Cutwater Canned Cocktail Flavors—Ranked From Worst To Best

Here at Parade, we know what we're talking about when it comes to tasty snack foods, delicious drinks, and binge-able candy. After all, we've ranked everything from the best Pringles flavors and Dr. Pepper flavors to the best- and worst-tasting Hershey's Kisses. So, if you're looking for expert opinions on anything digestible, look no further. And now we've got Cutwater cocktail flavors ranked.

By far and away one of the most exciting items to rank is alcohol (but only if you're 21+ and over, y'all!). For fans of canned malt liquor, there's White Claws, ranked best to worst, and for mixers, you can drink your way through the best Gatorade flavors. Next up, dive into the world of canned cocktails. Since Cutwater is the best-selling, full-flavored canned cocktail in the US, that means diving into the world of Cutwater—every flavor.

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What are Cutwater canned cocktails?

Cutwater Spirits is a California-based brand of canned cocktails. Each can is a ready-to-go, pre-mixed cocktail made from a variety of alcohol bases including vodka, tequila, whiskey, gin and rum.

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Why is Cutwater called Cutwater?



Cutwater started as a side gig—kind of. Yuseff Cherney, head brewer at Ballast Point Brewery, and Jack White were doing so well with their liquor-based mixed drinks, that the two eventually separated from Ballast Point to start their own venture, which they called Cutwater. To this day, Cherney is still the company's master distiller.

But where does the name 'Cutwater' come from? A 2017 article from Sandiegoville points to a seabird of the same name as the distillery's inspiration and turns out, that's exactly where the company drew inspiration for the name.

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According to a brand rep: "Driven by an obsession with the sea and fishing, the name Cutwater is a reference to the Black Skimmer seabird, known for flying low and 'cutting' into the water with its long beak. The name also ties back to the distillation process—as most spirits are cut with water during the proofing process."

The rep adds: "The Cutwater logo illustrates these nautical origins merging the bow of a ship with the shape of a Black Skimmer bird in flight."

Cutwater is known for their award-winning cocktails made with real spirits. Their official description is as follows: "From the ballpark to the beach, Cutwater allows you to bring the bar wherever you are."

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Who owns Cutwater canned cocktails?

Though its 2017 inception came from a side gig that started at Ballast Point Brewery, Cutwater is no longer affiliated with Ballast. Jack White and Cherney were the founders of the "spinoff" and Cherney still works there distilling to this day.

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But things continued to grow for Cutwater when Anheuser-Busch purchased the ready-to-drink company (RTD) in 2019, according to San Diego Tribune. Cutwater sales increased by 640 percent after the Busch purchase.

Does Cutwater use real liquor?

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Cutwater uses real liquor in their cocktails, most of which are made on-site at their San Diego-based distillery. However, the tequila must be imported from Jalisco, Mexico by law, so Cutwater has a partnership with the Orendain family's tequila business. This includes all of Cutwater's tequila—añejo, bianco and resposado.

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14 Cutwater Flavors Ranked from Worst to Best

14. Mango Margarita (12.5% ABV)

A top seller for the brand, it might surprise you to see Mango Margarita in last place. Tequila fans might disagree and rank Mango Margarita closer to the top, but you have to really appreciate tequila in order to suck this one down.

13. Pineapple Margarita (10% ABV)

Again, Cutwater makes strong tequila drinks. While the pineapple version undoubtedly has a stronger flavor profile than the Strawberry Marg below, it still left much to be desired.

12. Strawberry Margarita (10% ABV)

Strawberry Margarita? Eh. Good enough, but not as good as the 11 others below it.

11. Spicy Bloody Mary (10% ABV)

Even if you love a Bloody Mary drink in general, be warned that this one is a spicy take on the morning brunch classic. And when they say "spicy," they mean it. So long as you can handle the kick, the Spicy Bloody is a thumbs up, but we had to take into consideration, of course, that Bloody Marys aren't for everyone. After all, they're a very specific taste.

Cutwater also makes a non-spicy, traditional Bloody Mary but we didn't include that one in our ranking because we didn't get the chance to try it.

10. Tiki Rum Mai Tai (12.5% ABV)

The Tiki Rum Mai Tai is mostly average. It's good, don't get us wrong, but that 12.5% ABV doesn't go unnoticed. The rum flavors are spot-on but it's the overpowering alcohol content that makes it tough to have more than one.

9. Lime Ranch Water (5.9% ABV)

A little seltzer-y in its delivery, the Ranch Water Lime is A-OK. We wanted to rate it better and rank it further toward the top, but the truth is, there are a handful of flavors (eight to be exact) that are simply executed better.

8. Lime Margarita (12.5% ABV)

One of the most popular Cutwater cans, the Lime Margarita is strong with a sometimes overpowering taste of tequila. But if you like your margaritas strong (and without a salt rim), the Lime Margarita is a great choice.

7. White Russian (14% ABV)

You may go into your initial White Russian tasting a bit skeptical, but you'll be pleasantly surprised. A little more boozy than a typical White Russian—14% ABV, after all—this canned cocktail isn't for the light-hearted.

6. Tequila Paloma (7% ABV)

You have to appreciate the citrus, near-sour flavor of grapefruit juice in order to enjoy this one, but as far as palomas go, Cutwater's Tequila Paloma takes the cake.

5. Long Island Iced Tea (13.2% ABV)

Does anyone remember the days when Applebees used to offer two-fer Long Island Iced Teas? No? Am I aging myself? Either way, the Cutwater LI Tea isn't as delicious as that per se, but it's certainly a comparable, modern-day version.

4. Tiki Rum Punch (7% ABV)

A chill drink that evokes island vibes, the Cutwater Tiki Rum Punch is one to keep in your fridge all throughout the summer days.

3. Piña Colada (13% ABV)

You don't have to hop on a cruise ship or visit a tropical island in order to get yourself an authentic piña colada. With a very high alcohol content, it can be easy to overdo it, but Cutwater gets it just right—not too boozy to overpower other flavors, but boozy enough.

2. Rum Mint Mojito (5.9% ABV)

Right behind the Vodka Mule, Rum Mojito just barely makes it to second best. This one is comparable to other malt liquors that come in can form, but tastes more like a real mojito than just a lime-flavored seltzer. This one's perfect for the beach or drinking around the pool.

1. Vodka Mule (7% ABV)

A 10/10, Cutwater has absolutely perfected its Vodka Mule. Most similar to a hard seltzer, it's extremely drinkable and definitely the one you're going to want to reach for the most.

Next up, what's the best ice cream flavor of all time?