Borg (TikTok Drinking Trend)
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Borg (also written as BORG and borg) stands for "Blackout Rage Gallon" and is a slang term for a mixed drink that saw increasing virality during the winter of 2022-2023 on TikTok as a trend. While recipes vary depending on the individual, most consist of a gallon jug of water halfway emptied out and mixed with vodka, some form of powdered flavoring and Liquid IV. The drink is then carried around as a personal beverage during a function or other event. Drinkers of borg often mark the plastic gallon jug with a Sharpie to indicate ownership, including puns on the word "Borg."
Drinks involving dissolvable flavored powder, vodka and water have been around for as long as these products have been around. Drinks like the "Kentucky Bullfrog," which consists of vodka and Kool-Aid mixed in a half-full bottle of Mountain Dew, might be considered the ancestors of borg. Jungle Juice, another popular beverage, is also in the lineage.
An Urban Dictionary entry describing borg appeared on March 21st, 2018 (seen below).
But the earliest publicly available instance of borg on TikTok was posted on January 26th, 2020 by user levi.mains (seen below). The post received over 17,400 likes over the course of three years. In the comments, users reported borg's similarity to things they had drunk before and talked about sharing the borg during the party for which it had purportedly been brewed.
Instances of borgposting, including tutorials for how to make borg, occurred throughout 2021 and into 2022. But in January 2023, a notable uptick in borg content occurred. Often, these borgposts took the form of tutorials for mixing borg. For example, cooky_colin posted a borg tutorial to TikTok on October 25th, 2022, which received almost 56,000 likes in three months (seen below, left). The social game of naming Borgs by writing on them, often involving puns, also was a popular subject for TikToks. For example, Itzel Guzman posted an April 10th, 2022 TikTok showing a series of borg nicknames that earned over 52,000 likes in ten months (seen below, right).
On February 7th, 2023, TikTok user Erin.monroe_ made a video about borg and harm reduction, pointing out the ways in which the drink was actually a pretty "safe" way to get blackout drunk (seen below) which received over 253,000 likes in one day.
Because borg can be closed with the gallon jug lid and is an individual drink, it is hard for others to slip substances into it. Also, because borg often involves electrolyte-replenishing powders as well as a lot of water, it keeps a drinker hydrated. Further, in the mixing of borg, a person can choose how much vodka they want to pour in while they are sober, planning in advance the amount they will drink over the course of a party.
2023 University of Massachusetts Incident / Controversy
On Saturday, March 4th, 2023, staff at the University of Massachusetts reportedly observed students carrying Borgs around campus on a night of raucous partying. That same evening, 28 ambulances were called to off-campus parties to help treat people suffering from alcohol poisoning. In statements to the press, university spokespeople blamed "Borg" and the viral TikTok drinking trend for this dangerous spike in binge drinking.
TikToks purported to be from the weekend at the University of Massachusetts showed significant borg consumption and punning that mirrors earlier examples from the trend months before the incident in New England (examples seen below).
 Mashable – What Is Borg?
 TikTok – @levi.mains
 TikTok – @cooky_colin
 TikTok – @itzelguzman3
 TikTok – @erin.monroe_
 Associated Press – University of Massachusetts warns of TikTok drinking trend
 TikTok – @kettlebellkel
 TikTok – @patrickheavey10
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