RTD Rating Awards Criteria

When brands submit their ready-to-drink cocktails to RTD Magazine for our on-demand testing and rating, our panel takes the utmost care and effort to sample each and every RTD together at the same time, in the same location, and served in the same conditions to ensure the most accurate and unbiased assessments.

Many qualities are considered by our panel during the testing process and before arriving at a final rating for each RTD cocktail. Some of these attributes include authenticity and accuracy of flavor, appeal of aroma, balance of taste, appearance of liquid, and sessionability, among others.

Once our testing panel has sampled the product, discussed their findings, and arrive at a consensus upon reviewing and averaging their individual scores, one of four ratings is awarded: Platinum, Gold, Silver, or Bronze.


RTD Platinum MedalOur Platinum Medal is awarded to RTD cocktails which receive exceptional scores across the board and exhibit everything you would want to find in a ready-to-drink cocktail. These beverages are considered an ultra premium product with extraordinary flavors, enticing aromas, and a remarkably inviting profile. The consumer can expect to cheerfully enjoy a superior drinking experience having just one or many over an extended period of time.

RTD Magazine Gold MedalOur Gold Medal is awarded to high-scoring RTD cocktails which consistently present extremely desirable attributes in all scoring categories. These products are premium quality ready-to-drink beverages that should be a staple in your personal drink inventory and which you'd also be proud to serve and enjoy with friends and guests alike. These RTD cocktails provide an elevated drinking experience that will be appreciated by most everyone.

RTD Magazine Silver MedalOur Silver Medal is awarded to RTD cocktails receiving strong scores from all judges with relatively minor misses in some areas. These are high quality RTD beverages that you would consider a go-to option for almost any occasion be it at home, while travelling, or in any bar and restaurant setting. You can expect a delightful drinking experience with accurate, smooth, and satisfying flavors from silver medal winning RTDs.

RTD Magazine Bronze MedalOur Bronze Medal is awarded to RTD cocktails receiving a mixture of mid-to-high level scores across all categories, falling just short in some areas but still performing well in others. While bronze is our lowest level award, by no means is it indicative of a low quality product. RTD cocktails that receive a bronze medal are still above average in quality and found to deliver an enjoyable drinking experience, particularly for consumers who may prefer specific flavor profiles.

RTD Magazine Editor's Choice Award

Our annual Editor's Choice Awards are bestowed upon products which have been rated at the very highest levels. At the end of each year, our editor-in-chief reviews the many RTD cocktails that have been tested by our panel over the previous 12 months, recognizing the best of the best. Products are broken in to various categories and awarded one of two designations: Best Overall and Top Selections. All products with a published rating on RTD Magazine are eligible to receive this award.