The hard seltzer market is really taking of at the minute and right at the vanguard of the movement is White Claw. Many will be new to the space so have a lot of questions about this new breed of alcoholic drink. Not least is just what goes into a White Claw to make it alcoholic, what kind of alcohol is in White Claw?
What kind of alcohol is in 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.
Is the alcohol in White Claw vodka?
Vodka is basically a pure alcohol from a distilled grain with water added to reduce the alcohol by volume. It is usually colourless and odourless, so is the alcohol in White Claw a vodka?
You could argue that it is a vodka used in White Claw but normally vodka is from rye, wheat or even potatoes. The name vodka means “little water” meaning water in integral to the recipe.
The corn based distilled spirit added to White Claw is added neat, without water added but in a small quantity to keep the ABV to 5%
What other grains can be used to make alcohol?
All alcoholic spirits are made from something that can provide sugar to make alcohol that is then distilled to increase the alcohol by volume.
The main category is the cereals – barley malt, rye and wheat being the main ones but by no means the only.
Sugarcane is popular for a base for many spirits but famously it is used for rum.
All sorts of fruits can for the base of a spirit as the are full of sugar but the pick would be the grapes used in brandy and cognac.
Which alcoholic drinks are distilled from which grain?
Below is a list of some of the most popular alcoholic spirits and the sugar base used to make the alcohol.
|Drink||Base for make alcohol|
|Vodka||Rye, wheat, potatoes|
|Scotch Whisky||Barley malt|
How many White Claws to get you 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.
My full math can be found in this dedicated article.
Is the alcohol in White Claw gluten free?
White Claw is made from a corn based alcohol meaning it is gluten free.
Even is White Claw was made from a grain containing gluten such as wheat, the distilling process would remove all the gluten. Distilled alcohol has no gluten
Is the alcohol in White Claw vegan?
White Claw is entirely vegan as per the company and Barnivore.com