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Tempe, Ariz. — 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 have given 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 -- Tempe, Ariz.-based Lipsmark LLC -- 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.
While the product has federal approval, it faces state regulations, plus retailers and wholesalers need to agree to sell it. 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.
Palcohol would be 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.
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