Feds Approve Powdered Alcohol But Several States Remain Opposed

It's called Palcohol, and it's coming to a glass or water bottle near you.

BySYDNEY LUPKIN
March 11, 2015, 6:39 PM

— -- intro:It's sort of like Tang, but instead of being a powdered fruity drink, it's powdered alcohol.

Now, that's a kick in a glass, to borrow Tang's old slogan.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, part of the U.S. Treasury Department, approved a product today called Palcohol, a powdered alcohol that can be stirred into liquid to create mixed drinks.

It's hardly the first time anyone has tried to market such a product, but it's the first time one has been approved.

Though it's not yet on the market, here are a few of the questions the company has already answered. The company said it hopes to start selling Palcohol this summer.

quicklist: 1category:title: How do you use it?url:text:You stir a packet of Palcohol into six ounces of liquid, according to Lipsmark, the company that owns Palcohol. To dissolve, it takes a minute of constant stirring, so it wouldn't be easy to spike someone's drink without them knowing, according to the company, which noted that the product may appeal to people who do not want to carry around heavy bottles, such as people who are going camping.

quicklist: 2category:title: Does it come in flavors?url:text:Yes. It comes in vodka, rum, cosmopolitan, "Powderita" (a margarita flavor) and lemon drop. Four varieties were approved today, but it's not clear which ones.

quicklist: 3category:title: What's the alcohol content?url:text:When mixed with six ounces of water, you get the alcohol content of a normal mixed drink, according to Lipsmark.

quicklist: 4category:title:How about the calorie content?url:text:It's 80 calories per bag, but some are sweetened, Lipsmark said. So a completed drink's calories depend on the mixers added to it.

quicklist: 5category:title:Is anyone against it?url:text:Yes. Several states, including Alaska, Louisiana, South Carolina, Vermont and Virginia want to prohibit the sale of powdered alcohol. They fear that people will sneak the packets into venues and other places that don't allow alcohol, for example.

Lipsmark said the 4-by-6 inch packet would be larger than a small bottle of liquid and therefore harder to sneak in. But they acknowledge when there's a will, there's a way -- but that's the case with any alcohol, not just the powdered variety.

quicklist: 5category:title:Can you snort it?url:text:Lipsmark says 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 today's release addressing concerns about the product.

quicklist: 1category:title: How do you use it?url:text:You stir a packet of Palcohol into six ounces of liquid, according to Lipsmark, the company that owns Palcohol. To dissolve, it takes a minute of constant stirring, so it wouldn't be easy to spike someone's drink without them knowing, according to the company, which noted that the product may appeal to people who do not want to carry around heavy bottles, such as people who are going camping.

quicklist: 2category:title: Does it come in flavors?url:text:Yes. It comes in vodka, rum, cosmopolitan, "Powderita" (a margarita flavor) and lemon drop. Four varieties were approved today, but it's not clear which ones.

quicklist: 3category:title: What's the alcohol content?url:text:When mixed with six ounces of water, you get the alcohol content of a normal mixed drink, according to Lipsmark.

quicklist: 4category:title:How about the calorie content?url:text:It's 80 calories per bag, but some are sweetened, Lipsmark said. So a completed drink's calories depend on the mixers added to it.

quicklist: 5category:title:Is anyone against it?url:text:Yes. Several states, including Alaska, Louisiana, South Carolina, Vermont and Virginia want to prohibit the sale of powdered alcohol. They fear that people will sneak the packets into venues and other places that don't allow alcohol, for example.

Lipsmark said the 4-by-6 inch packet would be larger than a small bottle of liquid and therefore harder to sneak in. But they acknowledge when there's a will, there's a way -- but that's the case with any alcohol, not just the powdered variety.

quicklist: 6category:title:Can you snort it?url:text:Lipsmark says this is a criticism it's heard, but 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 today's release addressing concerns about the product.

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