Powdered Alcohol Tentatively Approved; Cue Moral Panic and Good Times!



Bringing us one step closer to a Jetsons-esque future, powdered alcohol is now, in fact, a thing. But whether it's a legal thing remains to be seen.

Various media reported earlier this week that the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) had approved seven varieties of "Palcohol," powdered alcohol packs that can be combined with water or other mixers to form "instant cocktails." The Palcohol website itself says "we are excited by the approval of our powdered alcohol product," and that the TTB "approved it some time ago."

Palcohol creator Mark Phillips told Behrman Beverage Law that it took the company nearly four years to get the TTB approval.

But a spokesman for the TTB told the Associated Press that the approvals had been issued in error.

Robert Lehrman, who runs the Behrman Beverage Law site, said this oversight "does not ring true." He suggested to AP that the agency may be backtracking after the approval was publicized and worried lawmakers started getting in touch. 

In an update yesterday, Palcohol said it's been in touch with the TTB and "there seemed to be a discrepancy on our fill level, how much powder is in the bag." This doesn't mean that Palcohol isn't approved, just that the labels aren't ("we will re-submit labels," the company said).

If all goes according to plan, Palcohol expects its powdered cocktails to hit the market this fall, in flavors such as Mojito and "Powderita," along with powdered vodka and rum. I, for one, have no desire to actually try these newfangled libation aberrations. But it should be fun to watch the moral panic that ensues! 

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  1. Thank god we need the approval of our betters to buy and sell that which we desire. If we didn’t, the Koch brothers would certainly kill us all for profit.

    1. If you don’t think the Koch brothers wouldn’t harvest your organs for a profit, you’re deluding yourself.

  2. Well, let’s get the moral panic started!

    Can you snort it?

    I mean, you can snort pure grain–but why would you want to? Ouch!

    The question is whether it’s going to sting like alcohol if you snort it.

    If you can, is that going to let drunk people pass a breathalyzer?

    1. From the Palcohol website FAQ:

      “Can I snort it? We have seen comments about goofballs wanting to snort it. Don’t do it! It is not a responsible or smart way to use the product. To take precautions against this action, we’ve added volume to the powder so it would take more than a half of a cup of powder to get the equivalent of one drink up your nose. You would feel a lot of pain for very little gain. Just use it the right way.”

      1. What about suppositories? I’m asking for a friend.

        1. What about suppositories? I’m asking for a friend.

          This reminds me of that story where the intern cooked and blended (I think that’s how he did it) 10 pounds of bacon so he could pour it in his ass. He got an infection and died.


          1. Did they blame it on South Park?

      2. “Don’t do it! It is not a responsible or smart way to use the product.”

        Please snort responsibly.

        They put extra thought into it to make sure that snorting it wouldn’t work as intended.

      3. Volume? What is it? Cornstarch or some such crap?

        Thanks hysterical types and FDA for forcing them to adulterate their product.

    2. Snort?
      What other orifices can we stick it in?
      Can teens huff it?
      Yes they can – right in the keister!
      [in every middle class high school in America]

      1. You’re looking for this timeless Jacob Sullum classic, “Vodka-Soaked Tampons Are ‘Everywhere'”:…..everywhere

        There’s also a bonus reference to teens “butt-chugging”.

        Soccer moms in a moral panic are soooooooo crazy!

        Ohhhh, we got trouble!
        Right here in River City!

        1. With a capital ‘T’ and that rhymes with ‘P’ and that stands for Palcohol.

          1. + 76

    3. Mandatory blood draws!

      For the children.

    1. I can see the smiling, intoxicated pitcher blasting into a party right now.

        1. Kool-Aid is totally insane if it doesn’t launch a new product line for adults, who are all primed for Kool-Aid’s cousin, Brew-Aid.

  3. Has anyone thought of the children? They have? In that case I’m looking forward to mojito Lik-a-Stix.

    1. That actually sounds good!

  4. Now that is something that would go great with Pop Rocks! Much better than foie gras and Pop Rocks ala Graham Elliot.

    OT trivia: Foie Gras costs roughly the same amount of money as Pop Rocks.

  5. This will completely change the way we sneak alcohol into college football games, movie theaters, anywhere alcohol is forbidden. Heck, even places where alcohol is sold, but too expensive like strip clubs.

    I remember cutting a slit in the lining of my girlfriend’s purse to hide a bulky flask in there on the way to an FSU game. No longer!

    1. Alcohol is prohibited in movie theaters?

    2. The proper flask has its particular shape for you to hide on your own body, not in a purse.

      1. Unfortunately, football security has, at this point, seen every variation of hiding the flask on a man’s body. Although the FSU security never checks my boots like they did at Texas. So, I take it back. Wear shitkickers and you’re home free.

        1. Ah, that is what you get for being one of those FSU heathen.

          1. That’s racist, yo. Seminoles have a proud religious tradition of their own, I’m sure.

            1. I thought one had to be a WASP to be racist? When did that rule change again?

              1. Its affirmative action.

              2. No, any kind of white person can be racist.

                1. ALL White people are racist.

                  That is all.

        2. Do they check under hats? That’s how we used to sneak cameras into concerts when I was growing up.

  6. I’m going to be so drunk on plane flights from now on. Well, drunker than I already was.

    1. Planning on hiding it in the talcum powder bottle?

      1. No, up my ass. I already do, but this’ll be more comfortable.

    2. Obviously, you’re not going to be able to take a powdery substance through the gate. The airlines and bars pay good money to keep you from getting liquor past security. That’s like thinking you can sneak alcohol into Disney.

      1. I have a cunning plan: The alcohol patch.

  7. Palcohol. Because alcohol is your bestest pal.

  8. Would probably be useful in a first aid kit.

    1. Not really. It takes three ounces of fat and sugar to encapsulate the equivalent of one ounce of liquor. So it’s already diluted before it’s diluted.

  9. I’m concerned they are marketing to the children by selling it in sweet fruity flavors.

    For the love of god, tell me their brand mascot isn’t Joe Camel!

    1. Jim Camel with two humps. Joe Camel has such negative connotation.

  10. This could be really good for the beach in San Diego.…..ars-later?

    1. On Labor Day in 2007, several hundred people crowded the section of Pacific Beach near Reed Street. When police officers responded to reports of fighting in the crowd about 5 p.m., they were pelted with full beer cans, plastic bottles and size D batteries by the crowd.

      Well, they say people are honest and more likely to show their true feelings when their inhibitions are lowered with alcohol.

      What’s that say about how people feel about pigs?

      1. I thought D batteries were a proud tradition that Cleveland sports fans use for “honoring” their opponents.

        1. Philly fans.

        2. Texas Tech fans at least stick to AA’s.

      2. “”I opposed it, and I still oppose it,” said Paul Falcone, a member of the Pacific Beach Planning Group speaking on his own behalf. “It’s such a small percentage of people who are causing a problem.”

        Falcone said there are more than enough regulations already dealing with alcohol on the beach, adding, “We don’t need to ban it for everybody.”

        The beach alcohol ban has negatively impacted beach communities, Falcone contends.

        “Beach businesses have suffered dramatically, their revenues are down almost 50 percent since the ban,” he said, arguing the ban is also driving people away from the beaches ? and away from beach businesses ? especially on all-important summer holiday weekends.

        “We went from averaging 2 million people on the Fourth of July holiday weekend to 400,000,” Falcone said.

        “The bottom line is it has taken away a lot of our freedoms,” Falcone said, noting that 2008’s Prop. D, which made the alcohol ban permanent, only passed by a 51 to 49 percent margin.

        “People in the beach areas voted 65 percent against the ban,” said Falcone. “It was other areas voting for it that caused it to pass.”…..ars-later?

        Soccer moms in North County don’t want their high-school age kids going to the beach and getting wasted.

        The statists never let a crisis go to waste.

        1. Booze has been banned on the beach here for as long as I can remember. The law just weeds out the retards who are too stupid to bring the red SOLD cups with them.

          1. I remember free reign in San Diego.

            We used to load up whatever firewood we could find and have bonfires on the beach at Del Mar or Solana Beach that would last all night.

            As I always heard it, surfers adapted wine coolers from the Sangria found on surf trips down the Baja. Chicks loved ’em!

            They were part of California’s heritage.

            Don’t it always seem to go,
            that you don’t know what you’re got ’til it’s gone?

            1. Could not the solution from the “irrational soccer mom” point of view be that the public land that is the beach be privatized?

              There could be the subsequent landowner who does not have a problem with outsiders drinking and being boisterous on his property. But given liability that might not be much of a likelihood.

              Beaches stay clean; good for the environment

              Children are sheltered from the Demon Rum; moms are happy.

              A Win…

  11. Amazing the TTB actually approved it. IIRC, they’ve lately been censoring beer and wine names for being too impolite/raw/interesting.

    Can’t wait to see the “not actually approved” or another agency saying “you need our approval, too”

    1. “The FDA has only approved sale of liquid alcohol not suspended in solids.”

  12. Oh! One more thing!

    This post is in desperate need of a Pat Travers reference.

    The title of this post should have been “Snortin’ Whiskey” (and Drinkin’ Cocaine?).

  13. … and the Hat Tip goes to …

  14. Am I the only one that realizes that this is chemically impossible? Alcohol is a volatile liquid, period. There is no solid version of alcohol.
    Why the hell hasn’t anyone noticed this? Usually the commenters here are pretty smart

    Is this a hoax?

    1. I was looking for the 4-1-14 date too. Powdered alcohol? What’s next, dehydrated water?

  15. Can we Gentlemen (and hypothetical Lady) all agree that this sounds ghastly in practice?

    Not the legality, surely, but the idea of actually consuming this koolaid alcohol.

    “Powerderita” /shudder/

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