Ranking Every White Claw Flavor From Worst To Best

Since the brand's debut in 2016, White Claw has dominated the hard seltzer market. The original variety of slim cans emerged on the scene full of lightly flavored bubbly water at 5% alcohol by volume (ABV) and only 100 calories. For non-beer drinkers, or those avoiding gluten, the invention of hard seltzers, especially the many flavors of White Claw, totally shook up liquor options. 

White Claws have been the unofficial drink of summer every year since they've hit U.S. liquor store shelves, but that hasn't stopped them from doubling down and releasing new tropical hard seltzer flavors. The White Claw brand is light and refreshing, with enough flavor options to help you land on something you're sure to like. Most flavors don't taste very boozy, as the alcohol content is derived from malt liquor and a specific fermentation process (via Hard Seltzer News). The brand has also expanded its line to include White Claw Surge, a seltzer with higher alcohol content, as well as a line of hard sparkling iced teas. 

White Claw was the best-selling spiked seltzer brand in 2021 (via Backbar). Considering the company's success and expansion in recent years and the season's warm weather parties, you should be prepared to know which flavors of White Claw are worth a dive into the cooler. And, which cans you should let float on by.

24. Surge Blood Orange

White Claw Surge is a line of seltzers that clock in at 8% ABV (alcohol by volume), so it's not for the faint of heart. The cans have a higher calorie count than their classic counterpart, but that's likely due to added alcohol (via VOX). Unfortunately, the flavors of the White Claw Surge are unbalanced for the sake of a higher liquor content.

Arguably, the worst flavor of all the White Claw Surge options is Blood Orange. According to the Detroit Free Press, the blood orange flavor was in the original Surge variety pack launch. Still, we found the flavor lacking. The taste is more a hint of generic artificial citrus flavor than really channeling the tart brightness of blood oranges. The issue with the Surge line is that each flavor overwhelmingly tastes like malted alcohol. It only makes sense that White Claw would offer an option for people who enjoy a stiffer drink, but in our opinion, the flavor should not have to suffer for it. 

23. Iced Tea Lemon

After the initial buzz about the hard seltzer trend began to wane, brands started to introduce new varieties of canned drinks to keep customers interested (via Vinepair). The company Truly saw success with a line of refreshing hard lemonade seltzer. White Claw followed suit with a variety pack of hard iced tea flavors because, alongside lemonade, it's a rejuvenating drink made for higher temperatures. Out of the four that come in this White Claw variety pack, the least tasty option is the lemon-flavored hard tea.

This flavor falls victim to coming off like a really bad glass of iced tea at a restaurant. It's like White Claw Iced Tea Lemon was made with weak tea and a spoiled lemon. In fact, you almost can't call this tea — the liquid in this can is an unusual flavor mashup all of its own. Overall, the White Claw Iced Tea style fairs better when flavored with other fruit influences because the lemon isn't doing this can any favors.

22. Surge Natural Lime

White Claw's original Natural Lime flavor is a highly contested option. The flavor profile is reminiscent of the green freezer pops you would devour in the summertime as a kid, which can be good or bad depending on the person. For those craving an acidic burst of fresh lime, it doesn't deliver. However, if you like sweeter citrus, it's the variety for you. Here's one thing that's not debatable: When White Claw decided to translate the controversial Natural Lime flavor into a Surge variety, it was a mistake. White Claw Surges are a disappointment all around.

Once again, the unpleasant alcohol flavor completely overpowers this drink. White Claws are loved because they are light, refreshing, and easy to drink a lot of. But the Surge Natural Lime is the antithesis of that. It's hard to get down. Also, for a hard seltzer brand, the Surge options almost taste like lemon-lime soda that has gone flat, so it doesn't even have the delightful bubbliness to distract us from the taste. 

21. Surge Cranberry

Like the Surge Natural Lime, the White Claw Surge Cranberry is like another bar classic gone wrong. Vodka soda with a splash of cranberry juice might be basic, but the real thing tastes much better than this knock-off canned version. The biggest issue with this is that it doesn't resemble the real taste of cranberry at all. This can is like the nondescript, artificial fruit flavoring you might expect to taste if you're getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist — or eating a chalky antacid tablet. As you might expect, that quality does not translate well into a drink meant for downing during a daytime party. 

White Claw Surge Cranberry is also flat and metallic tasting. All you can detect is unpleasant alcohol poorly accompanied by a lackluster seltzer. This drink should be entered as solid evidence as to why White Claw shouldn't have made an original variety of cranberry seltzer, let alone a Surge style. Unless the company completely reinvents its flavor recipe, that is. 

20. Iced Tea Mango

Mango is a hard flavor to capture in any product, let alone alcoholic seltzers. Nothing truly lives up to the fresh sweetness of a perfectly ripe mango. White Claw decided to incorporate the flavor into the brand's iced tea line. While it's not totally bad, it's far from one of the best options in the pack. It mainly comes down to the fact that this particular blend of tea and mango flavoring are not a natural pair. 

The White Claw Iced Tea Mango tastes like something is missing. That can be almost less satisfying than just being plain awful. This style isn't bad, especially if you pour it over ice and enjoy it like iced tea is intended. However, compared to the other flavors in the pack, it's not something we ever find ourselves craving. Sure, the Iced Tea Mango won't be horrible to finish if you're passed one at a party, but it's not worth seeking out by any means. 

19. Lemon

Food Network reports that White Claw released the lemon variety as part of a new flavor drop in 2020 after fans called for new styles of seltzer. The choice shouldn't have been a confusing one. White Claw Lemon was released alongside flavor options like tangerine, and watermelon, which are arguably pretty creative additions. However, White Claw Lemon happens to be just as boringly simple as it sounds. Sure, it makes sense for a company with so many flavors to have a classic like lemon in its lineup. Sadly, the White Claw iteration is just a bummer. It's a below-average spiked seltzer to be drinking this summer (malt liquor aside) and definitely not anything to seek out at a bar or liquor store if you haven't sampled it yet. 

This is an example of a White Claw flavor that takes the "hint of fruit" claim to a literal level. There is barely any flavor here — the smell of lemon is more present to the drinker than any of the taste. A better way to amp up the fruit flavor would be to drink vodka mixed with lemon-flavored La Croix, and that's saying something.

18. Watermelon

White Claw Watermelon is another style that hasn't lived up to the hype of the 2020 flavor expansion. The taste of watermelon is notoriously difficult to capture in any product, especially a beverage. Watermelon flavoring will never taste as good as taking slices of the fresh fruit and muddling them into your cocktail of choice. That said, this White Claw flavor is bad because it is incredibly artificial. It's like the company didn't even try to channel the taste of true fruit. Rather, it's more successful at capturing the smell and flavor of watermelon-inspired candy. 

White Claw is the unofficial drink of summer, and watermelon is pretty synonymous with the season as well. It's a letdown that the brand couldn't nail this flavor. Because if the watermelon style were tastier, it would likely be one of the most popular hard seltzer options for sale. Instead, this can will probably be forgotten over time in place of more memorable White Claws from the variety pack. 

17. Surge Blackberry

The "best" option out of the White Claw Surge line is the blackberry flavor, but that isn't really saying much. Honestly, unless you're looking to feel your liquor after a single drink, White Claw Surges are worth skipping altogether because they taste that unpleasant. We find it's worth it to drink an extra can or two of original White Claws instead. Still, blackberry is at the top of the Surge line because it actually somewhat succeeds at hiding the undesirable liquor essence. 

While the flavor does help mask the alcohol, it can't exactly be described as blackberry. It tastes closer to an indistinguishable berry jam, with none of the typical tartness of real blackberry fruit. Additionally, this drink truly contains just the slightest hint of fruit flavor. If the berry flavoring were doubled, this White Claw variety would stand a chance of being ranked higher on the list. Unfortunately, like the fellow hard-hitting cans in this variety pack, the Blackberry Surge is ultimately unsatisfying. 

16. Iced Tea Raspberry

In our opinion, raspberry iced tea is one of those classic pairings that are hard to mess up. If you go to most restaurants and order raspberry iced tea, it almost always tastes the same, regardless of the brand. Thankfully, White Claw does a good job of saving any surprises when it comes to the spiked version of this classic. White Claw Iced Tea Raspberry is one of the better flavors in this line of seltzers. The fruitiness helps lift the tea itself, making a better overall taste. This White Claw is more balanced, although there is still an unpleasant and artificial tilt typical of the hard iced tea flavors. 

As with the other White Claw Iced Teas, we recommend drinking this beverage over ice. It's the only way to truly give your White Claw Iced Tea a fair shot because they are pretty disappointing when consumed right out of the can. The brand could improve on this entire line, but at least the raspberry flavor is on a higher level than the lemon or mango counterparts. 

15. Watermelon Lime Smash

Just in time for summer 2022, White Claw has released a new variety box dubbed the White Claw Surf pack (via PR Newswire). Marketed to be your new variety pack of summer, White Claw Surf is the brand's initial try at bringing a more robust taste to their offerings. The can art advertises a "smash" of fruit flavor rather than a "hint." For the first time, White Claw is incorporating more than one fruit flavor into each of its four new styles.

Out of the newest flavors, Watermelon Lime Smash comes out on the bottom. It's a step-up from White Claw's original watermelon flavor, thanks to the addition of lime. But, it still ends up tasting phony. Compared to the original, this can of Claw does pack a flavor punch — so beware if you're not someone who is into strongly flavored beverages. It's not a bad can to grab out of the cooler whatsoever, especially if you're someone who can't get enough of watermelon everything. 

14. Ruby Grapefruit

White Claw Ruby Grapefruit is one of the brand's original flavor options, but it's arguably the worst out of the four classics. Accordingly, some Claw drinkers have even voted the can as the worst flavor of White Claw on the market, if that gives you any indication of what to expect with this flavor (via Mashed). 

Luckily, White Claw keeps the grapefruit flavor in this can very subtle. However, the taste that does come forward is not enjoyable. It doesn't taste anything close to the fresh bite of grapefruit and relies on a strange sweetness that makes it taste more like an unknowable citrus flavor. To make matters worse, this option tends to leave an unpleasant aftertaste in your mouth, and you might have to reach for a better White Claw flavor to get rid of it. Some people would die on the White Claw Grapefruit hill, and those people will always be invited to the party to drink all of the leftovers in the cooler. 

13. Mango

Mango flavor anything seems to stir up controversy. Some people are absolutely in love with anything and everything that tastes like this tropical fruit, while others prefer to do without it. The debate comes up with the mango White Claw flavor too. This one is just not as good as it could be. Surprisingly, the mango flavor is overpowering, which is unusual for White Claws. In this case, however, it's unpleasant as it tastes nothing like the fresh fruit.

White Claw Mango tastes like someone melted down mango-flavored candies and mixed them with fizzing water, which actually isn't as pleasant as it sounds. Also, like the Ruby Grapefruit flavor, there is an odd film that forms in your mouth after drinking this, and it makes the not-so-awesome taste linger for even longer, which is a definite reason to avoid it. If mango is your favorite White Claw, don't let us bring you down. There always has to be someone in the group to drink the flavors that no one else wants.

12. Natural Lime

Let's start by saying it: Natural Lime White Claw certainly doesn't taste bad. However, it cannot be put any higher on our list because it does not taste as advertised. This flavor is like a delicious green snow cone syrup that has been mixed into plain soda and then served with alcohol. There's nothing really "natural" about this lime flavor — in our opinion it tastes straight-up artificial. It's not even sour enough to make your lips slightly pucker, so don't grab one of these cans expecting a fresh-squeezed vodka-lime vibe. 

That being said, this is one of the most crushable flavors of White Claw. It tastes like the frozen treats of your childhood, especially when it's ice-cold, which is the perfect companion to a hot summer day. Despite the flavor settling decidedly middle of this list, don't be dissuaded from enjoying one of these right out of the White Claw pack. We just want you to know exactly what you're getting yourself into when you crack the can. 

11. Iced Tea Peach

The reigning king of all the White Claw Iced Tea flavors is Peach. Southern peach tea is just one of those beverages that consistently tastes refreshing, especially if you add a little spirit into it. It may be ubiquitous in a state like Georgia, but White Claw managed to capture juicy stone fruit flavor in a can so that everyone can enjoy it, regardless of where they're buying a case. 

White Claw Iced Tea Peach has a pleasant sweetness thanks to the fruity flavor, but it doesn't overpower the slight bitterness of tea, and the fizzing bubbles keep the beverage balanced. As is the case with all of the White Claw Iced Tea flavors, this is a drink best served ice-cold. Honestly, White Claw should come out with a pack solely filled with this peach tea-flavored style. It would be a much better option than picking up a variety box and only liking half of the cans. 

10. Citrus Yuzu Smash

The White Claw Surf Citrus Yuzu Smash is what regular lemon flavor wishes it was. Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit that tastes like a cross between a grapefruit and a mandarin orange (via the Spruce Eats). The drink is well balanced and not too tart, which is something the original lemon flavor could have benefitted from. Although it is a welcome new addition to the bunch, this White Claw flavor isn't higher on our list because it lacks something essential.

Some of the other White Claw Surf flavors feature a combination of fruits packed into one can. Adding even a bit of lime (or other fruit) might have made this beverage stand out more. Instead of pairing yuzu with another bold and unique flavor, this is a more complex (still better) version of regular White Claw Lemon. Regardless, White Claw Yuzu is a knockout compared to many of White Claw's other flavors. The new variety pack is definitely worth trying at least once this summer. 

9. Raspberry

These days, if you belly up to a bar and order a White Claw, you're likely playing roulette with whatever flavors the bartender has on hand. One classic White Claw flavor that will please the most people at random is the brand's raspberry variety. While you won't say no to one if offered, raspberry also seems like a flavor that doesn't rank in anyone's absolute favorites. This can is pretty standard for seltzers, with a pleasant berry hint masking any lingering malt liquor taste. It's light, refreshing, and reliable, but it would be a boring flavor to drink consistently in one sitting. 

If you're looking to spike your drink's potential, raspberry is a favored flavor to use in one of the internet's many White Claw seltzer cocktail recipes. Loaded suggestions, like this Real House Moms recipe for a raspberry lime beverage, give the average seltzer the makeover it needs every once in a while. 

8. Wildberry Acai Smash

When we said Citrus Yuzu Smash could be more complex, the White Claw Surf Wildberry Acai Smash is exactly what we had in mind. Imagine if black cherry, blackberry, and a splash of cranberry-flavored White Claws were mixed and then infused with light-years more flavor than any of those original tastes have when alone. 

The addition of berries to this recipe adds just the right amount of sweetness while keeping a pleasant tart mouthfeel, thanks to the inclusion of acai. In our opinion, this specific flavor profile has us convinced that White Claw should consider boosting all its other cans with added hints of acai. It would give a welcoming complex sharpness. Being in the top-10 of our list is proof that the brand (White Claw Surge cans aside) has never met a berry flavor that it couldn't knock out of the park. If you're a White Claw newbie, picking any of the berry flavors out of the cooler is generally a safe bet. 

7. Strawberry

Speaking of berries, we should talk about how the White Claw Strawberry is underrated. Some people (who may not be in love with all things strawberry) will miss the hype. However, strawberry is a sweet and light flavor that easily compliments the bubbling nature of seltzer water. White Claw fully understands that, and they've nailed it with this can. Thankfully, the recipe doesn't overdo the sweetness, keeping it fresh and subtle. Compared to other flavors, this is one of the rare types of White Claw that actually resembles the real fruit taste, making it even more tempting to down several cans in one sitting. 

One of the best options of variety packs that White Claw sells is the box that comes with blackberry, pineapple, mango, and strawberry. Aside from the mango, of course. If you bring that case to a party, there will likely be a scramble for the strawberry flavor, followed by someone required to take one for the team and claim the mango cans. 

6. Passionfruit

Riding the new wave along with the White Claw Surf pack, VinePair writes that Passion Fruit is one of the brand's latest flavors to hit the market. Good things are worth the wait. Passionfruit is another flavor that benefits from having both a sweet and sour tilt at the same time. It's a tropical and refreshing flavor meant to be enjoyed on a hot day. If you've never had a passionfruit, you'll likely be a fan, especially if you're into the invigorating taste of pineapple, kiwi, mango, or guava. 

Unlike some of the other flavorings on this list, passionfruit is a food known to have a concentrated and intense natural flavor. However, in our opinion, it can be a tough taste to recreate fully. White Claw Passion Fruit doesn't open up tasting like fresh-squeezed passionfruit juice has been added to your seltzer, even though the brand uses fruit concentrate. While this can might not be on-the-nose for the real fruit, it's still a well-balanced formula that bursts with tropical flavors that translates perfectly into a hard seltzer. 

5. Tropical Pomelo Smash

The absolute top-tier White Claw Surf flavor is the Tropical Pomelo Smash. This flavor mixes pomelo, which per MasterClass tastes like a flowery variation of grapefruit, with other breezy, tropical flavors. With this can, White Claw has made a drink that is somehow more refreshing than ice water. Pomelo Smash is one of those flavors you would be able to drink an entire case of in one day because it's executed so well it becomes crave-able. 

White Claw blends in orange, lime, and lemon flavors to truly reinforce a cheerful citrus character full of many notes. Even though you have to crack open a can to enjoy the combination, you may feel like you just peeled into a juicy fresh fruit pulled right from the tree. That's a hard sensation to capture in a product, but White Claw succeeded. Tropical Pomelo is the best, but you can't go wrong with trying any of the latest White Claw Surf flavors. They are all something new and inventive from the brand and prioritize taste over everything else. 

4. Blackberry

As previously mentioned, the White Claw No. 3 variety pack is one of the best seltzer mixes out there. Some say it is thanks to the addition of this punchy blackberry flavor. The light berry essence, as with strawberry, compliments the seltzer incredibly well. Where strawberry is sweet, this blackberry variety is cleansingly astringent. Unlike the White Claw Surge version of this flavor, the classic blackberry masks any pungent taste of alcohol.

It was smart for White Claw to opt for channeling the flavor of blackberries rather than something more popular, like blueberries. The acidic element of blackberries is a welcome addition that would've been lacking had White Claw used milder, sweeter fruits. This White Claw also has the scent of a fresh pint of berries when you crack open the can, which is an added bonus. Unfortunately for raspberry, this flavor came on the scene and made us forget about any boring older relatives. Thankfully, those who enjoy unwinding with a White Claw Blackberry get to reap the benefits. 

3. Black Cherry

Black Cherry is the cream of the crop when it comes to original White Claw flavors — the hype is honestly real. Many cherry-flavored things fall victim to tasting like children's cough syrup. White Claw smartly channeled the more sophisticated black cherry flavor, which is sweeter than many other types of cherry, according to the Spruce Eats. The more nuanced flavor is a better collaborator with hard seltzer water because, in our opinion, the fruit's sugars are strong enough to shine through more than "just a hint" into each sip from the can. 

The Black Cherry White Claw tastes like a true stonefruit but also has subtle berry notes. This is a good move for a seltzer company that tends to nail berry flavors. This is one of those cans that White Claw fans will ride hard for because the bold flavors and heady fizz are what make you fall in love with hard seltzer in the first place. Out of all the flavors on the list, this is one that White Claw should never consider discontinuing. Or, they'll end up with a whole lot of angry customers on their hands. 

2. Pineapple

From our perspective, the pineapple-flavored White Claw may be the most consistently underrated flavor of all time. Pineapple and liquor are always a good match — the acidic, tangy fruit overwhelms the taste of even the heaviest pours of tequila or rum. Just like black cherry, pineapple is also a strong flavor that is able to shine through, despite the classic White Claw line having only a background focus on drink flavor. If you haven't yet tried White Claw Pineapple, it needs to be a priority the next time you purchase a variety case. 

White Claw Pineapple embodies the summer-loving attitude of the brand. It's what you want to drink on the first sweltering day of the season, whether you're lounging by the pool or grilling in the backyard. Pineapple is one of those tastes you can consistently drink, but it's not as common as a beverage flavoring. So, this White Claw style deserves more recognition as one of the best flavors of the bunch as it is a novelty that could be a staple. If every variety pack of White Claw included at least one can of pineapple, they would all be made better for it. 

1. Tangerine

White Claw's absolute best creation is the tangerine flavor. Upon first glance, you might be tempted to see this as a basic, unmemorable orange-flavored seltzer. But it's anything but forgettable. This drink is light and dazzling, with a strong concentration of fresh citrus that tastes nothing like artificially-flavored orange sodas. Instead, it has a rare quality for most White Claws flavors: The tangerine can is like a bartender has just made a fresh cocktail of sparkling water and clean liquor, with a whole fresh fruit squeezed into the glass. 

Tangerine White Claws can be sneaky. These babies go down a little too easily because they are so refreshing. A gulp from this can of Claw also has a dry finish similar to good wine, adding complexity to this unassuming beverage. Like the pineapple style, this is another White Claw variety that tends to fly under the radar. However, these two bright cans deserve to be the normal stock at bars and restaurants, especially over Ruby Grapefruit or Natural Lime any day.