If you have a craving for Adult Chocolate Milk, don’t go to Iowa.
The state has just banned this product, which comes in a container resembling a traditional milk bottle but contains 15% alcohol. Iowa’s Alcohol Beverage Division issued the ban with the observation that the product looked so similar to a regular milk bottle that a young child could easily mix them up (no pun intended).
It’s been a busy few years on the regulatory front. Last year the FDA issued a health warning against alcohol energy drinks (AEDs) after a product called Four Loko caused the hospitalization and death of a number of college students around the country. The problem with AEDs is that the addition of caffeine makes it difficult or impossible for individuals to know exactly how much alcohol they’ve consumed. Four Loko has since been re-formulated and released without any stimulants.
The next controversy is brewing even as you read this: wine and booze popsicles. These are not to be confused with alcopops, which are sweet drinks (usually malt beverages) that contain high levels of alcohol. The campaign against these is already well under way, on the theory that they are more likely to appeal to teenagers. In reality, the market for alcopops is probably anyone who likes the effects of alcohol but not the taste.
Wine popsicles have become a chic trend around the country. Sommeliers at the Fairmont Chicago-Milennium Park Hotel have been freezing wine onto sticks for several years, as have their colleagues at Fairmont’s sister hotel in Pittsburgh. Creating booze popsicles is much harder, since hard liquor freezes at much lower temperatures than wine. Two books have been been written on the subject recently—On A Stick, by Matt Armendariz, and Charity Ferreira’s Perfect Pops: The 50 Best classic & Cool Treats.
The potential danger of these popsicles is probably much higher, since children are more likely to consume them without thinking about it. In order to regulate them, however, the FDA will have to inspect the contents of everyone’s freezer.