Borgs: The inventive drinking hack taking over university parties

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RELATED: New labels considered for alcohol to deter drinking – Feb 3, 2023

Gone are the days of jungle juice in solo cups. Now, it’s all about the borg, or the “blackout rage gallon.”

In a new trend sweeping across social media and onto college campuses, Gen Z students have found a new, and seemingly improved, way to binge drink. Using a plastic gallon container, students are mixing up a half-gallon of water with a half-gallon of liquor (usually vodka), caffeinated flavour enhancer and electrolytes to make what’s been called a strong, hangover-proof party beverage.

One TikTok tutorial posted by a University of Texas at Austin student playfully called borgs “a heart attack in a jug.” The student, whose username is bellaaalonzo, demonstrated how she makes her own borg from water, two-thirds of a 750 ml bottle of Tito’s vodka, a generous squirt of red Mio water enhancer, a Celsius energy drink and Liquid IV (an electrolyte drink mix). As of this writing, the video has been viewed 1.6 million times.

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How to make a BORG that actually tastes good (heart attack in a jug) happy snow day! #snowday #darty #borg #celsiuslivefit #utaustin #atx

♬ original sound – 🔔uh

Binge drinking, or the act of consuming a large quantity of alcohol in a short time frame, has been a popular pastime on university campuses for decades now. The practice doesn’t seem to be disappearing anytime soon, but borgs have been heralded by students as a welcome improvement to the mysteriously boozy, punch-filled bathtubs or monstrous kegs seen at college parties in the past.

Erin Monroe, a New York-based harm reduction specialist, praised borgs for decreasing the risks associated with binge drinking.

She said she “loved” borgs because any amateur mixologist creating the beverage has “complete control” of exactly how much liquor to include.

“If you don’t want to put liquor in, you don’t have to,” Monroe said.


Replying to @yodster42 #borg #genz #millennial #harmreduction #foryou

♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim

She added that the presence of a lid on the gallon container may significantly decrease the risk of having your drink spiked, which, again, is a problem frequently occurring on university campuses.

“When it comes to substance use prevention, harm reduction recognizes that people are going to make their own decisions when it comes to alcohol and other drugs,” Monroe told NBC. “But there are strategies we can use to reduce some of the risk.”

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In another TikTok video, one self-identified millennial praised Gen Z and their borgs for innovating college drinking practices. She recounted drinking jungle juice from dirty bathtubs at frat houses in college, where any concerns about cleanliness or sanitation could be discounted with the mantra “alcohol kills germs.”


Replying to @jasminlevain #redcup #millenial #borg

♬ Get Low – Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz

A major part of making a borg is giving the gallon container a ceremonial name. Some of the clever puns seen on social media include: “I like big borgs and I cannot lie,” “Borg-ingham Palace,” “Borg Lite,” and “I studied a-borg.”


BORG #borg

♬ original sound – liv

Borgs first appeared on social media in 2020 and slowly gained popularity over the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the #Borg has garnered 65 million views on TikTok.

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While the harm reduction strategies surrounding borgs have been praised online, binge drinking remains dangerous. Five or more drinks for a male and four or more drinks for a female is considered binge drinking. Thirty-two per cent of Canadians between 20 and 34 years old claim they binge drink 12 times or more in a year.

For now, borgs seem to be relatively contained to American campuses, but the booze-filled gallon jugs are likely to slosh over the U.S.-Canadian borg-der soon enough.

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