Palcohol, a new powdered alcohol product that allows consumers to mix alcohol powder with liquid to create a cocktail, has been approved by the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Lipsmark, the company that makes Palcohol, recently announced the news on its website.
“Imagine a regular margarita on a counter,” Palcohol founder Mark Phillips said in an interview with The Times last year. “Now imagine if you could snap your fingers and the margarita turns into powder. That’s what Palcohol is … without the magic.”
Palcohol, or powdered alcohol, was approved this week by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, part of the U.S. Treasury Department. But the powder packets that can turn water into a mixed drink have already been banned by several states amid fears that Palcohol can be easily abused.
“As a parent, it’s one thing to patrol for cases of beer or bottles of booze,” said chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser, who is also a pediatrician. “But having to look for little packets, I worry that it could lead to more underage drinking, making it easier.”
How does it work?
One packet of Palcohol equals one shot, according to the company’s website. Each packet weighs 1 ounce and turns into liquid when mixed with 6 ounces of water.
What flavors will be available?
The Phoenix-based company plans to release five flavors: vodka, rum, cosmopolitan, powderita (which is like a margarita) and lemon drop.
When does it hit the market?
The product is expected to be available in stores starting this summer, according to the website.
What’s the point?
Lipsmark says Palcohol was dreamed up for people who love the outdoors but don’t want to travel with heavy alcohol containers — such as people who are going camping.
Can you snort it?
Lipsmark says the potential to snort Palcohol has been one of the complaints it’s heard, but that Palcohol would be hard to snort. Not only does it have the burn of alcohol, but it would take an hour to snort a “shot” of vodka, according to the company’s statement this week addressing concerns about the product.
Are there risks?
Concerns over safety have already led several states, including South Carolina, Louisiana and Vermont, to ban powdered alcohol and other states are considering legislation, KPNX-TV in Phoenix reported. Some critics are concerned people may try to snort the powder or mix it with alcohol to make it even stronger or spike a drink.
“We anticipate that allowing powdered alcohol onto the market will have grave consequences for our nation’s young people,” David Jernigan from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told in a statement.
Powdered alcohol can be concealed and therefore easier for youth to access and consume, he said.