Caffeinated booze under scrutiny

One of the hottest new trends in the booze business, caffeinated liquor, may be headed for last call.

The FDA on Friday sent letters to nearly 30 manufacturers of caffeinated alcoholic beverages, alerting them that the agency plans to review the safety and legality of the drinks amid concerns that they violate FDA standards.

The market for caffeinated cocktails has exploded in the past few years, fueled by products like Pink vodka, Moonshot 69 beer, and Joose malt liquor. The drinks are primarily marketed to young adults, and their popularity on college campuses worries some groups, who argue that they contribute to drunk driving and bar fights.

There's also the question of whether caffeine can be considered a completely safe additive; FDA rules require separate approval to add certain products to already approved foods and beverages.