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Minnesota sobriety groups ready for battle over new powdered alcohol drink

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A new type of alcohol greenlit two weeks ago by the federal government has Minnesota parents and advocates worried.

That’s because the powdered – yes, powdered – alcohol comes in kid-friendly flavors, packaged in a size that can fit into a pocket. Just add water and you have instant cocktails.

According to maker Lipsmark, Palcohol contains either premium vodka or premium Puerto Rican rum:

V and R can be used two ways. One way is by adding five ounces of your favorite mixer to make a Rum and Coke, Vodka and Orange Juice, etc. Another option is adding five ounces of water to the powder and then adding a flavored drink powder to make it any flavor you want. The result is equivalent to one average mixed drink.

The four cocktail versions are:

• Cosmopolitan
• Mojito
• Powderita - tastes just like a Margarita
• Lemon Drop

The company plans to release six versions of the powdered drink for sale this fall. It’ll be sold in a pouch, equivalent to one shot of booze and containing around 10 to 12 percent alcohol per volume.

The federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau gave Palcohol “label approval” April 8.

But Palcohol surrendered the approval after federal officials told the Associated Press late Monday that the approvals were issued in error.

KSTP reports advocates are concerned about the new powdered alcohol tempting kids to drink.

“This is devastating,” Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge counselor Adam Pederson told KSTP. "It seems like we battle a new trend every day."

Business Insider reports Palcohol is directly targeting sporting events and concert audiences, assuring potential users that there is nothing worse than watching football or a live music event sober. What, after all, is football without alcohol?

Read more about Palcohol

Palcohol isn’t the first powdered alcohol product. The AP reports John Coupland, a professor of food science at Penn State University, noted that there have been multiple patents filed on powdered alcohols over the years. One by General Foods Corp. in the 1970s says the product is made by absorbing the ethanol onto some sort of carbohydrate powder.

After media reports surfaced about the possibilities of snorting Palcohol, the company website quickly cautioned against snorting:

11. Can I snort it? We have seen comments about goofballs wanting to snort it. Don't do it! It is not a responsible or smart way to use the product. To take precautions against this action, we've added volume to the powder so it would take more than a half of a cup of powder to get the equivalent of one drink up your nose. You would feel a lot of pain for very little gain. Just use it the right way.

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