How Long Does It Take For White Claw To Kick In?

If you have ever tried a White Claw, you will know it hardly even tastes alcoholic but it can pack a punch.

If you are new to the whole hard seltzer range you might be thinking, “how long does it take for a White Claw to kick in” as it really just tastes like a flavoured seltzer water and they go down a little too easily.

You don’t want to end up having drank far too much over a short space of time only for them all to hit you at once!

How long does it take for white claw to kick in?

In general it will take about 30mins to 1 hour for the alcohol in a White Claw to get into your bloodstream and for you to start feeling the effects.

Lots of things can influence this time with one of the main things being how much food is in your stomach.

The more food you have in your stomach, the slower the exit from you stomach and the longer the alcohol will take to reach your bloodstream.

What alcohol is in a White Claw?

The alcoholic base in White Claw hard seltzers is a pure spirit which is five times distilled from corn.

Corn is not an unusual base for a spirit but will initially make a pure and flavourless alcohol to mix with the seltzer flavours.

For more information read my article here

Can you taste the alcohol in White Claw?

The quicker you drink a can of White Claw, the quicker it will kick in and affect you. You can drink a can quicker if you can’t really taste the alcohol so can you?

It can be difficult, if not impossible for some, to taste the alcohol in White Claw.

At 5% alcohol by volume there is not enough to give a “kick” like a shot of spirit and the type of distilled corn spirit they use is tasteless and nearly odourless. You taste the flavour of the White Claw and not much else.

How much alcohol is there in a White Claw?

White Claw (in the USA) has 5% ABV. That means it has 5% alcohol by volume. To understand what this means we can look at how much alcohol is in other standard drinks.

The USDA have devised a list of “standard” alcoholic drinks. Each one contains precisely the same amount of alcohol – 14g of alcohol (0.6 ounces).

Below is a list of the standard drinks, volumes and ABV that all give 14g of alcohol.

Drink and volumeAlcohol content
12fl oz Beer5%
5fl oz Wine12%
1.5fl oz Spirit40%
Standard Drinks

So as you can see, a standard beer is a 12fl oz and 5% alcohol by volume beer, which has the same alcohol as 5fl oz of 12% wine and a 1.5fl oz shot of 40% spirit.

How many White Claws equals a beer?

In terms of alcohol and volume, White Claw is exactly the same as a standard beer. They both are 12fl oz in volume and 5% alcohol by volume. 

How many White Claws equals a shot of vodka?

A 12fl oz 5% ABV White Claw has the same alcohol (14g of pure alcohol), as a 1.5fl oz shot of 40% vodka. So the answer is 1 White Claw is equal to one shot of vodka or any spirit at 40% ABV.

A White Claw is equal to a shot of vodka, a standard glass of wine and a standard beer.

What happens when you drink alcohol?

As you drink alcoholic drinks, you absorb the alcohol from your gut and it makes its way into your bloodstream. The more you drink, the more you absorb and the higher your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). 

On the other side of the equation is your liver. It is working away to lower the BAC and break down the alcohol.

You have to drink more than the liver can break down over a given time frame for your BAC to rise. 

If you drink a bottle of vodka straight over 10 minutes your blood alcohol level will spike far higher than if you drink it over the course of a day.

How long does it take to feel the effects of alcohol?

There are lots of factors that go into how long it will take you to feel the effects of alcohol after you drink it. Below are a list of some of the variables you can change or you are stuck with.


Different ethnicities have variations of some genes that are needed to break down alcohol. This can make their blood alcohol concentration spike quicker.

Notable examples would be people of Asian or Native American descent can have reduced levels of alcohol dehydrogenase, which breaks down alcohol. The result would be they get drunk quicker and on less White Claw

Last meal

Nearly everyone knows if you drink on an empty stomach you will get drunk quicker. Folklore make you go out for a bit meal or breakfast if you are going out for the day drinking. There is method to this madness

A large meal, close to when you are going to start drink, will lower the absolute peak of your blood alcohol concentration.

The food acts as a physical barrier to the alcohol leaving your stomach and into the bloodstream


Your body gets used to having alcohol in it and affects you less. Hardened drinkers need to drink more White Claw to feel its affects.

Energy levels

If you feel especially tired or have had a lack of sleep, you will feel the intoxicating effects of alcohol sooner than if you were well rested.


If you mix alcohol with sedating prescription medications or illegal drugs then these can work to enhance the sedative affects of alcohol and make you feel drunk much quicker.


Believe it or not, having very strong motions like anger, fear or being lonely can bring on the affects of alcohol quicker.

If you are out at a bar with the expectation of being drunk, you may well feel drunk sooner as well from the placebo effect.


Some birth control pills or drinking at the premenstrual stage of a woman’s cycle can lead to higher blood alcohol concentrations.

What might you feel after one White Claw?

As you drink more alcohol than your liver can metabolise, your BAC rises. The effects of a rising blood alcohol concentration has been tracked by many studies

After one White Claw you might only get your BAC to 0.02% or a little higher, this is what you might expect.

  • 0.02% – Probably the lowest measurable BAC where you can track any brain issues. You may feel more relaxed and potentially make poorer decisions.
  • 0.05%: When you hit this BAC, your behaviour will may become over exaggerated. Speak louder and gesturing more are common. You may also begin to lose control of small muscles like the ones that control your eyes leading to blurry vision.

How many White Claws does it take to get drunk?

The CDC states it takes the average 160lb adult male, 4 standard beers to get drunk. A standard beer is 12fl oz and 5% ABV which is the same as a White Claw.

The 4 White Claws have to be drank over 1-2 hours. If you are a female or lighter then it will take less White Claws, if you are a significantly heavier male, it may take 5+ White Claws to get drunk.

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