Few sippers are as satisfying on a hot summer afternoon as Ranch Water. The origins of this dangerously easy-drinking decoction have been contested ‘til the cows come home, but most drink historians agree that Ranch Water’s lineage is linked to the fluid and flavorful cultural stomping grounds of the Texas/Mexico borderlands.
Though now you’ll find it mass-produced in the form of canned cocktails coast-to-coast, we highly recommend returning to the basics of constructing this beauteous beverage as your deity of choice and the denizens of West Texas intended it…
Just a simple combo of tequila, fresh lime juice, and Topo Chico (only Topo Chico) fizzy water, bottled in Monterrey, Mexico since 1895.
From those basics, the iterations and additions are where the fun comes in. Sub in flavored Topo Chico (like “touch of lime”) for plain mineral water, swap out unaged tequila with a deeper reposado, add herbs like mint or basil, throw in a slice or two of fresh jalapeño, or squeeze in fruity additions of melon, pineapple, or grilled stone fruit. The options are as limitless as that big ol’ Texas sky.
Ranch Water (makes one)
- 2 oz. tequila blanco
- 1 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 4-6 oz. Topo Chico mineral water
- Garnish: lime wheels
To a Collins or rocks glass filled with ice, add the tequila and lime juice. Slowly fill the glass with mineral water and stir gently to combine. Add more ice as needed and garnish with lime wheels. Drink up!