BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A federal alcohol regulatory agency says for now, it is cutting off approval of a new powdered alcohol product designed to turn any liquid into a mixed drink.
Derek Valcourt has the buzz on this product raising a lot of eyebrows.
Sounds simple, right? Just add a little powder and turn water into vodka or rum or whatever. But don’t raise your glass to that idea just yet.
The next trend in drinking may not be a drink at all–it’s powdered alcohol called Palcohol.
The products include powdered vodka and rum as well as cosmos and lemon drop cocktails. It’s up to 12 percent alcohol by volume. Just add your favorite mixer and voila.
Attorney Robert Lehrman deals with regulation of alcoholic beverages.
“I’m quite astonished that this got approved. In the past–and really to this day–the agency that regulates this tends to be quite careful and rather traditional,” Lehrman said.
A federal agency–the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau–recently approved Palcohol’s labels, the last step after it approved both the distillery and formula.
But after a spate of publicity late Monday, a spokesman said those approvals were issued in error.
The company warns against snorting alcohol, saying it can get you drunk almost instantly.
Addiction experts and many parents worry the product will be ripe for abuse by underage drinkers.
“That’s going to be easy now. Alcohol’s already too easy to walk around with; put it in a McDonald’s cup or whatever. You want to put it in a water bottle now; that’s going to be bad,” said Keith Francis.
“As long as it’s not marketed to children in a real direct way,” said Ricky D’Andrea. “Sounds kind of terrible-tasting but people like what they like, you know.”
For now, Palcohol appears to be on the rocks. On its website, Palcohol says their approval was reversed over a discrepancy with the fill-level, which is how much powder was in their packages. They say it doesn’t mean their products won’t be allowed, but that they will have to resubmit their labels for approval.
Right now, it’s unclear when Palcohol will show up on store shelves. The makers of Palcohol say it should be used in a responsible and legal manner.
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