Alcopop

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Alcopop is a derogatory term describing certain flavored alcoholic beverages, including:

The term 'alcopop' (a portmanteau of the words alcohol and pop) is used by advocates of tighter restrictions on alcoholic beverage sales, who argue that the beverages are especially appealing to underage drinkers.[2] Other terms include FAB (flavored alcoholic beverage), FMB (flavored malt beverage),[3] PPS (pre-packaged spirit or premium packaged spirits), and RTD (Ready To Drink - Aus & NZ). The alcohol industry does not use the term "alcopop."

Contents

Description

Alcopops tend to be sweet and served in small bottles (typically 330 ml in Europe and 355 ml, the normal size of a soda pop can, in North America), and between 4% and 7% alcohol by volume. In Europe and Canada, alcopops tend to be pre-mixed spirits, including vodka (e.g. Smirnoff Ice) or rum (e.g. Bacardi Breezer). In the United States, on the other hand, alcopops often start out as un-hopped beers, depending on the state in which they are sold. Much of the malt (and alcohol) is removed (leaving mostly water), with subsequent addition of alcohol (usually vodka or grain alcohol), sugar, coloring and flavoring. Such drinks are legally classified as beers in virtually all states and can thus be sold in outlets that do not or cannot carry spirit-based drinks. There are, however, stronger ones that are simply pre-mixed spirits (e.g. Bacardi Rum Island Iced Tea), often containing about 12.5% alcohol by volume, that can only be sold where hard liquor is available.

In the United States there is a proportionally limited tax on alcopops relative to those sold in Europe, though some states are considering legislation to bring their tax levels closer to the European model which is credited with limiting consumption by youth.[citation needed]

According to the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB):

Flavored malt beverages are brewery products that differ from traditional malt beverages such as beer, ale, lager, porter, stout, or malt liquor in several respects. Flavored malt beverages exhibit little or no traditional beer or malt beverage character. Their flavor is derived primarily from added flavors rather than from malt and other materials used in fermentation. At the same time, flavored malt beverages are marketed in traditional beer-type bottles and cans and distributed to the alcohol beverage market through beer and malt beverage wholesalers, and their alcohol content is similar to other malt beverages in the 4-6% alcohol by volume range.

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