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How the “Beverage Girlies” of TikTok Are Coping Online

“To me, the height of luxury is drinking three liquids at once,” quips Sophia Pelton, the (literal) voice behind a now-viral TikTok narration. According to Pelton and the thousands of users who have set their own videos to her voice, the balance of these three drinks is crucial: One for fun, one for energy, one for hydration. “In those moments, I just feel like I have it all. I’m living large and I am a little prince,” she concludes.

The original TikTok has now been viewed over 400,000 times, with the sound reused in over 11,000 videos on the platform, set to dozens of unique combinations—wine/water/diet Coke, smoothie/water/matcha, bubble tea/coffee/green juice—many of them sporting the same hashtag: #beveragegirlies.

Merging the sticker-coveredemotional support water bottles” of the early days of the pandemic with the more recent emergence of “Hot Girl Walks,” Beverage Girlies are the latest example of performative coping on social media.

@sophiawpelton If u saw this as a tweet, it’s because that tweet was mine #fyp #viral #comedy #genz #millennial #TreatiestCupContest #ForYouPizza #meme #nyc #coffee #vodkaredbull #matcha #spindrift #bloodymary ♬ original sound – Soph

You can spot a Beverage Girlie by a few telltale signs. “Beverage in hand, at all times,” says Kate, who goes by @GetItTogetherKate on TikTok and describes herself as such. “Leaving the house? Let’s get a fun drink. At dinner? Let’s get a fun drink. Working from home? Fun drink. Multiple times a day.” Beverage Girlies often sport vast libraries of seltzers or aesthetically pleasing beverage spreads, crystal coupe glasses and “pretty cups.” And, most importantly, they deem each new beverage a “treat.” 

Just as iced coffee is the poster child for hustle culture, TikTok’s three-drink (or more) rotations bolster the caffeinated grind. Hustle and treat cultures work in tandem, helping one deal with and defer the inevitable effects of burnout, one can at a time. In fact, the Beverage Girlie phenomenon shows that sometimes the treat is the hustle. New “self-care” drinks popular in the Beverage Girlie community tout health benefits, making the “treat” a bit of functional work; drinking B-complex vitamins, pro- and prebiotics and mood-boosting compounds puts productivity (as well as the resulting well-stocked fridge of specialty cans) on display.

Beverage Girlie culture isn’t just about wellness or the affordable luxury of a fridge full of flavored water, though. With hydration linked to skin health, it’s easy to see how the boom of these new “wellness” beverages is connected to current beauty standards. As beauty writer Jessica Defino sums up: “Skincare is just dewy diet culture.” And the same is true for the beverage industry. For skincare-loving Beverage Girlies, hydration is aspiration; in just a few drinks, you can become a seltzer-chugging conduit of beauty in no time.

@jgcolorstorya beverage girlie🥤🧋☕️♬ I AM THE AESTHETIC _yaesthetician – Yas

The trend delivers something more intangible, too. Drinking, with alcohol or not, has always been an easy way to derive a feeling, whether it be emotional or physical: a joyous tickle of CO2 in the nose, an excuse to leave the house, a reward well-earned, or, if nothing else, the comfort of occupying one’s hands. On the internet, drinks are a way to quickly communicate those feelings and an identity to audiences. Take, for instance, Gen Z’s embrace of the Coastal Grandmother,” one who indulges in the gospel of oceanside minimalism, her glass of chilled pinot grigio acting as an accessory and an attitude all on its own.

Part of the allure of being a Beverage Girlie is that it offers a way into, and subtly subverts, the cultures of beauty, wellness and leisure, by suggesting that partaking in all three is as simple as selecting the perfect drink, or trifecta of drinks. Making a matcha latte run to “feel something” sums it up; they’ve made each drink an event in itself, where the mundane is enough reason to celebrate with a soda in a coupe glass or water in a wine glass. I actually got a mimosa at the airport this morning,” says Kate.As TikTok likes to say, ‘I romanticized’ my flight delay with a fun bev.” 

For the Beverage Girlie, happiness is just a “fun, silly drink” away.

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