Breaking down the borg phenomenon

Breaking down the borg phenomenon

It's borg season at Syracuse University
Published: April 27, 2023
Borg Breakdown

If you’ve been taking advantage of the beautiful weather in Syracuse over the past few weeks, you have most likely seen a borg– the gallon jugs written on with Sharpie and containing various brightly-colored liquids. A “Black Out Rage Gallon.”

Borgs have been around since 2019, and thanks to social media, they have become a college phenomenon. TikTok influencers and American college students alike have popularized the borg and made the drink an integral part of college culture. But why are they so popular? Are they adding to the dangerous drinking culture on college campuses?

Students pose outside holding borgs
Borgs are a common occurrence across campus, with many students bringing them to darties or other events.

Borgs have become so beloved due to their several unique safety aspects. For one, they are individualized for each person. There is no chance of contamination or someone slipping something in your drink, because you make it and carry it yourself. It is a completely closed container, which makes it a really great option as opposed to jungle juice or other communal drinks.

Not only are they a great option when it comes to contamination, they are also more hydrating than other drinks. The typical recipe for a borg is half water and half alcohol, along with a flavoring of your choice. Some people choose to add lemonade powder, Mio or gatorade powder. Many people also add Liquid I.V. or extra electrolytes to their borg to make it healthier. With these hydrating additions, it makes it much easier to avoid a hangover.

College student drinking out of a borg

The best part about borgs is the creative and individualized names that are drawn on in bold sharpie. Borg names are usually a pun revolving around historical events (Brown versus the Borg of Education, The Gettysborg Address) or famous people (Pablo Escoborg, Ruth Bader Ginsborg). With funny and personalized names, you can never lose your borg or get it confused with someone else’s. The goal is to have as unique a borg phrase as possible every time. Borg names are definitely a large part of why they became so popular and trendy on social media. There are numerous TikToks of people sharing their own borg names, giving recommendations and making lists of possible name ideas. The borg names are also a great way to show your personality at a large party and make for a great conversation starter.

Despite the several benefits, borgs do have some downsides as well. For one, they are really heavy. Carrying around a half gallon jug of liquid is not a feat for the faint of heart. Especially when you are outside dancing and hanging out with friends, it can quickly become a pain to carry around. It is definitely not as convenient or comfortable as holding a small can of beer or a White Claw.

Also, and this is the more obvious one, it is a lot of alcohol. Consuming a gallon jug of alcohol is not exactly a great idea. It can become a dangerous situation if it is taken too far or not handled properly. Many people opt to not do the exact recipe of half and half, and instead add about a fourth of alcohol. This makes it slightly safer and not quite as daunting.

Overall, borgs have become a phenomenon that older generations admire and praise. They are a trend that is definitely here to stay, and they will only multiply as summer approaches.