic cup that is intended for one-time use
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Selling Restrictions

A mixed drink or cocktail to-go cannot be sold to any person who is under 21, any person who is intoxicated, or any person who is simulating intoxication.

To-go Cocktail FAQs


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