NJ: Caramel-colored rubbing alcohol sold as scotch

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“We want every assurance possible that our guests can continue to feel confident in the great food and drink they order at our T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants,” said Rick Barbrick, president of The Briad Restaurant Group.

Operation Swill started after the state began receiving more complaints than usual about possibly mislabeled drinks, said the director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Michael Halfacre. An informant with knowledge of the industry contacted the agency in the fall to help in the investigation, he said.

In January and February, investigators went to 63 establishments they suspected were scamming liquor customers. They ordered drinks neat — that is, without ice or mixers — and then covertly took samples for testing.

Of 150 samples collected, 30 were not the brand as which they were being sold.

The establishments face suspensions of their liquor licenses and possible revocations if there are enough violations.

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