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Nina In New York: Powdered Alcohol! No, Wait. Nothing.

Palcohol makes a variety of powdered alcohol products. (credit: CBS 2)

Palcohol makes a variety of powdered alcohol products. (credit: CBS 2)

A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York. The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
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By Nina Pajak

We’ve all been there.

Maybe you’re out at a bar and can’t push through to the bartender. Perhaps you’re stuck in an airport during a lengthy delay and don’t want to spend the next five hours shelling out $15 per drink. Or you’re at a stadium and forgot to bring twelve forms of ID and your birth certificate in triplicate. Or you’re home during a major weather event and have torn your way through the emergency rum supply. You’ve been dragged on a camping trip and some idiot only brought one six pack for three nights? Or it could be that you’re just the average underage drinker desperately trying to figure out a way to sneak a thermos full of screwdrivers with you to a sporting event/concert/public park/dance club/party/dorm room/private residence/classroom/sidewalk/live television taping/field trip/school dance/birthday party/wedding/funeral/hotel room. Etcetera.

Well, for a brief, shining moment in time, one product brought the promise of resolution to all of these problems and more: Palcohol. It’s a freeze-dried, powdered form of liquor and comes in varieties ranging from standard vodka and rum to fun and funky flavors like margarita and cosmopolitan.

No longer would we be dragged down by heavy, breakable, and cumbersome bottles! Never again would a day at the park need be a sober one! Gone were the days of high school kids being prevented from smuggling drinks into pretty much anywhere they can manage to acquire a glass of water. The sky was the limit! Just imagine what a house of college kids could have done with Palcohol, a 30 rack and a jar of lemonade mix! Nothing but good could come from this.

Amazingly, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) approved Palcohol. Not amazingly, it received an onslaught of media attention.

And then, as quickly as it came, it was brutally ripped away from us. The TTB rescinded their approval. It was a mistake, they claimed. But I think we can all guess what happened here. The bros at the TTB were probably all, “yeah dude, now we can all drink cosmos during Thursday board meetings and no one will ever know it’s not water! We are gonna get so frickin’ wasted, bro.” And then the media came in and lamed it up like usual, and then the TTB had to be all, “oh yeah, I guess this is maybe not the greatest idea and has potential for misuse or whatever and, uh, clerical error. Government agencies, amiright? Ha ha ha!”

We flew too close to the sun, and we should have known better. But for a brilliant second, the heavens smiled down upon clandestine drinkers everywhere.

Oh sure, there’s still a chance Palcohol could see the light of day. But I won’t hold my breath. I will, however, hang onto my drink.

Nina Pajak is a writer living with her husband, daughter and dog in Queens. Connect with Nina on Twitter!