Ready-to-Drink Cocktails Part 1
 

Ready-to-Drink Cocktails

 

The Fifty Best Ready-to-Drink Cocktail Tasting 2020


The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a "blind" tasting of 71 Ready-to-Drink (RTD) cocktails with ten members of our spirits judging panel. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Strict tasting rules were applied. The RTD cocktails were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at well-chilled. Additional ice cubes were made available to the judges, to add at their discretion. Only ice water, unflavored unsalted crackers and chips were available to cleanse the palate.

The judges wrote down their impressions of each product on score sheets. The scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the highest. Double-Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were awarded according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges. The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The ABVs are identified for each brand. Clicking on the brands' names will link to their websites.

DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Dry Fly Moscow Mule
6.9% ABV

Palate: Great ginger, nice fresh ginger, well rounded ginger, perfect ginger beer, hints of lime, red pepper, black pepper, spicy, nicely balanced, great blend of flavors, well crafted, well made, classic mule, the real deal, surprisingly perfect, bravo.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Dry Fly Moscow Mule



The Blood Hound
503 Distilling The Blood Orange Greyhound

(Blood Orange, Grapefruit, Vodka) 9% ABV

Palate: Tart blood orange, spot on blood orange flavor, rich orange, tangerine, burnt orange, nice true bitter bite of the blood orange, citrus, striking blood orange peel, citrus peel, grapefruit peel, marmalade, Fuji apple, great bitter notes, apéro-like, like sipping an Italian cocktail, pleasantly tart, unfiltered, natural tasting, fresh, clean, refreshing.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



The Blood Hound



Dry Fly Huckleberry Lemonade
4.9% ABV

Palate: Huckleberry, fresh lemons, lovely lemonade, delicious lemonade, nice tart lemonade, pink lemonade, burst of tropical fruits, Sour Patch Kids, nicely sweet & tart, crisp, well balanced citrus, perfect balance, all day drinker, perfect hot summer’s day drink, porch pounder, pleasant, nicely done, magnificent.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Dry Fly Huckleberry Lemonade



Conniption Rosè Spritz
(Gin, Rosè & Petite Sirah Wine Blend, Soda Water) 11% ABV

Palate: Juniper, rosé, red grapes, citrus, cucumber, mint, well defined gin note does not overpower the red wine flavors, well balanced, florals mix well with light spritzer, clean, fresh, crisp, lively, fizzy, effervescent, refreshing, creative, interesting, unique, tasty, great flavors throughout, mild – mild – mild, easy drinking, summer breeze, lovely.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Conniption Rosè Spritz



Dashfire Fig & Cascara Manhattan Cocktail
(Rye Whiskey, Sherry, Bitters) 38% ABV

Palate: Dark cherries, orange peel, caramel notes, vanilla, nutmeg, lightly spicy, pepper, black pepper, Angostura bitters, red vermouth, smoky, woody, balanced, great blend of whiskey & sweet vermouth, great flavor throughout, well made, authentic Manhattan, the real deal on ice.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Dashfire Fig & Cascara Manhattan Cocktail



Handy & Schiller Old Fashioned
(Buffalo Trace bourbon & Peychaud's Bitters) 35% ABV

Palate: Bourbon, corn, caramel, vanilla, cherry, lemon peel, hints of orange, light citrus, bitters, woody, cedar, bold, powerful, whiskey & fruit well balanced, excellent rendition of an Old Fashioned, authentic, the real deal, pleasant, nice drink, well done.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Handy & Schiller Old Fashioned



Dashfire Elderflower Martinez Cocktail
(Gin, Sherry, Elderflower Liqueur) 38% ABV

Palate: Clear gin, juniper, botanicals, floral, solid elderflower, ginger, candied flowers, caramel notes, highly fragrant, strong flavors, very rich, complex, unusual, high quality, an authentic mixed cocktail experience, a nice cocktail, delicious.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Dashfire Elderflower Martinez Cocktail



High Noon Vodka & Soda Grapefruit
4.5% ABV

Palate: Fresh squeezed grapefruit, purely grapefruit, slightly sweet ripe grapefruit, grapefruit peel, grapefruit rind, grapefruit zest, citrus, nicely balanced, clean, crisp, tastes authentically fresh, natural taste, great flavor, nice, pleasant, refreshing, all-day drinker, enchanting, delicious.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



High Noon Vodka & Soda Grapefruit



Elenita Cucumber Lime Basil Mezcal Cocktail
(Espadin Mezcal) 6.5% ABV

Palate: Mezcal, espadin, agave, nice burnt agave, vegetal, lime, charred lime, citrus, bountiful basil, mint, mineral, charcoal, smoky, peated wood, well balanced, nicely balanced, complete, interesting, well made, a nice cocktail, brilliant.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Elenita Cucumber Lime Basil Mezcal Cocktail



Vita Frute Vodka Soda Lime Basil
5% ABV

Palate: Lime, lime juice, lemon/lime Popsicle, freshly pruned basil, bold basil, Thai basil, good balance of basil & lime, herbal, delivers well, interesting, unique, refreshing, pleasant, delightful.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Vita Frute Vodka Soda Lime Basil



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Ranch Rider RTD Ranch Water
(Reposado tequila, sparkling water & real lime juice) 6% ABV

Palate: Rich lime essence, nice lime flavor, lemon, nice sour notes of lemonade, lime zest, agave, balanced tequila, vegetal note, sugarless Margarita, subtle a touch of smoke, well balanced, smooth, clean, crisp, lively, refreshing, easy to drink, great.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Ranch Rider RTD Ranch Water



Taffer’s Mixologist
Original Elderflower Sparkling Cocktail

5% ABV

Palate: Natural elderflower, full on elderflower, very floral, herbal, vanilla, hints of citrus, mineral, fully developed, soft, smooth, delicate, refreshing, pleasant, pretty, elegant, delicious.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Taffer’s Mixologist Original Elderflower Sparkling Cocktail



Treaty Oak Old Fashioned Cocktail
38% ABV

Palate: Cherry, dried cherry, spicy apple, citrus, demerara, caramel, cola, honey, vanilla, sweet cinnamon, baking spices, almond, nutty, coffee, bitters, whiskey, nice blend of flavors, balanced, velvety, smooth, tasty, flavorful, pleasant, authentic, delicious.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Treaty Oak Old Fashioned Cocktail



Dashfire Chai White Russian Cocktail
(Vodka, cream, chai bitters) 17% ABV

Palate: Vodka, vanilla, creamy vanilla, heavy cream, creamy, latte, cake, chai, ginger, pumpkin, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, cinnamon stick, dessert spice, not too sweet, nice balance, a great cocktail.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Dashfire Chai White Russian Cocktail



Prairie Organic Vodka & Cucumber Lemonade
5% ABV

Palate: Fresh cucumber, natural cucumber, cucumber slices, fresh cut grass, lemonade, lime, well balanced tartness, balanced, fresh, pleasant, easy drinking, crisp, very refreshing, delicious, exquisite.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Prairie Organic Vodka & Cucumber Lemonade



Buzzbox Cuban Mojito Cocktail
(Imported rum, mint, lime juice) 14% ABV

Palate: Lime, lemon, fresh mint, bright mint, mint leaves, sugarcane, light rum, white rum, well balanced, fresh and easy, tasty, nice cocktail over crushed ice, classic mojito, authentic.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Buzzbox Cuban Mojito Cocktail



Dry Fly Spicy Lemonade
5.4% ABV

Palate: Fresh squeezed lemonade, nicely integrated lemon, great citrus, ginger, jalapeño pepper, spicy, wet stone, earthy, woody, well balanced, crisp, easy to drink, sophisticated.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Dry Fly Spicy Lemonade



High Noon Vodka & Soda Black Cherry
4.5% ABV

Palate: Delicious black cherry, ripe cherry, rhubarb, lemon, juicy, well-balanced, refreshing, straightforward cocktail, nicely done, perfect beach drink, pleasant easy drinking.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



High Noon Vodka & Soda Black Cherry



Dashfire Bourbon Old Fashioned Cocktail
(Bourbon whiskey & bitters) 38% ABV

Palate: Bourbon, cherry, Maraschino cherry, Red Hots, brown sugar, caramel, orange, bright orange peel, lemon peel, hint of anise, great bitters, Angostura bitters, bitter notes, oaky, cedar, well balanced, great blend of whiskey & fruit, a great cocktail, perfect Old Fashioned.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Dashfire Bourbon Old Fashioned Cocktail



Elenita Pineapple Jalapeño Mezcal Cocktail
(Espadin mezcal) 7% ABV

Palate: Roasted agave, burnt agave, nice smoky mezcal, peyote, pineapple, charred pineapple, lingering pineapple, melon, spicy, jalapeño, vegetal, earth, charred, traces of smoke, smoked, well balanced, rich, refreshing, effervescent, unique, nice beverage, a great cocktail, delicious.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Elenita Pineapple Jalapeño Mezcal Cocktail



Frank's Red Hot Bloody Mary
5.5% ABV

Palate: Tomato, tomato juice, lightly spicy V8, celery, onion, lemon, citrus, nice spice, pleasant black pepper, chili, back end heat, well blended, nice Bloody Mary, easy to drink.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Frank's Red Hot Bloody Mary



Prairie Organic Vodka & Grapefruit
5% ABV

Palate: Fresh squeezed grapefruit, natural grapefruit, fresh cut grapefruit, delicious white grapefruit juice, lemon, tart citrus note, nice balance, well made, very approachable, lively, beautifully refreshing, summer drinker.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Prairie Organic Vodka & Grapefruit



Cool Cat Wine Spritzer
Original Elderflower Mint Lime

6.9% ABV

Palate: Elderflower, tangerine, lime, lime zest, minty lime, dried mint, strong mint, mojito-like, herbal notes, lovely floral, almost tannic, touch of wood, nice, fresh, delicate, refreshing.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Cool Cat Wine Spritzer Original Elderflower Mint Lime



Buzzbox Bloody Mary
14% ABV

Palate: Tomato, onion, green pepper, celery, celery seed, lemon, tart citrus, pickles, horseradish, sweet red chili, Tabasco, black pepper, balanced, consistent flavor throughout, great version of Bloody Mary.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Buzzbox Bloody Mary



Joia Spirit Cocktail Key Lime Vodka Soda
6% ABV

Palate: Authentic key lime, real nice key lime flavor, nice crisp key lime, exquisite lime juice, fresh squeezed lime, radiant lime zest, lime peel, lime pulp, mint, pure flavor essence, perfect lack of sweetness, balanced, classic vodka soda, nice, soft, clean, refreshing.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Joia Spirit Cocktail Key Lime Vodka Soda



High Noon Vodka & Soda Peach
4.5% ABV

Palate: Realistic peach flavor, Georgia peach, slightly tart peaches, peach rings, blood orange, citrus peel, natural fruit flavor, well balanced, fresh, clean, refreshing.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



High Noon Vodka & Soda Peach



Tipsy Tomato Spicy Bloody Mary Cocktail
5.5% ABV

Palate: Fresh tomato, tomato juice, citrus, Tabasco, habanero, cayenne, black pepper, spicy, nice lingering spice, good balance, solid expression, good flavors throughout, crisp, refreshing.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Tipsy Tomato Spicy Bloody Mary Cocktail



High Noon Vodka & Soda Pineapple
4.5% ABV

Palate: Bold pineapple, Haribo pineapple candy, orange, berries, fresh natural flavors, good balance, approachable, easy drinking, great finish, clean, fresh, pleasant, exhilarating, magnificent.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



High Noon Vodka & Soda Pineapple



Simplicity Cocktails Moscow Mule
(Vodka, ginger & lime) 6% ABV

Palate: Fresh ginger, ginger beer, delicious candied ginger, gingerbread, lemon, hints of lime, Moscow Mule, lingering honey, red pepper flakes, nice spice, spicy, nicely balanced, gentle, very tasty.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Simplicity Cocktails Moscow Mule



Boozie Premium Tequila Soda Lime
6.6% ABV

Palate: Natural lime flavors, fresh lime juice, great lime zest, tequila, agave, eucalyptus,, smoky notes, woody, oaky, well balanced, crisp, easy drinking, appealing.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Boozie Premium Tequila Soda Lime



503 Distilling Five-O-Tea
(Vodka, iced tea & lemon) 10% ABV

Palate: Freshly made iced tea, great brewed tea, southern sweet tea, black tea, Ceylon tea, green tea, lemon, lemon peel, blackberry, beautiful strong tea flavor, very smooth, overall pleasant, well done.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



503 Distilling Five-O-Tea



Ranch Rider RTD The Chilton
(Vodka, sparkling water, real lemon juice & sea salt) 6% ABV

Palate: Lemon, dazzling lemon, bright lemon juice, lime, citrus, mineral, nicely balanced tartness of lemon, bite of a fresh lemon, clean, crisp, brisk, refreshing, intense, righteous, delicious.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Ranch Rider RTD The Chilton



Cold Hamer Snap Back Bourbon Cocktail
(Bourbon with ginger & lime) 7% ABV

Palate: Bourbon, ginger, ripe ginger, ginger beer, ginger ale, 7 & 7, citrus, caramel, honey, hibiscus, spice, woody, oaky, cedar, solid flavors throughout.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Cold Hamer Snap Back Bourbon Cocktail



Taffer’s Mixologist Strawberry Basil Sparkling Cocktail
5% ABV

Palate: Fresh picked strawberry, pleasant strawberry, strawberries & cream, Starburst, strawberry candy, kiwi, hints of fresh basil, caramel, minerality, fresh, clean, refreshing, pleasant, likeable, perfect summer drink, elegant, luscious, absolutely delish.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Taffer’s Mixologist Strawberry Basil Sparkling Cocktail



Kinky Cocktails Pink
(Mango, passion fruit, blood orange flavors) 5% ABV

Palate: Fresh passion fruit, juicy mango, harmonious mango & passion fruit, blood orange, tropical fruit punch, tutti fruitti, beautifully tart, balanced, well integrated flavors, natural tasting, refreshing, beach booze, hot weather appropriate, pleasing, beautiful, delicious.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Kinky Cocktails Pink



Vitani Dirty Martini
17% ABV

Palate: Green olives, just enough olive juice, mild brininess, saline, salty, strong flavors, classic expression, well made dirty martini, very dirty, delicious.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Vitani Dirty Martini

 

 



Best RTD Cocktails Part 2
Best RTD Cocktails- Part 2

 

 

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