Ranch Water is a 3-ingredient cowboy thirst quencher born in the miserably hot, dry dusty summers of West Texas. The ingredients for Ranch Water are simple: Topo Chico mineral water, lime juice, and tequila are all you need for this low-calorie favorite of house parties and dive bars.
Topo Chico is the key ingredient to a great ranch water recipe. These mineral waters of an inactive volcano are rumored to have cured an Aztec Princess of a mysterious illness back in the 1400s. Surely if the waters themselves have magical properties, then the addition of tequila and lime juice will only make them that much more magical. As a fanboy, I have to admit, this sparkling mineral water does seem to have a life of its own and elevates this simple ranch water recipe beyond its three simple ingredients.
Now that Topo Chico and Ranch Water is gaining popularity and is more widely available across the USA, do you want my advice? Quit ordering those crappy Skinny Margaritas and have a West Texas Ranch Water instead.
Ranch Water is a favorite drink of Texas house parties and dive bars!
Ranch Water Ingredients
- Topo Chico: The main ingredient in my West Texas Ranch Water recipe, this sparkling mineral water has been sourced and bottled in Monterrey, Mexico since 1895, has to be Topo Chico to be Ranch Water.
- Lime Juice: 1/2 of lime is the perfect amount, more than that can be a little too citrusy. You want Ranch Water to have a nice balance between the lime and Tequila.
- Tequila: No good ever came from a bottle of cheap Tequila! A good quality Tequila is always a good idea no matter what the cocktail, Ranch Water is no exception.
- Salt: Originally, people paired cheap Tequila with limes and salt to disguise the burning intensity of the bad Tequila. For the Ranch Water recipe, these ingredients are just part of the charm. Rub a little lime juice on the rim of the glass and dip it in salt, I only dip half the rim, that way you can choose to have the salt or not. Ranch Water should be refreshing, not just salty.
Here’s my version of the rapidly growing cult favorite Ranch Water cocktail recipe. This is how to make West Texas Ranch Water:
West Texas Ranch Water
- 2 Ounces Tequila
- 1/2 Lime Juice Only
- 4 Ounces Topo Chico
- Lime Wedges
- Salt the rim of a Collins or Highball glass
- Fill with ice
- Add tequila and lime juice, top off with Topo Chico
- Serve with slices of lime and the remaining bottle of Topo Chico
They have begun making canned ranch water. I’ve tried a couple, and it is not the same. If you’re going to drink ranch water, make it yourself. Ranch water is a super easy cocktail recipe, and this recipe is way better than canned ranch water.
Thank you so much Steven Thompson.
I accidentally added double the tequila and I wasn’t dissatisfied
Now that’s my kind of accident!
I was curious if this is best made with the original Topo Chico. There are lime and grapefruit Topo Chicos so I wasn’t sure which one to buy.
Hi Amy, the original Ranch Water recipe is made with Topo Chico, before the flavored varieties were created. Although, I bet the flavored Topo Chico recipes would be really good as well. If you want to experiment, make Ranch Water with all of them and see which one is your personal favorite.
Where did you get these beautiful glasses?
Thanks for sharing this recipe!
Hello, Shel. The glasses are beautiful, aren’t they? These are called ‘footed pilsner’ glasses, and they are the last two of a set my parents had from the 1960s. Although designed for pilsner beer, I love them with the ranch water. I’m glad you enjoy the recipe and the glasses! Cheers!