Where to drink now

Where to drink in Houston right now: 7 bars crazy about White Claw cocktails

Where to drink now: 7 Houston bars crazy about White Claw cocktails

White Claw Penny Whistle Pub Rue St Dennis
Yes, those Gummy Bears come with the cocktail. Photo by Matt Dulaney
White Claw Present Company cocktails
Present Company serves its "clawtails" in the can. Courtesy of Present Company
White Claw Vara's El Criminal
Find El Criminal at Vara's Sports Bar. Photo by Eric Sandler
White Claw La Grange The Bones and Claw
The Bones and Claw uses two kinds of rum. Courtesy of La Grange
White Claw Lotti Dotti deep claw
Grapefruit fans will enjoy the Deep Claw at Lotti Dotti.  Courtesy of Lotti
White Claw Penny Whistle Pub Rue St Dennis
White Claw Present Company cocktails
White Claw Vara's El Criminal
White Claw La Grange The Bones and Claw
White Claw Lotti Dotti deep claw

In bars all across Houston, people are drinking hard seltzers like White Claw, Wild Basin, and Bon & Viv's. The trend has gone national; sales are up to 200 percent.

As the drinks become more popular, so has their prominence in pop culture. White Claw, which owns about half the market, leads the way when it comes to memes and videos like this one by comedian Trevor Wallace that popularized the phrase "ain’t no laws when drinking claws."

Hardcore beer nerds who dismiss these effervescent thirst quenchers as the latest fad miss what people like about them. Not only are they gluten-free, but most only have about 100 calories. For anyone who's tired of sipping on vodka sodas as their healthy(ish) booze option of choice, these drinks are a welcome alternative.  

Lots of bars and restaurants are selling White Claw and other hard seltzers, but only a few places are making cocktails with them. Those who've already embraced the trend will find these drinks provide a new way to enjoy the style. For skeptics, upping the booze and adding additional fruit flavors might be the necessary components to foster an appreciation for all things Claw.

La Grange
Known for its comfortable courtyard, the Montrose bar is serving two White Claw cocktails: the White Paloma (tequila, lime juice, agave syrup, White Claw grapefruit) and the Bones and Claw (two kinds of rum, lime juice, vanilla bean syrup, and White Claw Black Cherry). Priced at $10, they also come with the White Claw cans as a sidecar.

Lotti Dotti Bar & Patio
Grapefruit fans will want to head to this newly-opened Montrose bar. The bar's Deep Claw cocktail mixes White Claw grapefruit with Deep Eddy grapefruit vodka and citrus juices. $9.

Ninja Ramen
As always, Christopher Huang's Washington Avenue ramen shop brings its unique sense of humor to trend with a selection of "Hi Balls!" that include the "Santa Claws" (rum, St-Germain, White Claw lime) and "Sake Claws" (five different sakes each paired with a different flavor of White Claw). 

Pennywhistle Pub
Bar manager Matt Dulaney is serving the Rue St. Denis, a combination of gin, lime juice, simple syrup, and White Claw raspberry. Yes, the Gummi Bears pictured above will be part of the drink's garnish. 

Present Company
Houston's most-Instagrammable patio bar serves two "Clawtails" in White Claw cans: the Fielding Season (tequila, ginger liqueur, black cherry puree, lime juice, jalapeño, White Claw black cherry) and the Claw Me Maybe (rum, mango puree, raspberry syrup, White Claw mango).

The Roastery
The flagship location of this coffee shop and cafe features an expanded menu as well as a full bar. Presented as a brunch option or a patio sipper, the Watermelon Spritzer combines vodka and rosé with Mighty Swell (a Texas-based hard seltzer maker) watermelon-mint.

Vara's on 45
Not only does this divey sports bar serve $2.50 cans of White Claw during happy hour (4-7 pm on weekdays) and all day on Wednesdays, but bartender Chris Frankel (Anvil, Spare Key, etc.) has embraced the beverage as his newest semi-ironic obsession. His El Criminal cocktail uses Ilegal Mezcal (Blanco) and lime juice to balance out the sweetness of White Claw raspberry ($8).