“The Bartender’s Black Book Tenth Edition” was distributed to stores as “a resource for employees when fielding customer inquiries about wines and cocktail recipes,” New Hampshire Liquor Commission spokesman E.J. Powers said in a statement. The book has an “extensive and informative” section by a well renown wine critic, Powers said.
“The guide also contains some drink titles that employees could find objectionable,” he added.
Richard Gulla, president of the State Employees’ Association of New Hampshire, told the Monitor that several employees complained about the “incredibly offensive names of drinks in the books” after they landed in stores in April. The newspaper reported there are dozens of titles with sexually explicit names.
Then, Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) got involved.
“As soon as the books were first brought the governor’s attention on July 17, she immediately directed the Liquor Commission to remove them because of the offensive and objectionable nature of its content,” Hassan spokesman William Hinkle said in a statement. “Since then, the Governor and the Department of Justice have worked to ensure that the directives were followed.”
The recall began July 25 and all of the books had been collected within a few days, Powers said. They’re at the commission headquarters.
“In retrospect, we could have done a more thorough job vetting the guide,” Powers said.
In New Hampshire, the government directly controls the distribution and regulation of alcohol. The liquor commission operates 78 retail stores and brought in $642 million in gross sales during fiscal year 2015, according to commission figures.