Powdered alcohol: Add water and ta-da! But don't sniff it

Japan and parts of Europe are already enjoying powdered alcohol, but in the US, 'Palcohol' has run into problems.

A powder that would give new meaning to mixed drinks may take time to hit the US market, says the company producing it, after regulators found a labelling problem.

Palcohol, a powdered alcohol product, is made by an Arizona company called Lipsmark and will come in six varieties of single-drink pouches, says the company website. It would be the first such product available for sale in the US, though powdered alcohol has already been approved in Japan and some European countries.

However, after Lipsmark reported on April 21 that it was on track for release in the fall, the company later said that it learned of a “discrepancy” from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

“We were contacted yesterday about the discrepancy,” a spokeswoman told AFP in an e-mail on April 22, adding that the issue didn't mean approval for Palcohol had been withdrawn. “Palcohol was approved and is still approved,” she said. “We will continue moving forward with the product.”

The spokeswoman declined to elaborate on the nature of the discrepancy, but referred to a statement online which said it related to “how much powder is in the bag”. The company added there was “a mutual agreement for us to surrender the labels”, and that new labels would be submitted. Any approval date for those is unknown.

The half-dozen powder products are made so that they can be combined with water to create a shot of rum or vodka, or with cola or orange juice for a mixer. Palcohol also plans to release cocktail formulations, including Cosmopolitan, Mojito, Margarita and Lemon Drop. Lipsmark says the product could even be sprinkled on food. A patent for the mixture is pending.

In response to consumer inquiries about whether the product could be snorted, Lipsmark says it would take a half cup of powder to equal one drink. “Don’t do it! It is not a responsible or smart way to use the product,” the website urged. — AFP Relaxnews

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