AriZona Beverages is one of the most iconic tea/drink brands to ever grace this earth, and with good reason. These bad boys are available almost everywhere, and if you’ve been feeling the urge to try one, this is a one-stop shop to ensure that you choose the best flavor possible. With the help of four other avid AriZona fans and experts, we have curated an official and considerably detailed list involving the flavor profile and emotional effects that each of AriZona’s iconic drinks may have on your system.
#10: Rx Energy: Herbal Tonic
It’s unfortunate that we have to start this list off with the worst flavors right off the bat, but this flavor was by far one of the most disappointing experiences AriZona-wise.
Smell: When cracked open, our nostrils were filled with the wonderful smell of what we could only describe as Sunny D, reminding us of a very potent, bright, tropical, citrusy smell. But we were fooled.
Color: The color, a nasty milky yellow, was the first sign to this drink not being as impressive as we had wished.
Taste: The overall sensation seemed to be aggressively underwhelming, with Junior, Mabry Wise describing it only as a “crime against humanity”. Other opinions likened the flavor to the feeling of desperately needing something to wash over the slimy aftertaste that you feel in your throat after eating a banana. See also: the taste of licking your charger, and “watery boiled goopy mangoes”.
#9: Iced Tea w/ Lemon
The second-to-last place goes to Iced Tea with Lemon, mainly because of the fact that it was in a plastic bottle rather than an elegant can, making the taste feel cheap and trashy even though bottles actually cost more than the classic 99 cents that every AriZona drink is priced at. Definitely not worth the price.
Smell: For initial smells, it was declared as being “soft on the nostrils”, with ex-Magnet student, Lilly Jones, stating that it gave her a strong “teddy bear smell”.
Taste: Experience-wise, there was nothing negative about the flavor, as it was quite literally what you would have expected: Plain iced tea with lemon. If that’s what you’re into, then by all means, this is the drink for you. For a more elevated palette however, the taste does seem to fall more into store bought lemon juice that was thrown into iced tea, probably the cheapest taste ever made by AriZona. Not memorable at all.
Can/Bottle: 3/10. The experience of drinking out of a plastic bottle instead of a can diminishes the translation of flavor of an already mediocre drink.
The first of the “Fruit Juice Cocktails” to be featured on this list, Grapeade was a drink we struggled with.
Color: The color was an impressive and deep purple, so if you’re looking for a drink to pour into a glass and pretend to drink, Grapeade is your guy.
Smell: The smell was exactly what we had imagined, pretty much the textbook example of grape juice. It should be noted that this smell brought Lilly back to her communion days in church, so if you share similar memories and do not want to be transported back to those days, beware.
Taste: The flavor of Grapeade can only be described as grape jolly rancher, sans any syrupy sugarness, but the general consensus was put eloquently by Junior, Teagan Domm: “one sip and you are done forever”.
#7: Arnold Palmer Lite Half & Half Iced Tea Lemonade
For 7th place, we have the classic Arnold Palmer. Now it must be said that this was the first ever AriZona flavor that I had ever tried, so it holds a special place in my heart for that. But bias aside, there was a considerable amount of slander against this drink made by the experts.
Color: Iced tea. That’s really all that can be said to describe the brown-yellowy color that is the Arnold Palmer.
Smell: The smell was “poppy” in a floral sense, reminding us of a fresh hotel, going to a barbecue, and “lemon toilet cleaner but in the best way”, as described by both Mabry and myself.
Taste: Honestly, exactly what you would expect. Imagine throwing together iced tea with some lemonade and bam, that’s what this drink is. A 50 year old white man would probably enjoy this considerably, so if that falls in line with your flavor palette, then I recommend.
(It must also be mentioned that the aftertaste reminded Mabry and Lilly of “wet dog”.)
Can Design: 1/10. It was incredibly lacking in creativity. As the consumer, you are forced to look at a fifty year old man play golf as you drink, which ends up diminishing the overall flavor experience.
#6: Green Tea w/ Ginseng and Honey
For 6th place, this one is an all-around classic AriZona flavor, but not my personal favorite.
Color-wise: I don’t know if it’s the ginseng or the honey, but this tea looks like champagne and bubbles, and really just reeks of richness. I would say this one is almost a complete opposite to Iced Tea w/ Lemon, the Iced Tea being more of the “WalMart version” of this tea.
Smell: As expected, you inhale and are greeted strongly by green tea, a strong air of boiled plants is really going on in your nostrils, as well as the fleeting thought of “monster energy drink pee” if you share Mabry’s vision.
Taste: This tea tastes directly like plants on plants on plants. If you are looking to do some sort of health cleanse and pretend to be healthy for a hot second, then this is the tea and flavor for you.
Can: 9/10. Despite the lower ranking on this flavor, the can is a true work of art. If you want a can for your can collection to fit effortlessly into your Yerba Mates, Monsters, RedBulls, Bangs, this is the can for you. The beautiful detail of the cherry blossom is just a sight for sore eyes on any given day, transporting you to a world where everything is good. The can might even save the overall flavor of the drink itself.
(Side note: Leddy would like to let the record show that she disagrees with the green tea’s placement, but being the AriZona aficionado that Ilike to claim I am, I vetoed the movement.)
#5: Iced Tea w/ Raspberry Flavor
For 5th place, we have a phenomenal can and solid taste, with the smell winning my heart and boosting this flavor to fifth place.
Color: The color of this one is absolutely atrocious. Reminiscent of coke and things you might find in a toilet, this drink is definitely one you want to drink straight from the can only.
Smell: like a tea, overwhelming raspberry flavor, smells like a literal raspberry is emanating from the can, I cannot stress just how much this smells like fresh raspberries that have been handpicked from the wild.
Taste: In my opinion, I found the taste empty compared to other tea flavors and underwhelming compared to the magical smell, but the raspberry does come through in softer tones which justifies the rating. Out of all of the true AriZona “teas”, this one really takes the cake and makes you feel genuinely refreshed.
Can: 8/10. Insanely appealing artwork has been created for this can. The use of reds, blues, and light pinks all complement each other beyond belief, and the detail of the small raspberries gathered at the base of the can gives a hint to the magic that is hiding within its contents.
Another Fruit Juice Cocktail makes its way into the Final Four, partly for taste, partly for smell, partly for nostalgia, you won’t be disappointed.
Color: Pouring it out of the can you get a sort of hot pink, which distinctly reminded Junior, Leddy Scheurer, of “Urban Outfitters getting canceled in 2012”, so if you’re about that then I would recommend.
Smell: As soon as you take a whiff of Watermelon, you will be immediately transported to drinking Hi-C at the waterpark, I swear to you on Toucan Sam’s life.
Taste: The overall flavor palette sticks to thoughts of Hi-C, but maybe in a more sophisticated sense rather than the sickly sweet juice box thoughts that may be intruding into your head at the comparison. This drink also admittedly does taste best in the can, as pointed out by Teagan.
(It must also be said that the aftertaste on this one is phenomenal, reminding Lilly of petting a golden retriever, not unlike her own dog, Izzy.)
Can: 7/10. As a fruit juice cocktail, the can’s quality appearance was expected. Bringing to the table a solid symphony of reds and greens, the can makes you feel like you are about to indulge in a world of fresh and juicy watermelon flavors and by god, that is the exact experience that you will receive. This can does not lie. With the watermelon details along with the nature details at the base of the can, this drink makes you feel something special.
#3: Kiwi Strawberry
Showing up into 3rd place and getting that sweet sweet bronze medal is Kiwi Strawberry, one of my newfound favorite flavors of all time.
Color-wise: Reminiscent of Watermelon and its pink vibe, but there’s something about this color that seems to capture me at my core and make me want to chug it until I never want to drink it again.
Smell: The experience upon your nostrils from this drink stings of nostalgia, hitting my group of AriZona experts and I as what we can only describe as: Caprisun Heaven mixed with sweet old lady candy.
Taste: The flavor profile of Watermelon gets softened but also kicked up a notch with Kiwi Strawberry, the kiwi and strawberry really making there way into being noticed on you taste buds. Again, the Caprisun flavor comes to mind, and you finally feel happy again. Lots of fulfillment comes from this AriZona.
Can: 5/10. Now this can is extremely misleading. One look and you might assume that the contents of it mirror the same experience as a gogurt or some other dairy filled drink. But if you take a closer look and examine the details of kiwis and strawberries along the base of the can, that’s when the truth comes out. It must also be said that the bull skulls on all of the “fruit juice cocktails” are, in my opinion, not in great taste as they were apparently going for a “midwestern vibe” but seems to reflect more of them almost appropriating Native American culture in order to achieve that? Kind of not the best of them to do so, so I thought I would call that to everyone’s attention. The checkers at the top and bottom of the can are, I must say, average at best, but I urge you to look past the can and focus on the delightful experience that is Kiwi Strawberry.
#2: Mucho Mango
This flavor of AriZona will almost certainly win the hearts and minds of anyone who questions the delight that comes in an AriZona can, and should also be recognized as Lilly’s number one favorite.
Color: If you were like me and ever drank mango nectar as a kid, then this light orange color might surprise you compared to the thick orange you would be used to, but nevertheless, the more you look at this perfect shade of orange, the more you fall in love.
Smell: Upon this drink entering your nostrils, you are filled with a smell not unlike prune juice, but in a nostalgic way.
Taste: Nothing can truly be said besides the fact that it tastes like pure mango. Pure mango that simply bursts in your mouth, filling it up with soft golden nectar that refreshes you to your core. One of the perfected AriZona flavors, no one who tastes this could possibly write it off as a bad flavor.
Can: 5/10. Again, this can follows the “fruit juice cocktail” agenda, which I am not the biggest fan of. I really can only appreciate the colors and the mango details on this can, but otherwise, the aesthetic is, lo and behold, average. However, the appearance in no way takes away from the experience of the flavor, so be aware that there is so much more to the can than you might think.
#1: Jack Nicklaus’ Golden Bear Strawberry Lemonade (the best drink of all time)
Golden Bear Strawberry Lemonade is by far the best flavor and drink of all time. Nothing will ever beat Golden Bear in the history of beverages, and I will stand by that statement until my dying day. The appearance, aesthetic, flavor, smell, nostalgia, and excitement that this one drink brings to its consumer is otherworldly. I cannot stress enough just how insanely amazing this drink is.
Smell: When cracking open the best AriZona drink of all time and bringing the can up to my nostrils, I just knew that I was about to be filled with an experience that was going to be revolutionary, and my intuition was right. As described by Ms. Mabry Wise, this drink smells like a “pink lemonade gummy bear”, its sweetness not unlike a naturally fruity candy.
Color: Pouring out the drink into a clear glass, we were immediately presented with a beautiful light pink shade, one which reminded us of feeling pure joy, but was also admittedly underwhelming compared to the other colors. Nevertheless, we were not fooled just as you shouldn’t be, as the taste will surprise you.
Taste: The taste. The taste of this AriZona drink is barely even describable. My task of putting into words the perfection that is in the contents of this can is a grueling task, as I want everyone to understand just how wonderful the experience will be on your taste buds. Golden Bear Strawberry Lemonade is, as one might expect, pure strawberry lemonade goodness, giving you the kind of nostalgia that a “scratch n sniff” sticker mixed with homemade lemonade might. The taste almost bursts in your mouth, this flavor being the most intense out of all of AriZona’s drinks. If you don’t enjoy the more underwhelming flavors like their iced teas, then this my friends, is the flavor for you. Think of it as a tangy sweet candy that you could never get enough of as a child, and now, so many years later, you have finally been allowed that taste yet again. That is what Golden Bear Strawberry Lemonade is all about.
Can: 1000/10. The can has clearly been manufactured to show their #1 drink’s value, with Golden Bear being the only golden can that includes a golden pull tab. This detail may be missed by the untrained eye, but to a Golden Bear fan such as myself, it is greatly appreciated and recognized as a clear sign of its superiority. The bright red and pink mix of the bear is beautiful, with the yellow of the bear’s snout complementing the bear’s blue eyes wonderfully. The small detail of the strawberry on the side with a tiny golden bear next to it allows you to identify the flavor and makes you feel 110% reassured that this is the right choice for you. This can is all and all, a joy to experience.