Nothin' like a scotch-on-the-rocks to make up for a hard day at the office. On second thought, there isn't anything like it if you aren't drinking at a T.G.I. Fridays (or an establishment of similar repute) in New Jersey. If that is where you drink your scotch, there is indeed something like it, according to state officials: rubbing alcohol, caramel color, and water.
Bogus booze evidently flowed all over Jersey, straight from top-shelf bottles into the highballs and tumblers of investigators. Here's the A.P.:
At one bar, a mixture that included rubbing alcohol and caramel coloring was sold as scotch. In another, premium liquor bottles were refilled with water—and apparently not even clean water at that.
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.
We'd say this is a good reason not to order premium liquor at T.G.I. Fridays, but, then again, if you were the type of person who needed a particularly compelling, government-endorsed data point to know not to order premium liquor at T.G.I. Fridays, you're probably not a person we can help.