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Do gin and tonics belong at the ballgame?
Now you can enjoy a cocktail while you watch baseball at historic Fenway Park. Sacrilege?
 
Beer and baseball have long gone hand-in-hand, but now Boston's Fenway Park is enraging traditionalists by selling cocktails.
Beer and baseball have long gone hand-in-hand, but now Boston's Fenway Park is enraging traditionalists by selling cocktails.
CC BY: Kent Goldman

Massachusetts has long taken a puritanical stance toward alcohol; the state did not allow liquor stores to sell booze on Sundays until 2004. But this week, Bay State authorities gave the Boston Red Sox the green light to serve up mixed drinks throughout Fenway Park, baseball's oldest stadium, as opposed to merely in premium-priced sections. (Perhaps a stiff cocktail will distract fans from the team's wretched 0-5 start to the season.) While other ballparks have already enacted a similar policy, the prospect of hard liquor at one of the sport's sanctuaries has rekindled a familiar debate: Do mixed drinks and baseball really mix?

It's part of the modern game: People who don't want mixed drinks at the park are being overly nostalgic, says The House That Dewey Built. They still have a "Norman Rockwell image" of a baseball game: "Wooden stadiums, wool uniforms," and "very few minorities" in the stands. These same misguided traditionalists who complained when stadiums widened their menus beyond hot dogs. "God forbid the unwashed masses get their hands on a watered-down Tom Collins."
"Mixed drinks at Fenway? Will somebody please think of the children!!??"

This is just another attempt to overcharge fans: The last time I bought a beer at a Red Sox game, "they cracked open a lukewarm can of that luscious Bud Light and poured it into a cup," says Beantown Banter. And it still cost $8. "What the hell do you think the price is going to be for a hard liquor drink? I’m guessing $12 range and it’s going to be more coke than liquor." What a ripoff.
"Beantown banter: Hard liquor at Fenway?"

Sox fans are too tough for cosmos: "Everywhere I've ever seen liquor at sports venues — at least outside of the club level — it’s been in the form of sugar-laden froofy frozen drinks and other obnoxious concoctions," says Craig Calcaterra at NBC Sports. Drinkers in Boston are a "fairly discerning bunch" who would be more apt to order a Jameson on the rocks than a novelty cocktail, so "I doubt this will turn into a big problem or, for that matter, a particularly desirable product."
"The Red Sox want to serve more liquor in Fenway. What could possibly go wrong?"

 

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