Is powdered alcohol a thing of our future?
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) – Alcohol has been whipped, vaporized, canned into energy drinks and mixed into Jell-O shots. Now, meet powdered alcohol.
A new product called Palcohol will instantly turn water into a Kool-Aid for adults. Just add water to the powdered drink mix for a fast cocktail.
To the surprise of critics, federal regulators originally gave the powder a thumbs up. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved several flavors this month — including the liquors vodka and rum, and cocktails such as Lemon Drop and Cosmopolitan.
With a package weighing only an ounce, the powdered alcohol is more portable than a bottle or flask of liquor. But critics have taken to Internet blogs to say maybe it’s a bit too convenient and potentially dangerous.
The company that makes Palcohol, Lipsmark, caused a stir with some of its recommended uses for the instant booze. The Palcohol website previously suggested bringing it into college football stadiums and concerts. It also proposed adding the powder to food, recommending combinations such as vodka and eggs.
Those posts have since been taken down, and the company claims it was simply experimenting with edgy marketing that was not meant to go public. “As Palcohol is a new product, we have yet to understand its potential of being added to food,” Lipsmark said.
Lipsmark says the product has cleared regulatory hurdles and will be on the market in the fall. Buyers must be at least 21 years old to purchase it.
However, the federal agency that had originally approved the new powdered alcohol product reversed its position Monday.
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved Palcohol’s powdered vodka, run, and other cocktails “in error,” Tom Hogue, the agency’s director of congressional and public affairs, said in an email.
Lipsmark said “there seemed to be a discrepancy about how much powder” is in the packets, which are meant to be mixed with water.
Lipsmark said that it will resubmit the product for approval.
Even if the product is ultimately approved at the federal level, it will still be subject to state regulations and available only to anyone over the age of 21.
Palcohol hopes to become the first powdered booze in the United States, but it is not a new concept.
Similar products are on the market in other countries, including Japan and the Netherlands.