Austin-based Vapshot brings vaporized alcohol to bars, homes
As technology continues to revolutionize the way people drink, such as with services like booze delivery via an app, one Austin-based company is taking the idea of instant gratification to a whole new level. Vapshot is essentially vapor made from alcohol and sucked from a straw out of Vapshot bottles, an effect that will get you a pretty instant and ephemeral buzz.
A machine — there’s a miniaturized version for people to keep at home and a larger one for bars and restaurants to use — turns liquid spirits into mists of alcoholic vapor within the Vapshot bottles. When they’re opened, you’ll hear a pop rather like the sound of champagne being uncorked; then, you’ll see a portion of the spirit becoming vaporized. Sip it from a straw and you’ll feel the buzz come on within 30 seconds, lasting only about 15 minutes, according to Vapshot CEO and founder Victor Wong.
“It’s not designed to get you drunk and hungover,” he told told Omar Gallaga at a recent technology open house. “We’re trying to roll this out in a responsible way.”
At the June open house, he said the machine was only going to be sold to bars and clubs due to safety concerns, but “Vapshot minis” for the home are now available for sale for $699 in white or $899 in stainless steel. Each comes with two serving bottles.
oth Wong and the Vapshot website stress that Vapshot is completely safe, delivering “1/60th of a normal 1 ounce shot of liquid liquor.” As the website states, if you have one 1-liter serving of Vapshot, a breathalyzer test one minute later will show your blood-alcohol level to be at .05 percent, but back down to zero within 10 minutes; if you have three 1-liter shots of Vapshot, a breathalyzer test one minute later will put you over the legal limit at .09 percent, but back at zero in 15 minutes.
Vapshot could also prove cost-effective to the bars and clubs that purchase the machines, as the same bottle of spirits that can serve about 20 drink pours can produce 1,500 shots of vapor, Wong said.
But is it dangerous? When you realize Vapshot introduces the alcohol directly into the bloodstream through the lungs, you might get a little leery. Yet the alcohol levels are below the set safety levels outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s standards for inhaling ethyl alcohol.
“Normally when you take a drink, it has to go into your mouth, down your throat, into your stomach, then intestines and finally into your bloodstream to your lungs and brain,” Vapshot’s website reads. “That takes a long time and a whole lot more alcohol to have the same effect.”
In other words, Vapshot can provide a different drinking experience than you might be used to — which isn’t a bad thing depending on what you want to get out of your night.