Last night, deep in the doldrums of New York’s never-ending summer and the second round of Democratic debates, I cracked open a White Claw hard seltzer.
My choice of beverage that evening was driven by two things: One, it was all we had in the fridge besides dregs of wine from the barbecue last weekend and the three bottles of vermouth my roommate bought and has not touched in nine months, and two, because White Claw is having a moment.
Yes, we are living through White Claw Summer 2019: a movement coined by comedian Trevor Wallace on Instagram, but best evangelized by these guys on TikTok repeating Wallace’s one liners. It’s as they say: There’s no law when you’re drinking Claw, and that includes intellectual property theft.
White Claw far from the only alcoholic seltzer out there. Truth be told, I mostly prefer the flavors of Spiked Seltzer, which include an audacious mix of “Black Cherry Rosemary” that isn’t as good as it sounds but is still pretty good. Nevertheless, if we’re talking hard seltz, the Claw is quickly becoming eponymous for the drink as a whole.
It is not, however, without controversy among the Splinter staff, many of whom are under the impression that it is “bad” or “disgusting.” I won’t name names in order to protect their dignity (imagine publishing a bad opinion on this site... horrifying), but they are all in the wrong. White Claw is good.
What’s not to like? It tastes marginally better than most beers and there’s lots of varieties to choose from. Also, not to get too Marianne Williamson on it, but I really do think it makes me feel better than drinking other stuff because it’s just like, alcohol and water with some bubbles. No tannins or weird chemicals besides whatever “natural flavors” means—probably the good kind of chemicals, with good vibes in them is what I tell myself after I’ve drank four of them.
Some may say, “Oh, just drink a vodka soda then,” to which I’d say sure, I will, but I’ll also have a White Claw, because it’s better. One caveat, or perhaps a lifehack: If, for some reason, you find yourself drinking the “Pure” flavor of White Claw, put some lemon in it. It’s pretty bad without lemon, mostly because it tastes like a vodka soda without ice or a lemon in it, which is to say... bad. Send that one back to R&D.
This is all to say: hard seltzer? It’s good, as is normal seltzer. Which one am I drinking right now? Well. That’s between me and the drink-gods, isn’t it. All I know is I better stock up on this stuff before September.