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So... Vaping Alcohol Is A Thing And We Tried It

*sip sip*

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There are a lot of insane ways to consume alcohol – but one of the wildest methods is probably the Vaportini.

That's right, VAPING. ALCOHOL. VAPING ALCOHOL.
vaportini.com

That's right, VAPING. ALCOHOL. VAPING ALCOHOL.

The device costs $45 online and uses a simple candle flame to heat up whatever liquor you pour into it. You then use the straw to inhale the alcohol vapors from a glass orb.

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Eventually you're just, you know, SIPPING BOOZY AIR OVER AN OPEN FLAME. What could possibly go wrong, right?!

Inventor Julie Palmer says she was inspired by a trip to Finland, where she saw the Nordic "tradition" of pouring vodka over hot coals in saunas. It seems like the kind of thing that's just plausible enough, so after a quick Google search yielded no results, I reached out to Kjell, a Norwegian friend. He confirmed that it was less of a tradition and more of "another weird way we sometimes handle alcohol. Others including sniffing glue, eating shoe polish, or drinking hair tonic."

Vaportini sent a couple our way, so we decided to give them a try. However, it's important to note that "vaping" alcohol can be dangerous and should only be done in very small amounts.

Dr. Kathryn Boiling at Mercy Medical Center in Maryland explained that the vapor isn't passed through the liver before it circulates throughout your body: "When alcohol is inhaled there is no first-pass metabolism so the full power of the drug, in this case alcohol, reaches the brain."It's also hard for your body to get rid of alcohol consumed through vaporization. According to Boiling, “there is no mechanism to expel alcohol if too much is inhaled, unlike when drinking alcohol... [where] you vomit up what remains in the stomach, preventing more alcohol absorption.”
Jeff Barron / BuzzFeed

Dr. Kathryn Boiling at Mercy Medical Center in Maryland explained that the vapor isn't passed through the liver before it circulates throughout your body: "When alcohol is inhaled there is no first-pass metabolism so the full power of the drug, in this case alcohol, reaches the brain."

It's also hard for your body to get rid of alcohol consumed through vaporization. According to Boiling, “there is no mechanism to expel alcohol if too much is inhaled, unlike when drinking alcohol... [where] you vomit up what remains in the stomach, preventing more alcohol absorption.”

Dr. Lisa Lowery of Helen DeVos Children's Hospital advised us to take in "just one small amount the first time and see how that goes."

“It is important to remember that alcohol goes directly to the brain and lungs by doing this," explained Lowery.

With the health risks in mind, we started off v e r y small – with a shot of liquor, for all of us to share.

Jeff Barron / BuzzFeed

After lighting up the small candle, we poured one ounce of liquor into the orb and (very carefully!) set it on top of the glass.

Jeff Barron / BuzzFeed

After five minutes, you use the included metal or glass straw to slowly sip the air from the globe.

Jeff Barron / BuzzFeed

The taste? Kind of like breathing in Hint water, except with alcohol.

If that's not descriptive enough, imagine walking through a fog and inhaling its cold mist. The mist lightly coats your tongue with, depending on the spirit, a very subtle whiskey flavor, without the aggressive burning sensation of alcohol.

Read on for our first impressions.

First up was ~Jameson Irish Whiskey~.

Ellen surprised us all when she claimed that she loved it.

Jeff Barron / BuzzFeed

"I LOVE THIS. I WOULD DO THIS EVERY DAMN MORNING. I LOVE THIS. IT TASTES SO GOOD."

Jeff, who described the sensation as "putting on a pleasure helmet," liked the flavor too.

Nicole Nguyen / BuzzFeed

"I was expecting it to burn my lungs, but it's actually really nice."

Alex thought it was so good, he took a second sip.

Jeff Barron / BuzzFeed

Direct quote: "Wooooooooo... This is great, I gotta go one more time."

"You really do taste it. That is actually really cool." —Farryn

Jeff Barron / BuzzFeed

Farryn, who was pleasantly surprised, also noted that the vapors were warm-feeling.

Next was the vodka, which pretty much everyone hated.

Whiskey vapor fan Jess did not enjoy the vodka and tried to laugh off the pain.

Jeff Barron / BuzzFeed

"That is NOT good."

Nicole, who wondered if vapors would give her Asian glow, attempted to eject the vodka air from her mouth immediately.

Jeff Barron / BuzzFeed

Brendan just shook his head and walked away.

Jeff Barron / BuzzFeed

In conclusion, we wouldn't vape alcohol on the reg — part of the fun in drinking is the drinking — but it's probably worth it to try at least once.

So, the big question... Did we feel a buzz?

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Jeff vaped the most out of all of us — he estimates about 25 sips — and he reports: "Yes, I felt buzzed, but it was a different kind of buzz. It was more of a light-headed buzz than a-few-drinks-in buzz. It lasted for like maybe 30ish minutes and then it went away."

(Again, if you're going to vape alcohol, always start small to see how it affects you.)

The rest of us didn't feel much of anything, although we only vaped a few sips each. But we had fun.

You can buy the Vaportini here.

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