Popular Arizona Tea Flavors, Ranked Worst To Best

There are three things you can count on in life: death, taxes, and the price of a $0.99 can of AriZona iced tea. The Brooklyn-based beverage company, whose somewhat inexplicable Southwestern flair has peppered bodega and gas station refrigerators for nearly 30 years, is somewhat of a soft drink enigma with a fervent cult following (via AriZona). Despite few marketing efforts, the company's 23.5-ounce cans have become pretty ubiquitous, clinging to their $0.99 price tag through economic downturns, a historic dip in soft drink sales, and even plain old inflation (via The New York Times). In short, you'd be hard-pressed not to find a whole array of this stuff in your local cold case.

In 2021, there's not much you can buy with a dollar. According to Visual Capitalist, food costs have risen considerably since AriZona permanently added the price to its packaging, sealing the fate of rogue deli owners who attempt to sticker over it (via Forbes). Though the company has expanded to brand new beverage lines, sized up price changes, and even considered a foray into the trendy CBD space, according to just-drinks, the most popular AriZona flavors have seemingly endured for decades. Here's a look at the most popular of the AriZona tea flavors, ranked worst to best.

16. AriZona Fruit Punch

AriZona's Fruit Punch has one thing going for it. It's still cheaper than water. Seriously, Smartwater has the audacity to cost more than three times as much as one of these cans. Unfortunately, it's just not very good, which speaks less to the quality of AriZona drinks and more to the competition in the world of sugary fruit punch drinks.

Compared to nostalgic favorites like Capri Sun or Kool-Aid — not to mention AriZona's other offerings — the flavor here is notably muted. It's a bit corn syrup-forward, which isn't unexpected for an inexpensive soft drink. However, it still overwhelms the notes of mango, apple, pineapple, pear, cherry, and strawberry. What's left is essentially a vaguely fruity sugar water that isn't worth the empty calories. As one Reddit user explained, it's "an embarrassment to call this beverage fruit punch. It tastes like 80% water mixed with 2-year-old Hawaiian Punch."

Nonetheless, at least some people still seem to like it. If anything, the fact that it's all-natural and free from preservatives puts it above other similar options. Still, it's probably worth it to splurge on the version made with cane sugar or just something else from the rather large AriZona lineup. 

15. AriZona Kiwi Strawberry

Strawberry kiwi is typically a winning flavor combination. It's sweet. It's tropical. It's an exciting choice that feels both familiar and out-of-the-box. In other words, it's hard to mess up. The flavor has become a soft drink staple, transcending brands from Tropicana to Snapple to Vitaminwater. Unfortunately, AriZona's Kiwi Strawberry fruit juice cocktail adds little to the conversation.

Sure, it's pleasantly sweet. As in, really sweet, which for some palettes may border on throat-burningly saccharine. As reviewers have pointed out, the kiwi gives it a refreshing sour aftertaste (think of it more like watered-down Sour Patch Kids rather than spoiled milk). This could be because, per the ingredients, there's more kiwi juice and citric acid in the mix than rather sweeter strawberry juice. Nonetheless, it's still missing the bite you might taste in Snapple's version and the full-bodied flavor of Tropicana's Strawberry Kiwi (though, it's admittedly hard to compete with 100% fruit juice). By all accounts, AriZona's Kiwi Strawberry is fine, but just that. It's nothing terribly exciting, especially compared to similar flavors offered by other brands. 

14. AriZona Grapeade

AriZona's Grapeade fruit juice cocktail is a sure winner for anyone who likes sugary sweet grape drinks. The problem is, that's only a very niche audience and, even then, said audience might not consistently go for this flavor. As one Reddit user points out, "I have to REALLY be in the mood to get this." What mood, specifically? Whichever compels you to consume what's essentially a liquid grape Jolly Rancher (which is arguably the most polarizing of Jolly Rancher flavors).

The truth is that AriZona's Grapeade doesn't taste much like grape at all. Just one glimpse at the ingredients shows this beverage is mostly water and corn syrup. As for flavor, the landscape is pretty bleak. Beyond that, it's got more pear juice than it does red grape juice. This is perhaps why it tastes more like candy than a drink you'd pack with your school lunch — the kicker being that even high school-aged students don't like it. As one teenage reviewer put it via The Talon, "One sip and you are done forever."

There's an argument to be made that AriZona Grapeade would make the perfect cocktail mixer for everyone who hasn't fully grown out of drinking the ominous jungle juice that lives in plastic tubs on frat house kitchen counters across the nation. Plus, as argued by one Twitter user, the can is as pretty as Harry Styles. For that reason, it's hard to rank Grapeade as AriZona's worst flavor, but it's definitely not great.

13. AriZona Cherry Lime Rickey

Even without the AriZona label, lime rickeys are a time-honored American tradition. As pointed out by Serious Eats, the drink's roots stem all the way back to the 1880s, when the "Rickey" cocktail was created with a blend of rye whiskey, sparkling water, and lemon juice. As the folklore goes, the lime was later added by Missouri Representative William Henry Hatch, but the alcohol-free mocktail version didn't become popular until Prohibition. Once alcohol was no longer readily available (or, for that matter, technically legal in most respects) many people turned to festive non-alcoholic options.

Since then, lime rickeys have become a pretty polarizing beverage. In New England, you'll find offerings spritzed with raspberry soda, but others argue that it's all about the titular lime. AriZona's Cherry Lime Rickey is somewhere in between, paying homage to the classic with cane sugar instead of corn syrup. The lime flavor and light carbonation come across immediately, but there's also notes of pear, mango, strawberry, and — as advertised — cherry.

However, as one reviewer points out, the cherry does read a little bit like cough syrup, which unfortunately is common in the world of sugary soft drinks. Overall, it feels more like a fizzy, lime-forward fruit cocktail than carbonated cherry limeade. You either love it or you don't, but few are clamoring for this particular AriZona beverage anyway.

12. AriZona Iced Tea with Peach Flavor

Peach tea is another soft drink staple with iterations found in just about every brand that mass produces tea-based beverages. Unfortunately, in the face of its competition, AriZona's Iced Tea with Peach Flavor is a little underwhelming. Not only does AriZona tea have better products with flavor profiles that are a true testament to the company's innovation, but — flatly put — other brands have already mastered this one.

Peach tea purists will argue that Snapple put this flavor combination on the map. Whereas Snapple's version has a distinctive peach flavor that's mellowed out by their noticeably stronger tea blend, AriZona's tastes like you've steeped Haribo Peaches in water. It's not exactly strong or exciting to even the most sensitive palate, to say the least.

Even more regional peach teas — like Wawa's more bold version, which is frankly a New Jersey treasure, right up there with the likes of Bruce Springsteen — seem to have an airier flavor profile. In comparison, AriZona's corn-syrup-heavy peach tea isn't bad, but it's not great either. Though the flavor remains popular because it comes in one of their classic Big Az Cans, to mention a gallon-sized version with a diet option, there are better options even within the brand. For instance, their Good Brew Peach Tea is a vast improvement.

11. AriZona RX Energy Herbal Tonic

The RX Energy Herbal Tonic is where AriZona's true innovation shines. It's not hard to argue that they're wasting their time with peach tea when they could be reinventing the energy drink industry. Let's just look at the facts.

Most energy drinks are not good. As you'd suspect from beverages that generally carry enough sugar and caffeine to keep a small army alert, they're not good for you, either. Energy drink consumption is linked to erratic heart rate, spiked blood pressure, anxiety, irritability, sleep disturbances, abdominal spasms, and a whole bunch of other rough stuff. There's was even a dismissed lawsuit that alleged that Monster Energy contributed to a man's debilitating heart attack (via Food Dive).

Beyond any health risks, which typically fall in the realm of overconsumption rather than regular use, energy drinks aren't exactly heralded for their flavor, either. Anyone who's had a Red Bull knows that almost indescribable and often unpleasant chemical taste. In contrast, AriZona's RX Energy is nothing of the sort. The tonic has a sweet herbal flavor that's medicinal in just the right way (that is, it tastes like it's working, which helps it work on a placebo level). You won't find an overload of added caffeine here, either. The drink is mostly water, corn syrup, and green tea with a mix of fruit concentrates, vitamins, and energy drink staples like ginseng and guarana. It won't give you wings, but some of us like our feet on the ground.

10. AriZona Iced Tea with Lemon Flavor

AriZona Iced Tea with Lemon is the brand's classic offering. A lemon flavor is pretty much a prerequisite for bottled tea companies, and most of the time, it's perfectly adequate. This is the drink you reach for after you order a bodega sandwich. It's the drink that you sip during a long drive. It's always in stock. It's always there for you. It's a flavor you can count on. 

Like vanilla ice cream or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, there's a reason that AriZona's lemon tea is so overwhelmingly popular. The bright, retro-style packaging is part of what makes the brand so eye-catching and ubiquitous, while the flavor is just right. The hint of lemon and the signature tea blend cuts the corn syrupy sweetness — though make no mistake, this still tastes like a sugary soft drink that's full of childhood nostalgia. As one reviewer glowed, "[Ever] since I was a kid Arizona was always $0.99 cents. With the summer here and the extreme heat, I can drink a full gallon. Even with the different flavors the classic lemon will always be the best." 

There's just something about the subtle metallic taste of a cold can of AriZona lemon tea that brings you right back to childhood summers filled with scraped knees and running through sprinklers on the lawn. For some, that sugary sweetness and a hint of packaging taste aren't all that exciting, but nostalgia is a pretty strong additive nonetheless.

9. AriZona Watermelon

Watermelon is a refreshing summer staple, but watermelon drinks have been a bit of a hole in the beverage market. That's starting to change, though. In 2020, La Croix debuted a watermelon-flavored seltzer, which was met with love-hate reviews (via Epicurious). That same year, Beyonce publicly touted the health benefits of WTRMLN WTR, one of her investments. In a press release obtained by Health, the Grammy winner claimed the nearly $5-per-bottle juice was "the future of clean, natural hydration".

AriZona Watermelon is none of that. It's neither trendy nor expensive. We can't say for sure that celebrities haven't invested in the brand, but they're certainly not gushing about it. In addition, the health benefits are just about as limited as anything that's essentially a heaping serving of added sugar. But if AriZona Watermelon is anything, it's absolutely delicious.

Most watermelon-flavored drinks, at best, have a taste of melted Jolly Rancher about them. At worst, they're wildly artificial. AriZona Watermelon — which does actually contain watermelon along with pineapple, mango, pear, kiwi, and cherry — actually tastes like it contains real watermelon. Of course, the can with corn syrup is more akin to watermelon-flavored Kool-Aid than Bey's coveted WTRMLN WTR (as one Amazon reviewer pointed out), but that doesn't seem to deter people who don't have a sweet tooth. Another reviewer gushed, "Little brother and friend loves this! It tastes just like watermelon, which I did not expect as I usually don't drink anything but tea, water, and coffee."

8. AriZona Half & Half Iced Tea Mango

AriZona's mango flavors are consistently some of the brand's most popular and, once you take a sip, it's not really hard to figure out why. The flavor can only be likened to wringing out a tropical vacation and saving it in a jar for an emergency dose of sunshine. It can be a lot though — like the kind of sweetness that burns your throat on the way down and makes you start to question your sanity a touch after more than a few sips. This is where AriZona's Half & Half Iced Tea Mango shines.

Half & Half Mango is often used in the same breath as AriZona's Arnold Palmer Mucho Mango Half & Half. We get it. There are a lot of the same words there, but the truth is that lemonade doesn't do this flavor combination any favors. It heavily relies on the bitterness of the tea to cut the overwhelming sweetness. The result is the perfect, unexpected balance of flavor with a hit of caffeine to boost the whole experience.

In the words of one Amazon reviewer, "This is a beverage that knocked my socks off! The combination of iced tea and mango flavor was not something that my taste buds could conceptualize. It just didn't sound like it should be a beverage! It seemed counter-intuitive. But after a few gulps, I was an instant addict. I can't live without the stuff!" 

7. AriZona Iced Tea with Raspberry Flavor

AriZona Iced Tea with Raspberry Flavor is another twist on a classic. The brand has swapped out their ubiquitous turquoise checkerboard packaging for a deep berry shade that actually makes your mouth water before you even crack it open. Like peach tea, raspberry tea has a lot of competition in the bottled beverage market, but this time, AriZona has actually made a solid effort. As one reviewer wrote, "Hands down the best flavor for Arizona tea. I absolutely love the slight bitterness of the tea mixed with the sweetness of the raspberry. Smells wonderful too. If you have it in a local store, try it out. You won't regret it."

Compared to other raspberry teas, AriZona's version has a robust raspberry flavor that leaves behind a near addictive tartness rather than a weird synthetic aftertaste. The glowing reviews on Amazon — in the face of what's clearly an overpriced listing — are proof enough. People like this flavor so much that they're willing to go above the price tag that's written on the can. "I could drink raspberry Arizona tea all day, it's sweet but not too sweet, it has a perfect balance of flavors," wrote one Amazon user. "I prefer it to Brisk where there's some kind of after taste and it's too sweet. Arizona is the best!"

This flavor can be hard to find, but if you stumble upon it, you've struck liquid gold (if that gold was only worth a dollar).

6. AriZona Sweet Tea

AriZona's Southern-style sweet tea somehow feels leagues apart from the brand's other offerings. It's one of the few flavors that makes more sense in a gallon than it does in a Big AZ can, perhaps because that's how so many of us might be used to consuming sweet tea. Make no mistake, as this is an everyday drink. At least, it's every day while the weather is still balmy and you can sit outside on the porch watching fireflies flicker around the front yard.

Compared to most AriZona products, this sweet tea most closely resembles something you'd make at home. It does, after all, have just a handful of ingredients, and the company ditched their preferred method of syrupy sweetness (corn syrup) for real cane sugar in order to get a more authentic flavor. As one Amazon reviewer wrote, "This is my favorite sweet tea. It tastes crisp and fresh. It is also the perfect sweetness. Some people may find it a bit too sweet though ... Currently my favorite tea!"

AriZona Sweet Tea has racked up nearly five stars on Amazon, making it one of the brand's most popular flavors. The very limited number of naysayers appear to be sweet tea purists, and their sentiment deserves some credence. Let's get one thing straight: AriZona sweet tea tastes authentic but it still tastes like something mass-produced. Sure, you can probably make better sweet tea at home, but for this price, you don't always need to bother.

5. AriZona Mucho Mango

There aren't too many soft drink brands that really dive into everything that can be done with a mango. It's definitely an underutilized fruit, almost always presented as the side-kick to another flavor and rarely given lead status as the star of the show. AriZona is one of the few beverage company's that have tapped into its obvious potential, and consumers are listening.

AriZona's Mucho Mango fruit juice cocktail is consistently a fan favorite, as witnessed via one enthusiast's ranking on Reddit. Unlike some of the brand's other fruit juice cocktails — which float around the vicinity of authenticity without ever actually being authentic — it unequivocally tastes like genuine mango nectar. How? Because it pretty much is made with real mango, according to AriZona, barring the addition of pear juice to the mix. It even has real mango puree.

After some deep research combing through the ingredients label, we found that the primary ingredients in Mucho Mango actually form the base for most of AriZona's fruit juice cocktails. In other words, this is AriZona in its purest form, the sweet nectar that runs through the brand's veins. Surely that says it all, landing this fruit juice cocktail at a pretty high place overall on this list.

4. AriZona Golden Bear Strawberry Lemonade

It's not clear why AriZona keeps seeking the advice of golf stars to help them create drink recipes, but it seems as if they're certainly onto something here. For instance, the company's Jack Nicklaus-branded Golden Bear Strawberry Lemonade is one of the most undeniably delicious flavors of AriZona's entire product line, but make no mistake about its intent. This drink is a commitment and a challenge, much like the delicate art of golf.

Golden Bear Strawberry Lemonade is a burst of sweetness that feels like you're inhaling 23.5 oz. of straight, liquid Starburst (but at it's of Starburst's arguable best flavor. Sorry cherry!). It is many things, from a decadent dessert to a refreshing drink. Some could conceivably argue that, if not for the obvious lack of nutritional value, it could also double as a meal. Anyway, after you drink a Big Az Can on this stuff, you certainly will feel full. And if you don't, you'll probably feel at least a little queasy. Is it worth it? We're going to have to give it a resounding yes, though perhaps it's best to pace yourself here.

In the words of one Amazon reviewer, "Only thing better would be a little smaller can. It's 23 ounces. maybe a 16-ounce. They go so fast." This is living proof that there absolutely can be too much of a good thing, but as the reviewer points out, "this is cheaper than bottled water, explain that?" Magic cannot be explained.

3. AriZona Arnold Palmer Strawberry

The only thing better than AriZona's Golden Bear Strawberry Lemonade is the brand's Arnold Palmer Strawberry Half & Half. If golf was somehow a team sport, this would be a championship team. However, in reality, the branding shows a rivalry between two golf legends, at least when it comes to the packaging of their respective drinks. Though this AriZona drink contains both lemonade and strawberry, Jack Nicklaus and his "Golden Bear" brand are cut out of the picture entirely. This is solely Arnold Palmer's domain and it's a definite hole-in-one.

While the original Golden Bear is — as we previously described — something of an undertaking thanks to its sweetness, Arnold Palmer Strawberry is a true breeze. It's like zipping through a course on a golf cart as you watch everyone else drag their clubs. This drink is still wildly sweet, to be sure, but the addition of tea makes it taste less like a Starburst candy and more like something that could actually provide hydration. Then again, as one reviewer noted, "the nutritional facts are pretty scary", so moderation is still key here. 

Nonetheless, like with all AriZona drinks, you can't beat the price. "Soooo delicious," wrote one reviewer. "I only have these every once in a while because they are super sweet! But the taste is awesome! Great job at delivering a sweet strawberry flavor and a tart lemonade flavor!! Perfect mix in my opinion."

2. AriZona Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey

Like the classic lemon tea, AriZona's Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey is a staple you can rely on. No matter where in the country you are, from Walgreens, to CVS, to your regular corner store, this is a flavor that's almost always in stock. If they've got AriZona drinks, then they've surely got this.

For some reason, none of AriZona's other green tea offerings have ever gained as much momentum as this one. You can spot the difference immediately in the packaging, which is beloved to the point it's sparked an Adidas collaboration and a whole slew of knock-off merchandise. The cans here still sport the company's signature turquoise color, but AriZona has abandoned its Southwestern theme entirely. Instead, we get cherry blossoms (for the regular flavor) and an illustrated homage to traditional Japanese tea houses (for the diet version).

As far as taste goes, it's notably sweet, but the tea flavor definitely shines through. In this case, the ratings speak volumes. "I'm not a fan of green tea or sweet tea but one day I drank some because it was in the fridge and cold," wrote one Amazon user. "It's delicious! It is sweet but not super sweet like some teas and it has a mild flavor ... I will definitely be drinking a glass or two of this [every] week."

1. AriZona Arnold Palmer

Finally, we have the Holy Grail of tea beverages, the platonic ideal of the AriZona lineup: the AriZona Arnold Palmer. For those of us who spent a childhood torn between choosing lemonade or tea, this is proof that sometimes the world is kind and you truly can get everything you want. Nonetheless, while AriZona's Half & Half recipe is delicious, it's not actually right.

As the name suggests, the cherished drink hails from the mind of golf legend Arnold Palmer. He wasn't the first person to stumble upon the mixture (as anyone who's stood in front of a soda fountain knows), but he was certainly the person who popularized it. By all accounts, it was just an off-hand, spontaneous idea. According to The Washington Post, his wife made "a lot of iced tea for lunch" and he simply mixed the extra with lemonade. He ended up loving the drink so much that he started taking it around in a thermos when he played golf. The rest is history.

In 2001, AriZona licensed the golf legend's likeness to sell the drink, but their description of half lemonade and half iced tea wasn't actually Palmer's original recipe. Iced tea was always meant to be the dominant flavor (imagine an ultra-sweet, puckery lemon tea), but most AriZona die-hards will have to firmly disagree. Since then, the brand has been riffing on the flavor profile, including a popular lite version and a Southern-style version with sweet tea and pink lemonade.