Powdered alcohol presents plenty of hazards

Zachary Phillips

From the mahogany liquor cabinets of New York’s richest, to the dorm room mini fridges of Chico State’s first-years, to the toilet tanks of inmates across the nation.

Alcohol is the lifeblood that flows through America’s veins.

Recently, however, the fiery liquid has formed a bit of a clot.

Regulators at the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau temporarily “accidentally” approved a new and supposedly revolutionary product to hit America’s store shelves within the next year: Palcohol, or powdered alcohol.

These packets of freeze-dried liquid courage will come in several different flavors, including vodka and rum, and can be added to any drink or food for an added kick.

Although the idea seems fun and full of whimsy at first, further thought has me wondering what Palcohol’s creators were thinking. Here are a few reasons why Palcohol seems like a flat-out dumb invention.

It’s counterintuitive

On their website, Palcohol’s creators market their invention as alcohol on the go. Consumers can easily tote their booze around wherever they see fit, without the burden of big bottles.

Let’s be clear, alcohol impairs motor skills; it isn’t an on-the-go kind of drink.

As an example of Palcohol’s utility, the website mentions a metaphorical Mark, who uses Palcohol on his outdoor excursions: hiking, biking and kayaking.

I can think of a long list of things that are bad to do while intoxicated, and hiking, biking and kayaking are all toward the top.

It’s unnecessary

Another tip that the website gives is to mix Palcohol with other drinks or food.

For example, adding rum powder to a glass of Coca-Cola, or a packet of Powderita to a bowl of guacamole.

This actually sounds like a great suggestion; so good, in fact, that people have already been doing it for centuries.

Why not just use real alcohol while cooking?

I could be wrong, but a dash of actual vodka in a bowl of guacamole sounds a lot more appealing than a packet of Palcohol’s Powderita mix.

It’s dangerous

Critics are already starting to raise questions about Palcohol’s accessibility for abuse, speculating on the products snorting capabilities.

In response, Palcohol’s creators added a binding agent to the product to increase its volume.

This means that instead of sending a booze rocket straight through the blood-brain barrier, Palcohol will simply clog a snorter’s nasal passage, resulting in immense pain and hospitalization.

Great. That sounds great.

Ultimately, Palcohol just seems like it’ll do more harm than good. I’m usually all in favor of embracing change, but this is one trend that I hope never catches on.

Call me old-fashioned, but seeing someone take a packet of powder from their pocket and empty it into a drink should never be a normal thing.

Zach Phillips can be reached at [email protected] or @ZachSPhillips on Twitter.