Feds Flip Stance on Powdered Alcohol

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

Looking to party with powdered alcohol? Well, you won’t be able to any time soon.


A plan to bring powdered spirits to the American public hit a snag on Monday, when a federal bureau that had previously approved the product reversed its position.

Palcohol — basically an adult version of Kool Aid or Crystal Light — had been given a green light from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau earlier this month. But the bureau said yesterday that the decision had been made "in error."

The product appears to be geared toward low-end consumers who need a more discreet way to get their drink on. Specifically, a draft version of the Palcohol website touts it as a good option for concerts and sports games, where booze can be pricy.

“What’s worse than going to a concert, sporting event, etc. and having to pay $10, $15, $20 for a mixed drink with tax and tip,” the website read. “Are you kidding me?! Take Palcohol into the venue and enjoy a mixed drink for a fraction of the cost.”

You could mix the drink with water, but you could also cook with it, or sprinkle it on your hot dog, as the The Atlantic Wire points out.

The concept of powdered alcohol isn’t new. Countries like Japan, Germany and the Netherlands all have similar products. After an initial approval, though, the U.S. is moving with more caution.


The health risks are pretty clear. If you follow the mixing instructions and add the recommended amount of water, you’ll get something equivalent to a mixed drink. But if you add less water, it will be stronger.

Another option is snorting it. As Gizmodo mentions, a draft version of the products website warns about the potential dangers of putting it up your nose, simultaneously doing a pretty good job of letting us know that you can put it up your nose.


Let's talk about the elephant in the room….snorting Palcohol. Yes, you can snort it. And you'll get drunk almost instantly because the alcohol will be absorbed so quickly in your nose. Good idea? No. It will mess you up. Use Palcohol responsibly.

By the way, marijuana is still illegal.

Ted Hesson was formerly the immigration editor at Fusion, covering the issue from Washington, D.C. He also writes about drug laws and (occasionally) baseball. On the side: guitars, urban biking, and fiction.