What is a borg? The water jug drink college kids are making viral on TikTok, explained

Things have a way of spreading from college campus to college campus: recipes for jungle juice, squirrel lore(Opens in a new tab), or some website called Facebook.

Enter the latest TikTok trend: the borg. You read that right: borg. It apparently stands for Black Out Rage Gallon but “borg,” not “B.O.R.G.” has seemingly become the only way it’s referenced. In essence it’s a (slightly) new way for college kids to binge drink on the go, and it’s all over TikTok.

The borg is, effectively, a rebranded, tweaked version of jungle juice. But instead of being a communal thing, it’s a personal drink. Frankly it sounds better and (in a relative sense) healthier. Basically, you take a gallon jug of water and dump out about half of it. You then add some alcohol (typically vodka) in whatever amount brings it to your desired strength. You then squeeze a bunch of Mio(Opens in a new tab) or other similar low-cal mixer. I’ve seen some kids then dump in some Liquid-I.V.(Opens in a new tab), which is basically an electrolyte-heavy hangover reducer. Shake it up and you’ve got a borg to carry around the day party in college.

Now that’s just the beginning of what a borg can be. First things first: They’re not new. They date back at least(Opens in a new tab) a few years(Opens in a new tab) — if not further — to around 2018, according to a much younger and cooler colleague. But they are now going viral on TikTok because Old People like me are seeing them for the first time, which is probably why you’re here reading this.

It makes sense. TikTok is relatively new, and your FYP serves up a lot of random users’ content, unlike Instagram, which primarily serves the content of people you follow. So if you were out of school (or school age) by 2018, why would you have been following college kids on Instagram back when the borg was first created? Long story short, TikTok posts are the first you’re hearing about this, and it’s making you feel old.

On the other hand, I can also see Gen Z-ers making these wild concoctions on TikTok and wonder what in the hell is a borg? even though they’re the right age. Everyone finds themself out of the loop from time to time.

After all, borg subculture is already elaborate. Oftentimes kids go around and show off their borgs(Opens in a new tab), proudly giving it a punny nickname(Opens in a new tab) like Ron Borgandy or Soujla Borg. Or they’ll give a tutorial(Opens in a new tab) on how to make their favorite borg recipe. Or an expert will talk about how it’s actually not totally the worst drink(Opens in a new tab) they’ve seen college kids down — after all, the drinker knows what’s in the drink and they are consuming a heck of a lot of water. Though I have seen some kids pour an entire bottle of alcohol into a borg and, please, for the love of God do not do that. It’ll be fun for no one.

screenshots of people with borgs on tiktok

Borgs, on display on TikTok.
Credit: Screenshots: TikTok / @dariennrinn / @redcupnews / @bellaalonzo

All in all: The Borg is a classic college thing. Every campus, hell every group on campus, probably has its own crude delivery system for alcohol. This is just the latest way to rebrand a potent but easy-to-guzzle mixed drink. It’s been spread around the country, and now everyone is posting about their borgs. It’s like me and my friends carrying around skippy(Opens in a new tab) in gas cans back in the day because Superbad did it. Party drinks come and go, but now, everyone sees it all because TikTok exists.

Long live the borg until, you know, the next big thing in binge drinking comes around.

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