Hey, It's Friday: The Margarita in a Bottle

Tropical refreshment in a bottle, the Cayman Jack margarita


A margarita in a bottle is not something we’d usually get excited about. Most pre-mixed malt beverages — especially those that claim to mimic a custom-shaken cocktail — are mediocre at best, a pale version of their namesake. At worst, they’re a Frankenstein-like concoction gone wrong (Bud Light Lime-a-Rita, we’re talking to you.) Cayman Jack is a surprise. It’s actually quite good, and has the ingredient list to back up the flavor.

Organic limes and cane sugar join 100 percent blue agave nectar to flavor the drink, which is sold in six-packs alongside beer and other malt beverage drinks. The bottle is distinctive, a thick, short-necked dimpled glass container with a custom imprint that the producers say is perfect for drinking on a boat. The whole marketing tack of Cayman Jack is island-style, and once you open the drink and take a sip, the effect works.

The flavor is fresh and clean, not at all sweet, with a strong lime scent. Tequila notes are lacking, as would be expected, but the agave nectar and citrus combine to make a taste that is very reminiscent of an actual margarita. Designed to jibe with the strength of craft beers, Cayman Jack rings in at 5.9 percent ABV, so a bottle or two will give a nice buzz. The malt base is beer that has been filtered more than 10 times, and along with the lack of high-fructose corn syrup or other nasty additive, the result is a headache-free next morning.

We couldn’t recommend these bottles above fresh-made margaritas, but if you’re on the go, these will do quite nicely. In the summer, a package of Cayman Jack is a perfect beach buddy. For winter parties, stock these next to heavy winter beers in your cooler for a nice change. Made by American Vintage Beverage in Seattle, Cayman Jack is distributed throughout the U.S. A easy tropical escape is just a bottle cap away.

— Danya Henninger, The Drink Nation

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