I’ve always been a fan of Bud Light Lime.
This is mostly because it used to feature my initials on the bottle, singing a siren song to me from the cooler in the liquor store. Also, they taste good.
Their funky lil’ cousin, the Bud Light Lime-a-Rita, stirs up more mixed feelings. Sure, they are bombs of sugar covered in splashy neon colors, so my reptilian brain loves them. But they are also hot trash, like Four Loko, so I love them even more.
I once rolled into work saying I’d had a Four Loko the night before. Everyone stared at me like I said that I’d just gotten off Riff Raff’s tour bus. I corrected myself, saying I’d just had one Lime-a-Rita with my husband’s family (who enjoy them regularly). My coworkers still looked judgmental, but less so.
Lime-a-Ritas have worked their way into a lot of people’s nights out since they rolled onto the scene in 2012. They’re supposed to help you “make it a margarita moment,” according to their website, but I don’t think anyone has illusions that these are mini-margaritas.
Instead, they’re famed on social media for being a) an aunt drink and b) a cloying malt beverage that will make you hungover before you’re even drunk. Right and right.
In the spirit of America’s birthday, I thought I’d give the Internet a ranking of Bud Light Lime-a-Rita flavors. Shoutout to my husband and sister-in-law for spending a whole Saturday night plowing through these tiny bad boys with me.
Note: I could not get my hands on the “Orange-a-Rita,” a new offering available only in Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Texas, and Georgia. I can only hope the orange flavor tastes like Ghostbusters-themed Hi-C shot into a SodaStream and watered down with Karkov.
For the record, I am not so Lime-a-Rita’d out that I’d turn it down if I found one.
(Also, while in the throes of a Lime-a-Rita buzz, I wrote down suggested food pairings for each.)
8. The Worst: Raz-Ber-Rita
Smells like scented tampons, tastes like diet gum.
Food pairing: Trail mix (needs salt)
7. Second Worst: Peach-A-Rita
From my tasting notes: “Flies would love this.”
Food pairing: Ceviche (tropical flavors will complement its airy sweetness)
6. Getting Better: Cherr-Ahh-Rita
If you can get past the licorice and cough syrup vibes, not bad.
Food pairing: Ice cream (this flavor is the cherry on top)
5. Middle of the Road: Grape-A-Rita
Grape is my favorite artificial flavor, especially in soda and Laffy Taffys, but this didn’t taste as good as my absolute fave, grape Dimetapp.
Food pairing: Buttery pasta (just like mom used to make … drink one with your mom for ultimate nostalgia points)
4. Getting Good: Lemon-Ade-Rita
Features an appealing glowy moon color and a shandy vibe.
Food pairing: Cheetos (they go well with all of Bud Light’s -a-Ritas, but this acidic flavor really cuts through their saltiness.)
3. Oh Yeah: Mang-O-Rita
I’m slightly allergic to mangoes, but I would deal with mouth itchiness to drink this. I actually didn’t experience any, so who knows if there’s real mango in it.
Food pairing: Curry (nose-runningly spicy, please)
2. Niiiiiiiiice: Straw-Ber-Rita
This flavor gives off the most intoxicating little mist of red bubbles when you pop the can open. It reminds me of being a kid, although if I had drank this as a kid, I would have been a drunk kid.
Food pairing: Chipotle (only a nice heap of guac on the side could make this flavor better)
1. The Ultimate: Lime-A-Rita
The least sweet and most effervescent, this flavor proves they perfected the Lime-a-Rita on their first shot. Unlike the other flavors, it’s not overcompensating with a double-punch of sugar syrup. It’s cool and confident as heck. At Bud, they know limes. There’s a free commercial idea for them.
Food pairing: Buffalo chicken (you’re going to need some fat and spice to round out that citrus blast … add a trivia game if you really want to live it up BL-style)
I hope this list has inspired you to choose your next tiny can of booze-sugar wisely! Enjoy the summer, America!
Becky Lang is a creative director at Superhuman Agency in Minneapolis. A version of this post appeared originally on her blog.