Alcohol at Sundance: Boozing in Utah—a bartender explains the state's confusing liquor laws


Can you buy "real" beer in Utah? What happens if you order a double? Or if you have a taste for something fruity?

While at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah,'s Ted Balaker asks a bartender to make sense of the state's confusing liquor laws. (3.10 minutes long)

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  1. what is the best whiskey to serve with tofu sushi?

  2. Sounds like they’ve got everything under control out there. Let’s all move to Utah.

  3. My experience was there’s a lot of ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ wrt Utah liquor laws in Park City, especially if your *not* there at the peak times of holidays or Sundace/Slamdance. I think most Utahans (Utes?) consider Park City their Gomorrah, but recognize the commercial and safety-valve value of keeping it a bit looser there.

  4. Hilarious stuff Ted. Your fan club is proud today!!

  5. I think it’s good you can get a shot of the same liquor that’s already in your drink. Celebrate diversity, my friends.

  6. I was a snowboard bum in Park City almost 15 years ago, and it was a very strange experience. Buying decent beer was a pain since we had to go to the state run liquor store. I liked the analysis buy the bartender that people still get drunk. I’m glad they have all those regulations. And let us not forget that you have to be 19 to buy smokes.

    Park City seemed to be known as Sin City in the rest of Utah (I also heard Little Los Angeles). And, it seemed as though all of the restauranteurs were cokeheads from Los Angeles.

  7. Yet another reason to avoid visiting Utah. I’ll take my tourist dollars elsewhere!

  8. “Or if you have a taste for something fruity?” In Utah? Well, they kill you, that’s what.

  9. You can cheat the system by ordering a Vieux Carre and still get a good cocktail:

    1 oz cognac
    1 oz rye
    1 oz sweet vermouth
    1/4 oz Benedictine
    2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
    2 dashes Angostura

    I think the vermouth counts as a “flavoring” so you can order this with the rye or cognac as a sidecar and mix it in yourself. Though finding a Utah bar that stocks all this stuff might be impossible…

  10. On a recent visit to Utah, my wife ordered a frozen daiquiri at a Mexican restaurant and couldn’t drink it out because it was so strong. The waitress explained that they couldn’t “mix” the drink, so my wife had to stir it herself.

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