Our Favorite Cutwater Canned Cocktail Is As Good As A Bar Drink

Tasting Table ranked eight popular Cutwater canned cocktail flavors, and Bali Hai Tiki Rum Mai Tai came out on top. Allow us to explain our choice. Befitting true Mai Tai form, Cutwater's canned ready-to-drink cocktail cracks open with a rip curl of tropical flavor — sweet with a distinct tanginess and spiced notes from the rum that keep the profile from being one-dimensional. The cocktail combines white rum, barrel-aged rum, coconut, pineapple, and nondescript "citrus," per Cutwater's website. At first sip, the palate is pineapple, orange, almond, and cream soda-dominant with a fruity, spiced nose. It's more juice-forward than offering a pronounced boozy taste, which is low-key shocking considering how spirit-forward the proportions of this unassuming sipper are. Each 12-ounce can packs two shots of rum, making this bad boy the equivalent of two standard drinks.

It's killer out of the can for casual outdoor parties, just as good for beating the afternoon heat as ending the night on the porch or poolside. This quintessential summer bevy also rocks poured out into a decorative tiki glass, flashing a rich golden hue. Cutwater's pineapple-coconut Mai Tai is also delicious paired with the sweet-smoky flavors of a backyard barbecue, brightening up ribs and brisket with those smooth, citrusy-tasting notes.

A heavy-hitter for all warm weather occasions

Cutwater's Tiki Rum Mai Tai is nothing if not well-balanced (perhaps even too balanced). Even with a 12.5% ABV, the name of the game here is accessibility and smooth sipping. That secret punchiness also spares thirsty fans from having to lug a heavy 12-pack of Busch Light onto the boat or all the way to the beach. At 12.5% ABV, Cutwater Mai Tais are tailor-made for slow-sipping, meaning you can get an early morning buzz on from just a can or two. They're strong but sneaky and perfect for Summertime sippin', totally gluten-free and ultra-refreshing. This comes in stark contrast to Cutwater's canned Lime Margarita (which came in fourth place in our ranking), which lets the tequila shine as the most heavily pronounced ingredient, even though the ABV remains the same at 12.5%. This versatility and range also speak to the attention to craft from the Cutwater as a whole.

A four-pack of 12 fluid-ounce cans runs for $12.99 at a Target in Brooklyn, NY, and it's also available at many liquor stores. The tag might seem a little steep, but consider the high-quality ingredients and the literal bang for your buck with the true mixed-cocktail-worthy 12.5% ABV. One Cutwater Mai Tai packs the same punch as 2 ½ White Claws, and you're drinking real award-winning San Diego rum from a California-based company, not hard seltzer malt liquor. Plus, Cutwater Mai Tai is made with natural flavors and contains no artificial sweeteners.