Markets in everything

Dutch students have developed powdered alcohol which they say can be sold legally to minors.  The latest innovation in inebriation, called Booz2Go, is available in 20-gramme packets that cost 1-1.5 euros ($1.35-$2).  Top it up with water and you have a bubbly, lime-colored and -flavored drink with just 3 percent alcohol content.

It also avoids the taxes, here is more information.

Comments

How long before this gets banned in America?

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Isn't it possible -- and I'm just talking theoretically here -- to put *more than one* ... perhaps even
three packs into one drink, thus making the alcohol content more than 3%?

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The trouble with the ester explanation is that a typical ester takes several hours to hydrolyse at room temperature, even at the typically acidic pH's of beverages, won't hydrolyse completely, and the residual ester will impart an overpowering flavor to the beverage. There might be some exceptionally labile esters that yield food-and-drink safe by-products, but the reaction would have to be really fast for a mix-and-drink beverage.

If I were going to do this, I would (1) use potassium ethoxide. It is highly reactive, and will make alcohol within seconds of hitting the water. Unfortunately, it will also make the water caustic, so (2) use citric acid to buffer out the resulting base. And to prevent these two from reacting in storage, (3) spray-dry one or both of these powders with maltodextrin (or something similar), to encapsulate it from the other. Add some sweetener and fruit flavoring, and you have a mildly alcoholic, just-add-water Gatorade knock-off.

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