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"Porta Shots" Shoots Back At Critics

The fun-sized plastic pouches of rum, whiskey or vodka promote responsible drinking. Claims the manufacturer.

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By Bryan Le

05/17/12

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If the only complaint you've ever had about a shot of whiskey is that it can't be put in your pocket, here's a solution: Porta Shots—a brand of small plastic pouches, each containing a shot of rum, whiskey or vodka. At 3''x3'', buyers can discreetly imbibe them outside their natural drinking habitat, for better (responsibly on camping trips) or worse (underaged at school). Porta Shots' popularity with teens, and the ease with which they can be hidden, have sparked plenty of concerned criticism. But Porta Shots' founder, Andre Beukes, isn't taking these pot shots lying down. Beukes claims his product actually promotes control—since each individually wrapped package merely contains exactly one ounce of liquor. "When I got here and I asked for a rum and Coke, I was shocked to see the damn glass is about halfway full with rum," he deadpans. "I couldn't drink that. It's too strong for me."

Critics also bashed the fact that Porta Shots could be bought individually at an irresistible 75 cents a piece; Beukes says the stores responsible weren't supposed to do that: "It should be sold in a full bag. Some retailers will take them out and sell them as an individual; we don't have control over that, just by means that we don't have control over somebody else's business.” In the future, each shot will be labeled to discourage individual sale and recommend sales of packs of 25 for $14. Beukes also dismisses parents' criticism of Porta Shots as a threat to their teens, suggesting that they should keep better watch over their kids. "If you go into anybody's home that drinks, there's usually a liquor cabinet with vodka in it somewhere," he says. "How do you know that kid hasn't been drinking from that?"

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