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Point/Counterpoint: White Claw

Is the Claw actually refreshing or is it overrated?

During 2019, White Claw became the undisputed drink of the summer and an iconic symbol in pop culture. White Claw even claims to have outsold Budweiser last July, marking a formidable shift in the alcohol industry. However, is White Claw the light, refreshing beverage that many claim them to be? Or is it instead an outright offence to our taste buds? Listen to the arguments of our writers to decide for yourself!

POINT: White Claw is drinkable and enjoyable at all times

What if I told you the perfect, guilt free alcoholic beverage exists? Imagine lying on the grass in your backyard reading, and having not one but three fizzy and refreshing drinks at the cost of only 300 calories. Enter White Claw. Specifically, the Pamplemousse (ok, grapefruit) and Black Cherry flavours.

People, like my good friend and colleague, Tina Tai, will try to tell you that the flavouring isn’t strong enough on White Claws, but the point isn’t the strength of the flavour — it is most certainly the drinkability and enjoyability. I’ve heard hearsay that both Mango and Lime flavours are just alright, but Pamplemousse and Black Cherry are God-tier. Not everyone wants their liquor to taste like kerosene or Kool Aid, and I am indeed one of those people. 

I used to think that spiked seltzers and ciders were overhyped. White Claw has fundamentally changed my boomer-esque, stubborn mind. Not only is it refreshing, affordable, easy to drink, and low in calories (100 calories a can!) — it also isn’t heavy in your stomach. I find beer can be bloating, and a bad shot can make even the most seasoned veteran drinker feel briefly like jumping into the void. Beer hangovers feel like you’ll never be able to eat again and liquor hangovers feel like you’re knocking on Death’s door. Nobody in the history of ever will tell you that Black Cherry White Claw is hard to drink. Even if you somehow manage to get a hangover drinking White Claw, that would mean you’ve done the impossible and I think that’s beautiful.

If you’re looking for a summer beverage, nothing beats sipping White Claw in the sunlight. Or in your bathtub with a bathbomb. Or in a Zoom call cry with your friends at 11 p.m. Or in the comfort of your home in the afternoon at 5 p.m. White Claws are drinkable at any time. I’m drinking one right now. Bon appetit. 

COUNTERPOINT: White Claw is overhyped soda water

What does ‘sparkling’ water, seltzer, and soda water all have in common? They’re nasty. They’re tasteless mockeries of a perfectly fine beverage — water — trying to trick you into thinking they are somehow fancier and more refreshing. White Claw is just the newest alcoholic addition to this group of insipid concoctions.

To be fair, it was my mistake to start off with the mango flavor. Right from the first sip, my tastebuds were let down heavily by the lack of any substantial mango taste. There was no juicy burst of tropical sweetness, no enticing aroma of the delicious fruit, and the so-called ‘fizz’ of this beverage was uninspired, at best. 

Upon the suggestion of my good friend and colleague, Pia, I tried the Black Cherry White Claw. It wasn’t much better. The most apt comparison would be soda water with a few drops of cherry flavouring. Sure, it wasn’t “hard to drink”, but it also didn’t exactly spark joy. It was just, meh. 

For a summer beverage, White Claw is massively overhyped. Why pretend to like what is essentially glorified soda water, when you can sip on a bubbly glass of Prosecco as the setting sun paints the sky with shades of orange, pink, and lilac? Just imagine it. A glass of bubbly while relaxing in a bubble bath. Plus, it’s only an average of 80 calories of delightful fizz for an afternoon treat or as accompaniment to dinner. The possibilities for delicious, alcoholic summer drinks are endless; while White Claw is certainly a choice, it should be no one’s top choice.

Pia Co

Pia Co is in her last year as a Sociology and Political Science student, and is the Online Editor for 2020-2021. When she's not typing away at a keyboard, she's competitively debating (it's cooler than it sounds I promise), playing slap bass, or cooking up a far-too elaborate 4 course meal.

Tina Tai

Tina is the 2020-21 Magazine Editor and the 2019-20 Online Editor of The Gateway. She is a Psychology major and enjoys training her cats to give high-fives using behaviour modification methods. In her spare time she enjoys making sushi, watching murder mystery shows, and taking naps so long they may as well be sleeps.

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