CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
This application claims the benefit of U.S. Patent Application No. 61/698,080, dated Sep. 7, 2012.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
THE NAMES OF THE PARTIES TO A JOINT RESEARCH AGREEMENT
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OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to liquid containers and dispensers. More specifically, the invention relates to a system for containing and dispensing a liquid such as ethanol, and a method for dispensing ethanol or other liquid.
2. Technology in the Field of the Invention
It is a Southern tradition to drink liquids such as “sweet tea” from a so-called Mason jar. Mason jars are typically clear jars that are used for canning and storing food. Mason jars are particularly popular for those seeking to can home-grown fruits and vegetables.
The typical Mason jar is a molded glass jar wherein the upper end, or mouth, has screw threads on its outer perimeter to accept a metal ring (or “band”). The band, when screwed down, presses a separate stamped-steel, disc-shaped lid against the rim of the jar. An integral rubber ring on the underside of the lid creates a hermetic seal to the jar. The bands and lids usually come with new jars, and bands and lids are also sold separately. While the bands are reusable, the lids are intended for single use when canning.
Mason jars are commonly made of soda-lime glass. They may have a 2⅜ inch (60 mm) or wide 3 inch (76 mm) mouth diameter. They come in a variety of sizes including cup (half-pint), pint, quart, and half-gallon.
The most common U.S. brands of Mason jars are Ball and Kerr. Both of these brands are now part of the Jarden corporation based in Rye, N.Y.
According to Southern lore, “bootlegged” whisky, that is, home-stilled grain sold without license or without accounting to the Internal Revenue Service, was distributed in and/or consumed from Mason jars. Recently, some states such as Tennessee have created laws opening up the ability of companies to manufacture and sell distilled spirits. An example of such as a law is the amended Tennessee Code §§57-3-202 and 57-3-203 passed in 2009 and 2011.
It is desirable under the new law to “can” and sell licensed distilled spirits, that is, beverages containing ethanol, in Mason jars. However, pouring any beverage from a Mason jar can be messy for the consumer due to the enlarged rim at the mouth of the jar. Therefore, what is needed is a system for containing and dispensing ethanol or other liquid using a liquid container having a two-piece lid. Further, a need exists for a method of pouring ethanol or other liquid from a Mason jar.
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OF THE INVENTION
A liquid dispensing system is first provided herein. The liquid is preferably a grain-based distilled spirit containing ethanol. Examples include vodka, bourbon, corn mash whisky, and so-called “moonshine” or “white lightnin\'.”
The system first comprises a liquid container. The liquid container has an open upper end forming a mouth. The liquid container further has external threads at the mouth. Preferably, the liquid container is a so-called Mason jar having the enlarged rim.
The system also has a screw-type ring, or band. The ring is dimensioned to be threadedly fastened or screwed onto the external threads of the jar.
The system further includes a blank circular cap. The cap serves as a lid for the Mason jar. The cap has a diameter dimensioned to enclose the open upper end of the jar, and to be sealed between the screw-type ring and the upper end.
The system also has a circular pouring cap. The pouring cap has at least two through-openings punched through the pouring cap. The circular pouring cap also has a diameter dimensioned to enclose the open upper end of the jar and to be sealed between the screw-type ring and the upper end. In this way, the blank circular cap and the circular pouring cap are interchangeable.
The system optionally also has at least two corks. The corks are dimensioned to be frictionally received within the at least two through-openings. In this way, the through-openings are selectively sealed.
A method for pouring an alcoholic liquid from a Mason jar is also provided herein. The Mason jar has an open upper end with external threads, a screw-type ring for threading onto the external threads, and a blank circular cap having a diameter dimensioned to enclose the open upper end. The circular cap is designed to be sealed between the screw-type ring and the upper end when the ring is screwed down onto the external threads at the mouth of the Mason jar.
The method first includes providing a Mason jar. The Mason jar is as described above.
The method also includes providing a circular pouring cap. The pouring cap has at least two through-openings punched through the pouring cap. The circular pouring cap also has a diameter dimensioned to enclose the open upper end of the jar and to be sealed between the screw-type ring and the upper end. In this way, the blank circular cap and the circular pouring cap are interchangeable.
The method further comprises providing corks. The corks are dimensioned to be frictionally received within the at least two through-openings for selectively sealing the through-openings.
It is preferred that the through-openings are on opposite sides of the pouring cap.
The method also includes placing the circular pouring cap and the corks into a bag. The method then includes providing the bag for the Mason jar for retail sale. Preferably, the bag with the circular pouring caps and the corks are attached to the Mason jar for retail sale.
In one aspect, the method also includes the steps of:
unscrewing the screw-type ring from the upper end of the Mason jar;
removing the blank circular cap from the upper end of the Mason jar;
placing the circular pouring cap onto the upper end of the Mason jar;