WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan (PIX11) — Ernest Campos has been in the liquor business for 35 years. How does he describe the new drink trend that law enforcement considers anything but cool? “It looks like you know one of those energy drinks. That’s what it looks like,” said Campos while inside of his Washington Heights store, Cabrini Wine and Spirits.
While the assessment is true, the looks in this case are very deceiving.
According to various images and tags on Instagram, the bottles are known as “Phrosties.” It is described as an extremely strong frozen alcoholic drink that is sold and delivered over Instagram. In fact, only approved followers of the account are eligible for purchase and delivery.
Those deliveries can take place to your front door or in a public area.
The concept is nothing new to Ladreena Palmer. “I live in Philly and people do that around there and it is known for ordering drinks from Instagram,” she said.
“Nutcrackers,” frozen drinks being sold in parks during the summers months around Washington Heights, have been popular for years. The drinks have also been featured with the rapper Pit Bull in a YouTube clip.
However, Campos says that although they may look tasty, the fact remains that these drinks are illegal.
In fact, now the state is looking into the boozy slushies. In a statement to PIX 11 News, Bill Crowley of the New York State Liquor Authority said that, “The SLA is looking into the illegal sale of this unregistered and potentially dangerous alcoholic drink by an unlicensed business.”
Potentially dangerous because consumers are unsure what really goes into every drink. “Every bottle that I sell has the volume of alcohol that it has in there. So if you don’t know what you have in the package, you might end up drinking more than you think you’re drinking,” said Campos.
Again, what makes the operation even more intriguing is that all of the business is being done via Instagram. To which Manny Gomez, a former NYPD and FBI agent and also the President of MG securities says ultimately could involve Federal investigators. “This is on the internet and it does involve interstate lines, the cyber division of the FBI could certainly get involved.”
Gomez adds that he believes that Instagram will ultimately get involved in the case because the site has such a significant amount of teenage users.