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Food & Drink

Don't Snort It, and Other Powdered Alcohol Pro Tips

Since word got out a few days ago that a new brand of powdered alcohol, named Palcohol, received approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, consumers have fantasized about all the possibilities—namely snorting it, which the company now clearly says is not advised. The product, in basic R (rum) and V (vodka) flavors, as well as Cosmopolitan, Mojito, Lemon Drop, and Powderita, is expected to go on sale this fall.

Lipsmark, the maker of the boozy, just-add-water concoction, has overhauled the website, which previously contained “some humorous and edgy verbiage” (including some joke about snorting) that did not sit well with the public. “We tried to put up a site as quickly as possible to communicate the truth about Palcohol,” said creator Mark Phillips in an e-mail—including why we might ever need such a thing. Here are some highlights:

1. Please don’t pretend it’s cocaine. The company is serious about this. “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,” the site now warns. “You would feel a lot of pain for very little gain.”

2. Palcohol is for jocks. Here’s the origin story: “Mark is an active guy … hiking, biking, camping, kayaking, etc. After hours of an activity, he sometimes wanted to relax and enjoy a refreshing adult beverage. But those activities, and many others, don’t lend themselves to lugging heavy bottles of wine, beer or spirits. The only liquid he wanted to carry was water. So he thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have alcohol in powder form so all one had to do is add water?’” While it would seem to also solve a problem for sports fans and concertgoers, the site has backed off its initial enthusiastic endorsement of such frugality.

3. Travelers get thirsty, too. “Palcohol can be transported in your luggage without the fear of bottles breaking. In any situation where weight and breakage is an issue, Palcohol provides the answer,” the site claims.

4. Add to food at your own risk. The makers aren’t claiming it tastes good, but you can try: “When you add Palcohol to food, you’re not really adding flavor to the dish, just alcohol. We’ve been experimenting with it like adding Powderita powder to guacamole, Cosmopolitan powder on a salad, V in a vodka sauce, etc.”

Wong is an associate editor for Bloomberg Businessweek. Follow her on Twitter @venessawwong.

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