Ranch water is a go-to summer cocktail, and no, it does not involve ranch dressing of any kind. Ranch water is rumored to have been created by a rancher in West Texas in the 1960s to quench the thirst of ranch hands after a long day of work. Since then, ranch water has become a staple in Texas and has gained nationwide popularity over the years.
Ranch water is widely considered a healthier alternative to a classic margarita that doesn’t skimp on taste and is made with only three simple ingredients. With just tequila, plenty of fresh lime juice and Topo Chico served over ice, this cocktail is impossible to mess up. Part of its appeal is that ranch water can be easily modified to individual taste, and the ratios of the ingredients are based on preference.
Some may say any carbonated water will do, but many claim that Topo Chico is the key to making ranch water so deliciously refreshing. Many Texans don’t consider it a proper ranch water unless made with Topo Chico. Topo Chico, the Mexican sparkling mineral water brand (now owned by Coca-Cola), is more carbonated than the average seltzer. Topo Chico gives the drink a ton of bubbles and an earthly mineral flavor that helps to highlight the citrus flavors from the lime juice without being overpowering.
Topo Chico also makes flavored varieties, such as grapefruit or tangerine, which would also work well in the drink. Feel free to experiment by tossing some fresh, seasonal fruit in the cocktail to add sweetness, jalapeño slices for something more spicy, or garnish the rim with a flavored salt. Make nonalcoholic ranch water by switching to a zero-proof tequila spirit. The flavor is similar to regular tequila, though it may require more lime or a sweetener.
Ranch water’s fizzy tart lime flavor ensures that it’s the ideal summer cocktail and an excellent pairing for spicy Tex-Mex food and barbecue fare. With just three ingredients and no tools needed, you can have a quality cocktail in a minute flat. Ranch water is a cocktail that’s light, refreshing and free of added sugar or any sticky, sweet ingredients, making it the perfect cocktail that can be easily sipped all day long.