The maker of Palcohol, the controversial powdered alcohol mix, has some things to say about the criticisms his product has received from the media and lawmakers. In a PSA-style YouTube video (post around 2:00 a.m. this morning), Mark Phillips sheds some light on his peculiar new product and how he hopes
The video is predominantly a reaction to Senator Chuck Schumer's request that the FDA ban Palcohol right away: "I'm calling on the Food and Drug Administration to immediately step in, investigate Palcohol based on its obvious health risks and prohibit this ludicrous product from going to market.” Schumer also calls the product "absurd" and "scary", saying it is “the Kool-Aid of teenage binge drinking."
Phillips say Schumer is "completely ignorant about the truth of Palcohol, and as a result his letter to the FDA and press conference were so riddled with inaccuracies and irresponsible statements, I had to set the record straight.”
So here's how Phillips set the record straight:
The package Palcohol comes in is comparable to a Capri Sun bag, a foil style packet, six-inches tall, four-inches wide, with a two inch gusset so it can be stood up. Phillips designed the bag "so it becomes the glass." After adding five ounces of water to the bag, you zip it shut and shake it for about thirty seconds. If the water is cold, you shake the packet longer to fully dissolve the powder. If you don't finish your "perfect and so much fun" bag of liquor in one sitting, you can zip it closed and save it for later. Fantastic, a built in to-go cup.
One bag of Palcohol has the same alcohol content as a shot. That means you don't actually get 'more' drunk from consuming powdered alcohol compared to regular alcohol. If anything, it will take you longer, because you will have to consume more liquid. (Palcohol requires five ounces of water to dissolve.)
Snorting It (Don't):
Phillips has a lot to say about snorting Palcohol, and based on how much he emphasized the pain that would be involved in doing that, we're curious to know if he experimented with it himself: "Snorting it is VERY painful. It burns. A LOT. It hurts."
He asks the logical question, "Why would anyone choose to spend an hour of pain and misery to snort all of this powder to get just one drink in their system?" Because the Internet and adolescent dares exist, Mr. Phillips, and logic has no place in viral videos.
Phillips goes on to point out that snorting Palcohol is "impractical." "There's absolutely no reason, even for an irresponsible person, to snort powdered alcohol [...] It's so painful to snort and it would take so long, its just impractical." And drunk college kids are extremely concerned with reason and practicality.
As a rule, you should try to avoid snorting powders of any kind. But you should really, really avoid snorting Palcohol.
Palcohol is not approved for sale yet. The powder itself has been given the okay, but the product labels have to be resubmitted to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau for approval. Only then can it be distributed. Palcohol has two formulas awaiting approval: a beverage formulation that is ingestible and an industrial formulation that you cannot ingest. Phillips says he is in talks with a variety of companies to explore the use of the industrial formula. He has heard suggestions for quite a slew of uses: Palcohol as an emergency fuel source for the military; usage in windshield wiper fluid; medical use as an antiseptic; and much more. Don't worry, the ingestible formula is different so your adult Capri Sun-ish pouch won't have the same ingredients as what you clean your car windows with.
You can watch Phillips give his full 17-minute pitch below. Until then, we can't wait to greet you with a lime garnish and a hug, you delicious, weird powdered alcohol pouch.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.