Liquor Laboratory

Ranch Water Cocktail Recipe: Full Guide (2024 Edition)

Ranch Water Cocktail Recipe

If there’s a cocktail that screams refreshing Texas’ hot summer day, it’s Ranch Water. The simplicity of this beverage masks its transformative nature.

If you’re ready to dive in and try something fresh, light, and delightfully simple, I’ll share my perfected Ranch Water cocktail recipe and sprinkle in some fun facts.

The Perfect Ranch Water Cocktail Recipe

Hand Holding a Ranch Water Cocktail Drink

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes


  • 3oz of your best tequila, preferably Blanco
  • 2oz lime juice (fresh limes)
  • ice
  • 4 to 6 ounces – Topo Chico mineral water
  • fresh lime wedge (garnish)

Instructions: Pour tequila and lime juice (or lemon juice) into a highball glass or Collins glass with crushed ice. Top it off with sparkling Topo Chico and gently stir it.

Garnish with a lime wedge, and your Texas Ranch Water is ready to enjoy!

Serving: 1

What Is Ranch Water?

The classic Ranch Water recipe is a simple, unpretentious, light, and refreshing cocktail from West Texas. The Texas Ranch Water blends the earthy flavor of tequila with the tangy kick of fresh lime juice, and the whole concoction is topped off with Topo Chico.

It is the perfect companion for a laid-back gathering or a solitary stargazing night.

What Does It Taste Like?

Ranch Water offers a taste experience that’s light yet tantalizing; the fresh or bottled lime juice gives way to the subtle earthiness of tequila.

“Quench your thirst with the refreshing kick of Ranch Water.” – Liquor Laboratory

Drinking it for the first time is like drinking a classic Margarita with light booze and sweetness. I prefer adding simple syrup and lots of ice in my glass whenever I make one at home.

The resulting cocktail is crisp, refreshing, and pleasantly fizzy.

Why Do They Call It Ranch Water Cocktail?

Close Up Image of a Ranch Water Cocktail

The cocktail is called Ranch Water because it pays homage to its rustic origins. Legend has it that this cocktail was first mixed on Texas ranches, where hardworking ranchers sought a refreshing antidote for hot days [1].f

Following the chain of custody of this three-ingredient cocktail concoction, Ranch 616 debuted the drink, which is a solid paternal origin of name.

Can You Customize This Cocktail Recipe?

Yes, you can customize this cocktail recipe for a crisp and refreshing taste. You can use blanco tequila or silver tequila for Ranch Water as a base liquor.

If you prefer a twist to the traditional Ranch Water recipe, add a splash of grapefruit flavor juice or a dash of spicy jalapeño for a bit spiked, and viola, you now have a spicy Ranch Water drink.

If you can’t find Topo Chico, you can use sparkling mineral water or flavored sparkling water for the extra carbonation and Topo Chico’s hint.

You can use/add tequila for the Ranch Water recipe, but you can also use Mezcal [2]. Remember, the best Ranch Water variations are where you’ve let your creativity flow.

Alcohol Content & Calories

Ranch Water contains around 5% ABV and 130 calories per tall glass with ice. It is a healthier cocktail choice because of its low-calorie content.

Most of its calories come from tequila blanco, while lime juice adds a negligible amount. Topo Chico is calorie-free, making it a guiltless pleasure and a perfect summer drink for those keeping an eye on their caloric intake.

However, adding simple syrup or agave nectar, grapefruit juice, and Grand Marnier to elevate the drink is no longer a low-calorie drink (get a smaller cocktail glass instead).

Can You Order Ranch Water At A Bar?

Ingredients in Making Ranch Water Cocktail Drink

Yes, you can order Ranch Water at a bar. Although it is an unofficial drink from West Texas, its popularity has grown significantly, and become a word-of-mouth cocktail even in White Buffalo Bar.

“It’s been such a popular drink for such a long time that everything gets a little fuzzy.” -Eloise Bryan, Lead Concierge Gage Hotel

Today, you can find it on cocktail menus in bars nationwide. Given that this recipe is straightforward, most bartenders know how to whip up a tall glass of this refreshing drink.

If they don’t have Sparkling water like Topo Chico, you can ask for sparkling mineral water or Club Soda for that extra fizz.

Is Ranch Water The Same As Tequila Soda?

No, while Ranch Water and Tequila Soda are not the same. Although they share tequila as their main spirit and include a bubbly mixer, there’s a subtle difference.

Ranch Water is characterized by the added zing of lime and Topo Chico mineral water, lending it a unique Texan twist.

On the other hand, Tequila Soda can be made with any soda water and might not necessarily include a citrus component.


What are the ingredients in Topo Chico Ranch Water?

Topo Chico Ranch Water is a hard seltzer, and it is made of purified carbonated water, lime juice, sugar, natural flavors, alcohol, sodium nitrate, citric acid, Potassium, and Magnesium Chloride.

Is Ranch Water actual tequila? 

Ranch Water drink is not a type of tequila. Instead, it’s a simple cocktail with tequila as a primary ingredient, complemented by lime juice and sparkling water for a balanced, refreshing, and distinctively Texan drink.

Can I use any type of tequila in a Ranch Water cocktail?

While any type of tequila can technically be used, a good quality silver or blanco tequila is traditionally used in Ranch Water cocktails for its clean and crisp flavor profile.

Is there a specific ratio of ingredients for Ranch Water?

The ratio of ingredients for Ranch Water can vary based on personal preference, but a common ratio is 2 parts tequila, 1 part lime juice, and 4 parts sparkling water. Adjust the ratio to suit your taste.

Are there any variations of the Ranch Water cocktail recipe?

Some variations of the Ranch Water cocktail may include different types of citrus juices, flavored sparkling water, or even swapping tequila for mezcal for a smoky

On A Final Note

After years of crafting cocktails behind the bar and at home, Ranch Water remains a go-to favorite of mine, especially on a hot day.

Its simplicity lets the ingredients shine, and its versatility encourages playful experimentation. Whether you’re a seasoned mixologist or a cocktail novice, making the cocktail is a rewarding experience.


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