Remember powdered alcohol? Maine banned it, but now you can bid to make it yourself

Last year, lawmakers banned the use and possession of powdered alcohol in Maine, fearing it would be misused, particularly among teenagers. (Gov. Paul LePage later vetoed the measure, arguing that the state already had the authority to bar its sale).

Regardless, the stuff is still illegal here — and in at least 27 other states. Perhaps that’s why one maker of the product is now auctioning it off to the highest bidder in each country.

Just add water to the powdered form of vodka, rum and three cocktails, and you’ve got Palcohol. Mark Phillips developed it through his Arizona company, Lipsmark, and has forcefully defended his product as no more dangerous than a regular cocktail.

Mark Phillips, creator of Palcohol, a powdered form of alcohol. Courtesy of Palcohol.

Mark Phillips, creator of Palcohol, a powdered form of alcohol. Courtesy of Palcohol.

But now, instead of manufacturing and distributing Palcohol, “we have decided to auction off the secret manufacturing process to the highest bidder in each country. We’re doing that because individuals / companies in each country have a much better understanding of the liquor laws and distribution channels for that country,” the company wrote in an Oct. 10 email.

The company claims that while it didn’t invent powdered alcohol, it was the first to develop a cost-effective way to manufacture it and the only one to earn approval in the U.S.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved Palcohol, as it doesn’t review distilled spirits products and is consulted only on the nonalcoholic flavoring and sweetening ingredients. But the product appears to have won approval from the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau for sale in the U.S.

The company claims that its manufacturing process can produce the equivalent of one mixed drink for mere “pennies” without the need for expensive equipment. And the informercial-speak doesn’t end there:

“An innovative product rarely comes to the market so this is a once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity with amazing profit potential,” the email states.

The bidding starts at $10,000. Or you can pony up $200,000 to become the “instant winner.”

The highest bidder in each country will have to obtain all necessary permits and licensing.

Still not sold? Palcohol is happy to submit a sample to an independent lab for testing — for $500.

You can also try the product yourself. You just have to travel to Scottsdale, Arizona to sample it in the company’s conference room and pay $100 for the pleasure.

The auctioning begins on Jan. 1, 2017.




Jackie Farwell

About Jackie Farwell

I'm the health editor for the Bangor Daily News, a Bangor native, a UMaine grad, and a weekend crossword warrior. I never get sick of writing about Maine people, geeking out over health care data, and finding new ways to help you stay well. I live in Gorham with my husband Nick and our hound dog Riley.