I consider myself a fairly responsible person. I pay my bills on time (with my parents’ money), I file my own taxes (three days late) and whenever I decide to kill off a few brain cells I head to Reddit instead of popping drugs. Last week, however, I happily maimed any chance of getting some sort of security clearance for all the “real people” jobs I applied to. How, you ask? Well, I threw all common sense and good judgment in the shitter by getting my Lindsay Lohan on.
In other words, I snorted white powder up my nose for shits and kicks. Except unlike our beloved LiLo, it wasn’t coke.
A couple weeks ago a product called Palcohol hit the news and freaked everyone out, mostly over the exciting idea of being able to get plastered in public without having to drink their booze out of a super-subtle paper bag, a-la homeless people. Wanna get drunk at the movies? Dump some Palcohol into your soda. Tryna turn up at your AA meeting, except they only allow bottles of water? Get on my level bitches, I’ve been getting crunk in the corner for the last 45 minutes and everyone thinks I’m just trying to stay hydrated. Or you could just snort lines of it, which was where everyone’s mind immediately jumped upon hearing that Palcohol would be available sometime in the near future.
Oh the possibilities! Snort it at work, at home, at school, wherever! No one would be able to smell it on your breath since it went up your nose, making it every functional alcoholic’s dream. Except, apparently, advertising Palcohol as a “Turn Down For What” product apparently wasn’t “responsible.” Their website now suggests uses such as “…using Palcohol in windshield washer fluid for cars.” Sure, because when I want to have a good time I sprint over to Autozone to pick up a casual gallon of Rain-X.
But before we make a pact to never ever drink washer fluid again, let’s see if we can test whether or not snorting booze is a viable option. Let’s make some powdered alcohol.
“Rebecca,” you say with a look of concern and confusion on your face, “You’re an English major. Turning alcohol into powder would take chemistry know-how! You can’t even name three elements on the periodic table.” You’re right about one thing, I’m definitely an English major. As for the periodic table, there’s Pb, K, and Ni… but that’s about the extent of any knowledge. Don’t ask me what they are either. As far as I’m concerned, Ni = Nickelback, Pb = peanut butter and I vaguely recall K having something to do with bananas. But in all honesty, who needs to know anything about chemistry when you have Google?
And so I turned to Google and found this little bugger, a powder that absorbs whatever liquid you dump into it, but will stay in powdered form rather than turning into mush. It sounds cool, except it’s not because literally no one cares about some fluffy white shit you bought off the Internet unless it’ll fuck you up. Seriously, try bringing it up in conversation. No one will care until you drop the fact that you mixed it with booze to make powdered alcohol, which is exactly what we did.
At first we followed the instructions here, but that turned into “Omg there’s too many words fuck it let’s just dump the shit in and stir it around.” We did read far enough to see that the article recommended using a 151-proof spirit, but we’re college kids. Who the fuck buys 151? You can’t take shots of it because it tastes like Zelko that was triple filtered through a fratboy’s bladder, and there’s a warning label on every bottle that says not to fuck around in its almighty presence or else it’ll catch fire and kill you.
Okay, maybe I paraphrased a bit. But if your booze has a chance of exploding just from removing the metal grate at the opening of the bottle, maybe you should just stick with the Rain-X. In any case, we looked at our alcohol shelf and pulled out an airplane bottle of Bacardi Limon. As per instructions, we measured out 100 grams of the N-Zorbit powdered and then combined it with 30 grams of alcohol. If you can’t see the problem here, I’ll explain it to you with my elaborate MS Paint skills:
Yes, that is a FUCKLOAD of powder to snort just to get the effect of just under a shot’s worth of liquor. “But it’s going straight to your brain so it’s more potent!” says everyone, but fucking LOOK AT THAT. There’s probably more powder in that bowl than there are brains in my head, and huffing all of it would probably just leave you sneezing white shit all over yourself for a month.
An entire airplane bottle and a few minutes of stirring later, we had our powdered alcohol. Except, not really. Apparently putting too much liquid into the N-Zorbit just makes it turn into this taffy-esque goo product. That’d be cool and all if this was the 1930’s, except it’s not (surprise) and so no one eats taffy. We sat there, stumped. We tried dumping more powder in to even it out, but then realized that would just put us back at square one, except now with a friggin’ gallon of powder instead of a few cups and still with only a shot of booze throughout it. So we did what any college kid would do, which was to leave the entire mess sitting out on our kitchen table until one of the roommates started bitching.
Luckily for you guys, we had an idea: stick it in the freezer and once it’s frozen use a cheese grater to turn it into powder. Brilliant! And so 12 hours later, we had a tupperware full of frozen chunks of Bacardi Limon.
Finally it came time to test it out. Remember how I said I was responsible? That smidgen of maturity I possess combined with my editor, Andy, repeatedly telling me “be careful,” meant I wasn’t about to snort this myself. No no, I passed the buck off to my boyfriend’s roommate, because the boy is a coke hound and I figured it would be a natural transition from one to the other. The two of us sat down, I grated some Bacardi into a bowl and he did a key bump of it.
And we waited.
20 minutes pass and no nosebleeds, drunken-ness or death. Boring. I grate him a line and he sucks it up like a prostitute whose rent check is due the next day. Still nothing. The fuck? I suppose technically I should be happy no one had to call 911, but as the Dothraki say, “A snort sesh of powdered alcohol without at least three deaths is considered a dull affair.”
Since it was clear no one was about to drop dead from ingesting this abortion of an experiment, a couple of us tried eating it. Not gonna lie, it was disgusting. It had the consistency of taffy (it starts to melt in your mouth after a bit) but the taste of flour with a weird tang of Bacardi, which, I don’t know about you, but that description doesn’t quite make me wanna pregame with that shit ever again. No one got even a little buzzed from eating it because it was basically one shot shared amongst three people.
While I’m clearly no expert, I do think if we’d just dissolved our powdered liquor in a drink we probably could’ve gotten the effects of alcohol out of it. The Palcohol website says that it takes about 60 minutes to snort the powdered equivalent of one shot of vodka, but even after converting that into college student time that’s still 40 minutes, and that’s a lot of powder up your nose. Of course, the real Palcohol product is made with fancy scientific processes and shit so it’s most (read: 100%) likely a little more potent than the poop we made. But either way, snorting it appears to be more effort than it’s worth.
TL;DR: Don’t snort powdered alcohol.
Rebecca Martinson is a columnist for BroBible. Follow her on Twitter: @becca_martie.