The Slatest

Powdered Alcohol Approved for Sale Because Cocktails Were Getting Kind of Heavy

Bottles are displayed on a shelf behind the bar at a cafe in Helsinki Vantaa airport.

Photo by Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images

A powder form of alcohol got the go-ahead from regulators on Tuesday and can now be sold in the U.S. The boozy powder, called Palcohol, is basically your run-of-the-mill alcohol or cocktail distilled into powder form, all you need to do is add water. Four powders have been approved for sale so far: vodka and rum, as well as a cosmopolitan and a margarita, according to the company.

How does it work? Here’s how the Palcohol describes its alcoholic alchemy: “Imagine a Margarita on a counter. And then imagine if you could snap your fingers and it would turn into powder. That’s Palcohol.” But why? And when would any person with normally functioning taste buds kill for a cold Palcohol? The company’s website has the answer.

Why create Palcohol? [Founder Mark Phillips] 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? … So he began his quest to create it. After years of research, experimentation and consultation with scientists around the world, he finally came up with powdered alcohol and called it Palcohol.

And here we are thanks to a disruptive hiker with a taste for a cocktail or two. There are fears, however, that the powder will fall into the hands of nonoutdoorsmen, like children, and that it could be snorted, or snuck in places where it would normally be impossible to take a bottle of Jack, like your office. Several states have moved to ban the powder. Because of the kid thing, not the office thing.