A New Jersey restaurant is in hot water for trying to pass off a heady mix of caramel food coloring and rubbing alcohol as scotch, state authorities revealed yesterday, while another even cheaper establishment filled its booze bottles with dirty water. Both restaurants were caught in a state-wide sting intended to identify bars that passed off cheap liquor as top-shelf stuff, using new "true spirit authenticator" technology, the Asbury Park Press reports.
"Typically, the way this scheme happens is they take a lesser-known vodka and fill up the premium vodka, scotch or bourbon with it," one state official explained. "These couple of egregious examples, they didn’t even bother doing that. They literally just filled it with whatever they had available." The effort, dubbed "Operation Swill," wound up catching 29 establishments overall, seizing some 1,000 open bottles. (Read more New Jersey stories.)