I’ve noticed drink menus in three different forms: like in your photo, as an added insert into a folded menu and as a separate menu. We have a history of wacky and always-changing liquor laws here in Utah, so what I’m used to seeing might not be the norm. Our state legislature, by the way, has always been composed mostly of non-drinking Mormons who regard drinking as a sin, have no experience with alcohol, and pass erratic liquor laws that reflect both their ignorance and beliefs.
Wacky Utah drinking laws tangent follows:
For a long time, there were no places in Utah that served more than low-alcohol beer. There were no bars that served hard liquor. All liquor and beer with more than 3.2% alcohol had to be purchased at a state-owned liquor stores and carried from the store in a brown paper bag and consumed at home.
Then something called liquor locker clubs came into legal existence. They allowed card-carry members to bring their own unopened liquor bottles into the club. Those liquor bottles were kept in lockers and served to their owners upon request in mixed drinks, but there were still no actual bars.
Then the law changed again to allow private clubs (regular bars serving liquor) where one needed to be sponsored by an existing member, apply for membership, endure a waiting period and then receive a card permitting the holder of the card to enter the bar and order a drink.
After a few short years, it became apparent that Utah was losing tourist and convention dollars because of these restrictive laws, so that realization prompted a never-ending series of revisions from one year to the next by our clueless state legislature.
People were then allowed to bring their own wine bottles (covered in a brown paper bag) to a restaurant and request that it be opened by an authorized wine opening staff member. Similar requirement were in place for liquor, but no mixed drinks were allowed unless the customer just wanted to order, say, a Coke then pour some rum into it from the bottle inside the brown paper bag.
Laws were then passed that allowed certain licensed restaurants to serve drinks with meals in certain segregated areas of the restaurant. A restaurant customer, after ordering a meal, was allowed to go into a special segregated room to order drinks from a bar tender who would mix the drinks with no alcohol. The bartender would then give the customer a mini bottle (like the ones in airliners). The customer would be required to take both the drink and the mini bottle back to the table in the restaurant. At the table, the customer was allowed to open the mini bottle and pour the liquor from the mini bottle into the drink. The empty mini bottle was then promptly removed by the waiter or waitress in an effort, I suppose, not to expose others to the site of a liquor bottle.
Then the law changed again to require that the restaurant customer mix the mini bottle contents at the bar (literally on the bar) in the presence of a supervising bartender before taking the drink back into the main part of the restaurant.
Then, after three or four more years, the law was changed to require these establishments to hide all their mini bottles so that they were never visible to any customers except when mixing the drinks at the sectioned-off bar area of the restaurant.
The law was changed again to require that only the bartender could pour the liquor from the mini bottles into the drink.
Eventually, the state legislators were told that one mini bottle per drink made an unusually strong drink, at which point the state legislature immediately banned all mini bottles from both private club bars and restaurants. In their place came measuring dispensers that only allowed a small amount of liquor to be mixed per drink by the bar tender.
The law was changed again to prevent restaurants from mentioning that they served alcoholic drinks. The customer was, first, required to ask if the restaurant served liquor with meals. At this point, the waiter or waitress was allowed to answer the question and give the customer a special drink menu that enabled them to order from a waiter or waitress over the age of 21 one drink per meal. Depending on the restaurant’s license, the customers might be required to move to a special liquor-permitted area of the restaurant with special waiters and waitresses who could legally serve the mixed drinks or beer with more alcohol than 3.2 percent.
At about this point I began to lose track of the ever-changing laws since I rarely order anything but a beer with pizza or Mexican food at the restaurants I know have licenses to do so. I haven’t been to an actual bar in several years, so I don’t know what the situation is there either any longer.
It’s still not possible to by liquor or wine in anything other than a state-owned liquor store. No beer can be sold in stores with an alcohol content over 3.2 percent, but the legislature in this last session was debating whether or not to allow stores to sell regular beer since some popular beers are no longer brewed to the Utah-mandated low-alcohol content requirements. I’m unsure, but I think any changes were pushed forward to next year to provide time for the non-drinking legislators to educate themselves about beer.