Ranch Water Recipe – Love and Lemons

This ranch water recipe is the perfect cocktail to sip on a hot day. It’s easy to make with sparkling water, tequila, and fresh-squeezed lime juice.

Ranch water cocktail

A ranch water cocktail is the perfect drink for a hot summer day. We’re leaving for a quick trip to Austin tomorrow, and I know I’ll order a ranch water (or two) while we’re there. This combination of tequila, lime juice, and fizzy Topo Chico over ice is the best way to beat the Texas heat.

When we’re not in Austin, I love to make this ranch water recipe at home. Made with 3 ingredients, it couldn’t be simpler, and it’s cooling, refreshing, and not too sweet. Try it once, and it might just become your favorite summer drink!

What is ranch water?

Ranch water is a cocktail made from blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, and sparkling mineral water, typically Topo Chico. 

It likely originated in Austin or West Texas, and the Ranch 616 restaurant in Austin is commonly credited as one of the first places to sell the drink. There, and at some other bars and restaurants, orange liqueur is added to the cocktail for sweetness and fruity depth of flavor.

Personally, I prefer the simpler version made with just tequila, lime, and sparkling water. Learn how to make it below!

Texas ranch water ingredients

Ranch Water Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this ranch water recipe:

  • Tequila – Any good tequila blanco (also called silver tequila) will work here. We like Casamigos or Espolon tequila, but feel free to use your favorite brand.
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice – I’m not kidding about the freshly squeezed part! It adds a much brighter, fresher flavor to the cocktail than bottled juice would.
  • Sparkling mineral water – Many Texans will tell you that Topo Chico is a must for authentic Texas ranch water. I don’t disagree! It’s filled with tons of small bubbles, making this cocktail especially fizzy. That said, you could really use any brand of sparkling water here.

Along with these ingredients, you’ll just need some ice and a lime wedge for serving. How simple is that?

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Pouring Topo Chico sparkling water into cocktail glass

How to Make Ranch Water

To make ranch water, fill a glass with ice. I typically use a rocks glass, but a highball glass works too.

Add the tequila and lime juice and stir.

Finally, top with the bubbly Topo Chico and garnish with a lime wedge. That’s it!

You’ll notice that I include a measurement range for the tequila in this recipe. I want you to taste and adjust it to your liking. Use more tequila for a stronger cocktail, or use less and add more sparkling water for a fizzier one. Have fun finding a balance you love!

Serving Suggestions and Variations

I love to make this recipe for happy hours with friends. Guacamole, homemade salsa, and tortilla chips for dipping are the perfect appetizers to serve alongside it.

While I love this recipe as written, there are all sorts of ways you can change it up. Here are a few variations to try this summer:

  • Add orange liqueur. Make your ranch water more like a margarita by adding Grand Marnier or Cointreau.
  • Make it spicy. Soak a jalapeño slice in the tequila for 10 to 15 minutes before assembling the drink.
  • Make it sweeter. Sweeten it to taste with agave nectar or simple syrup.
  • Salt the rim of the glass. Or coat it in Tajín, a Mexican chile-lime seasoning, for a tangy pop.
  • Use another citrus juice. Substitute lemon juice or grapefruit juice for the lime.

Let me know what variations you try!

Ranch water recipe

More Refreshing Cocktail Recipes

If you love this ranch water recipe, try one of these refreshing cocktails next:

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