I tried Travis Scott’s ‘Cacti’ spiked seltzer and, sadly, it was not lit

A review of the latest product from Cactus Jack’s ever-expanding brand.

The Travis Scott branded experience has come for nearly every part of your day. For breakfast, you can eat from his limited-edition box of Reese’s Puffs cereal. When it’s time to get dressed, there’s no shortage of options. You can wear apparel from his collaborations with McDonald’s, PlayStation, and Fortnite that include cardigans, puffer coats, and work jackets on top of the standard range of T-shirts, hoodies, and the like. Those same collaborations could also help decorate your home, be it a three-foot “Cactus Jack” neon sign, a hotel door tag, or a chicken nugget pillow.

Shoes are also accounted for, as Travis Scott has released more than 10 sneakers with Nike and Air Jordan. And you can’t forget all his in-house apparel, which could comprise an entire wardrobe itself. Once dressed, you can even smell like the rapper with his Byredo fragrance. Leisure has also been covered, giving you options for entertainment that have included playing with a Travis Scott Fortnite skin or shooting a fake gun in real life courtesy of Nerf. So too has your second or third meal of the day, whenever you may have chosen to eat his slightly altered Quarter Pounder meal and McDonald’s. And as of this week, you can now get drunk with Travis Scott, too.

“Cacti,” Travis Scott’s entry into the massively trendy drink category that is spiked seltzer, has hit shelves beginning this week. Partnering with Anheuser-Busch for his own adult beverage should ensure wide distribution of his agave-sweetened drink that comes in three flavors: pineapple, strawberry, and lime. His name doesn’t appear anywhere on the label, which may mean curious shoppers pick it up without having any idea of its associations with one of the hottest and strongest brand-wielding rappers in the game. But his fans won’t need it to know they’re picking up a Cactus Jack-approved recipe for getting lit.

Ian Servantes / Input

I was seeded two boxes of Cacti ahead of the drink’s March release, and I couldn’t think of a more appropriate setting to review it than to get loaded at my parents' house while playing video games. I told Alexa to play “La Flame” — she had no idea what I was talking about, forcing me to amend my instructions — and began to crack open Scott’s alcoholic beverage.

Unfortunately, I was immediately disappointed by my choice to begin with the flavor I was excited about most: strawberry. My initial sips from the can were quickly rewarded with an aftertaste that I, a non-food writer, struggle to describe as anything but rubber-like. Further sips would see this nasty taste go away, only to give way to something worse: boredom. It became a nondescript alcoholic beverage, and despite my proclivity to not waste alcohol, I poured out half the can because I was tired of the non-event going on inside my mouth.

Like most of Travis Scott’s output, be it music or merch, Cacti is a hyped event with little substance.

Moving on to pineapple, already feeling a buzz because of the seven-percent alcohol by volume and tolerance that’s been severely weakened during the pandemic, I was met with a lovely smell before I could even take a drink. My first sips tasted pretty good, too, and the flavor went down significantly smoother than strawberry. But once again, the sensation eventually died down to uneventful. I became bored once again and poured an even larger quantity of the can down the drain.

Last up was lime, with the lowest stakes of the lot. You can’t mess up lime, right? Indeed that was true, and this flavor became the only one I actually enjoyed. It tastes like a well-made vodka and tonic with just a splash of 7-Up, which doesn’t sound like high praise but produces a crisp and satisfying beverage. I actually finished the can but decided to call it a night there.

Ian Servantes / Input

Having tried all three flavors of Cacti, I can’t say I was motivated to rage. And while initial sales figures may look strong because of Scott’s dedicated fanbase, I can’t see the drink taking off in the heavily crowded space of spiked seltzer. There are just too many options out there — White Claw, Truly, Bon & Viv, and Bud Light are the others I’ve tried — and Cacti does nothing to rise above them, save for a name that says, “If you know, you know.”

It’s a shame, too, because I was excited about Cacti. I couldn’t care less about the Scott connection because I’m a nearly 30-year-old man who finds his ubiquity baffling. But I do consider agave to be the nectar of the gods, key to a great margarita, and a great substitution for sugar wherever you may use it. I could never really taste this sweet syrup within Cacti, and I was disappointed that its inclusion didn’t unlock the next great spiked seltzer.

Like most of Travis Scott’s output, be it music or merch, Cacti is a hyped event with little substance. A name only gets you so far, but I’m starting to have doubts that my skepticism of the rapper will ever be affirmed by a wider trend of people growing tired of his act. Brands will keep giving him products to collaborate on, and the quality has very little impact on if it’ll sell.

If Cacti dies off in a year, Anheuser-Bush will probably still be able to say the whole exercise was worth it.