Published January 14, 2013
A couple of years ago, a Chicago bar owner came up with the idea of the Vaportini, which heats spirits in a custom-made glass vessel and lets the user inhale the vapors through a straw.
Released for sale in December, the Vaportini is now available for sale online.
Red Kiva owner Julie Palmer said she was was inspired to create the device by the Finnish tradition of pouring vodka over hot coals in saunas. Chicagoist's Anthony Todd wrote this about it when it first became available: "frankly amazed at how well the flavors of the liquor carried over into the 'vapors."
But some are concerned that the Vaportini causes alcohol to go directly to the bloodstream through the lungs --which can create tense highs.
The Daily Mail reports that alcohol has a slower absorption rate if you drink it --with 10 percent of alcohol through the stomach and 85 percent through the small intestine. That doesn't account for the food that may be in your stomach that acts as a buffer.
'It is ill advised for experimentation among those under 21,' said Dr. Thomas Greenfield, Center Director at the National Alcohol Research Center in Emeryville, California.
Palmer says the Vaportini is legal in all states for any establishment with a “Consumption on Premise” license.
The Vaportini isn't making some cocktail enthusiasts happy either, Time Out Chicago reports. “Some cocktail purists say this is blasphemy, and some say it’s another evolution,” Palmer told Time Out.