Texas regulators say more costly alcohol not always served

In most classic cocktails, the star ingredient is the liquor. But the Bloody Mary revolves around its non-alcoholic flavors: tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, salt and pepper. It's also infinitely customizable.CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Marge Ely)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Regulators say customers at some Texas establishments apparently paid for pricier alcohol but were not served the better booze.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission says an undercover effort called Operation Bottoms Up began in April.

Authorities sought to verify the integrity of alcohol served at 68 licensed retailers statewide. Some allegedly substituted low-end alcohol for top-shelf brands. Locations of the retailers weren’t released.

Undercover staffers posing as customers ordered top-shelf alcohol by name. Investigators collected 153 samples for analysis.

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Testing results revealed Thursday indicated 40 samples from 21 retailers contained substituted liquor in place of the high-end brands.

TABC is in the process of filing administrative notices against 14 licensed retailers. Action on the others is pending. Violators could face fines and suspension of liquor licenses.



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