Refresh Yourself With a Ranch Water Cocktail!

While variations on the carbonated water exist, authentic Texan Ranch Water is made with Topo Chico…if you can find it in the supply shortage!

What better way to celebrate water, the cornerstone of life, than a tasty cocktail made…from water?

When most of us hear the term “ranch water”, we think of water pumped by windmills, or galvanized water containers made for cattle and big enough to swim in.

But in Texas, while ranchers need to water their horses or cattle, locals love Ranch Water as a different kind of drink. Go to a local bar – especially in West Texas – and ask for Ranch Water, and it will be served without a second thought. (As long as you’re 21, of course.)

While there are conflicting stories regarding its origin, ranging from a wild-haired rancher in the 1960s to the founder of the Gage Hotel in 1927, Ranch Water is a well-documented drink that Texans love.

A tequila-based cocktail, the requisite water in this drink is most commonly the naturally carbonated Topo Chico, though there are variations by those who wish to expand on it.

Topo Chico is mineral water whose source is an inactive volcano in Monterrey,  Mexico,  bottled since 1895.  Naturally carbonated, with a boost added during its production, Topo Chico is owned and distributed by Coca-Cola, who bought the company in 2017. 

According to NBC News, there is a current shortage of Topo Chico due to supply chain shortages paired with a strong customer demand as the Ranch Water cocktail has become a favorite outside of the Lone Star State. (CD note: You can even get it canned in many areas, and it’s a nice change from vodka-based hard seltzers! -CM) 

Leave it to Texas to make this beautifully simple cocktail a trend!

Ranch Water

Choose your own glass, but many recipes recommend the highball.  Some suggest salting the rim, which I like.

  • 3 oz blanco tequila 

  • 1 ½  fresh lime juice

  • One bottle of Topo Chico, chilled

Instructions: Fill the glass with ice, add tequila and lime juice, and top with Topo Chico. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Enjoy with our “A Toast To Water” while you ponder all the incredible, intricate, and delicious ways it keeps us alive. From team HRL to you: ¡Salud!

Barb currently resides in Central Florida with her three horses; when she’s not writing or riding for HRL, she loves to read and travel.