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Ranch Water: 5 Variations & 5 Similar Cocktails + Recipe

Ranch Water is an iconic Texas-style cocktail that helps you cool off on a hot day. We’ll give you the inside scoop on this beloved beverage, covering everything from origins to ingredients. Here you’ll learn everything you need to know about the popular cocktail.

Have you ever tried a Ranch Water cocktail? This drink is super cool and refreshing – perfect for a hot day in the sun. If you want to know more about this cocktail, then look no further.

We have all of the essential information surrounding this cocktail, as well as a recipe to make the perfect Ranch Water at home. Let’s go ahead and jump right into it.

Introduction to Ranch Water

Introduction to Ranch Water

Ranch Water is a cocktail made with a few simple ingredients that is a staple drink of countless West Texas bars. The light and simple flavor of this drink has made it a crowd favorite.

The refreshing and bubbly taste is a great way to cool off – something that is much appreciated in the Texas heat.

While Ranch Water’s home is Texas, this drink has found itself gaining fans from all over the world. The subtle flavors and refreshing taste make the Ranch Water cocktail a beloved drink.

These days, you can find a Ranch Water cocktail on menus all over the world. That being said, it is not the most common cocktail of all time. The good news: this drink contains just a few simple ingredients, meaning it is remarkably easy to make at home.

What Ranch Water Is

What Ranch Water Is

So, what exactly is Ranch Water? Who invented this cocktail? What goes into making it? Let’s go ahead and take a look at some key information regarding this drink and its history.

Brief History / Origin

Brief History / Origin

The history of Ranch Water is one of the most mysterious origins in the world of cocktails. There are many different stories detailing how this drink came to be, each of them highly debated by cocktail lovers and historians alike.

Many people attribute the creation of this drink to Kevin Williamson, an Austin restaurant owner. Williamson shared a drink with similar ingredients to Ranch Water with his father.

When Williamson opened his restaurant, he included a drink on the menu that many claim may have been the origin of the iconic Ranch Water cocktail.

This drink on Williams' menu was a classic Margarita served with Topo Chico on the side, which guests could then mix to suit their tastes. That being said, this is only one theory of how the drink originated. Even this story is still highly contested to this day.

Ingredients

Ingredients

What goes into making Ranch Water? This cocktail is very simple and contains only a few ingredients. In fact, you will only need three ingredients to whip up this beloved drink.

Tequila: This is the base of the drink and the spirit of choice. This gives the cocktail its slightly fruity, strong flavor. The type of tequila that you use when making this drink will greatly impact the flavor profile.

There are a range of different tequila brands (which we will take a look at in a bit) that work well in this particular cocktail.

Lime juice: For a dash of citrus and tartness, lime juice is added to the Ranch Water cocktail. This gives the drink a nice tang and a refreshing fruity flavor. The zesty lime juice pairs well with the subtle sweetness of the tequila and gives the Ranch Water its iconic flavor.

Topo Chico (or similar sparkling water): Ranch Water is typically mixed with Topo Chico, a brand of sparkling mineral water from Mexico.

Many Ranch Water fans are of the belief that it is essential that you use this specific brand, though the cocktail can technically be made with any brand of sparkling water. The addition of Topo Chico gives the Ranch Water its fizzy, bubbly mouthfeel.

Best Tequila Brands for Ranch Water

Best Tequila Brands for Ranch Water

When making a Ranch Water, the brand of tequila that you use is going to have quite a significant impact on the taste of the drink.

There are a few brands of tequila out there that work well in this great. Choose the right ones to ensure that they pair wonderfully with the other ingredients too:

  • Don Julio: This is a great brand of tequila to use in a Ranch Water cocktail. This medium-bodied tequila is sweet and fruity, pairing well with the tanginess of the lime juice. The smooth and complex taste of this tequila enhances the simple flavor profile of Ranch Water.
  • Patrón: This is another smooth and sweet brand of tequila that works very well in Ranch Water. The fruity undertone of Patrón compliments the lime juice nicely, and the subtle sweetness helps to balance the drink.
  • Espolon: This brand of tequila is extremely smooth, with both sweetness and some subtle peppery spice. This works well in Ranch Water as it rounds out the flavor profile, providing sweetness and spice that compliments the fruity and tangy flavor of the lime juice.
  • Herradura: For a warm tequila that is subtly sweet and fruity, Herradura is a great choice. This brand of tequila is smooth with a slightly spicy finish, which balances out the flavors of Ranch Water nicely.
  • Sauza: This brand of tequila is smooth, with herbal notes and a subtle spice. The sweet and fruity flavors of this tequila complement the lime juice in Ranch Water. This brand of tequila has crisp, clean flavors that work nicely in simple drinks, such as a Ranch Water cocktail.

Recipe – How to Make a Ranch Water

Recipe – How to Make a Ranch Water

Thinking about trying to make Ranch Water at home? We’ve got you covered. This cocktail is dead simple to make and doesn’t require you to go out and purchase all sorts of ingredients.

As long as you have some tequila, lime juice, and sparkling water on hand, you will be able to whip up a Ranch Water cocktail in no time at all.

Let’s go ahead and check out a recipe for the perfect Ranch Water cocktail that you can make yourself.

Ingredients:

  • 2 shots (3 ounces) of tequila
  • One medium lime (approximately 1 ½ ounces fresh lime juice)
  • Half a cup (4 ounces) of Topo Chico or a similar sparkling water

Method:

  1. In a glass with ice, add your 2 shots of tequila. You can use any tequila brand of your choosing.
  2. Squeeze in the juice of one medium lime (approximately 1 ½ ounces).
  3. Top off the mixture with half a cup (about 4 ounces) of Topo Chico. This can be substituted for any other brand of sparkling mineral water to suit your tastes.
  4. Stir until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  5. Garnish with a lime wedge (optional).

Just like that, you have the perfect Ranch Water cocktail. This drink is perfect for those hot summer days where you want to cool off with a cocktail, but don’t want to slave away in the kitchen to make one.

Time & Occasions for Drinking a Ranch Water

Time & Occasions for Drinking a Ranch Water

Since it is such a simple cocktail with subtle flavors and not a particularly high alcohol content, Ranch Water can be drunk at any time for any occasion.

While treating yourself to a Ranch Water on your birthday or Christmas is a great idea, don’t feel as though this has to be saved for a special occasion. Being such a refreshing drink, Ranch Water is often enjoyed during the summer as a way to cool off.

That being said, the tequila in this drink provides a rich, sweet taste that makes it a great choice in the colder seasons as well. The simple flavors of this drink mean that it can be enjoyed alongside dinner or other meals without overshadowing the flavors in the food.

The subtle taste of Ranch Water also means that it pairs well with many other flavors.

Perfect Pairings

Perfect Pairings

The citrus flavor of Ranch Water – as well as the refreshing quality of the drink – means that this beverage pairs with many foods but works particularly well with Mexican foods.

This is especially fitting if you use the traditional Mexican Topo Chico to make the drink. Ranch Water pairs well with meals such as nachos, quesadillas, and fajitas.

Spicy chicken, salsas, and salads with acidic vinaigrettes also work well with this cocktail as the cooling effect of the drink balances out the spice and acidity of the foods.

Whether you’re sitting down for dinner or just snacking, you’re bound to find something that pairs well with a Ranch Water cocktail.

Best Glass to Serve a Ranch Water

Best Glass to Serve a Ranch Water

The best glass to serve your Ranch Water cocktail in is a highball glass. That being said, this drink can be served in any glass that you desire.

The simple ingredients in this drink mean that it doesn’t require any special glass in order to maintain a specific temperature or enhance certain aromas, as is the case with many other cocktails.

Whichever type of glass you do choose to serve your Ranch Water in, it is a good idea to use a chilled glass. At the very least, make sure to include a generous amount of ice. Since Ranch Water is such a refreshing drink, it is best served very cold.

Variations of Ranch Water

Variations of Ranch Water

While the classic variation of a Ranch Water cocktail tastes wonderful, there are many other versions of this drink out there.

By adding, removing, or substituting a few ingredients, an entirely new variation of Ranch Water can be created. Let’s go ahead and check out some of the most common and beloved variations of a standard Ranch Water cocktail.

White Lady

White Lady

The White Lady cocktail is a classic drink that is made by combining gin, Cointreau, or Triple Sec and fresh lemon juice.

Occasionally, an egg white will be added to this cocktail in order to give it a frothy, light texture. This cocktail is very similar to Ranch Water due to the light and citrusy flavors that are present in the drink.

Chelsea Ranch Water

Chelsea Ranch Water

A Chelsea Ranch Water cocktail is made with Blanco Tequila, lime, jalapeño, cucumber, and club soda. This is a subtle variation of the original Ranch Water that adds a bit more spice and freshness to the drink.

The jalapeño adds a kick of heat to this variation, while the cucumber cools it off a little, leaving you with a perfectly balanced cocktail.

Bourbon Ranch Water

Bourbon Ranch Water

A Bourbon Ranch Water cocktail, as you may have gathered from the name of this drink, simply involves substituting tequila for bourbon.

This creates a richer, warmer version of the classic Ranch Water cocktail. This variation of Ranch Water is perfect for all bourbon lovers, or for those who are looking to bring a little warmth to the drink, perhaps to enjoy it in the winter months.

New York Sour

New York Sour

A New York Sour cocktail combines a spirit such as rye whiskey or bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, and red wine. An option egg white can be added to this drink to give it a creamier texture.

This drink is a classic cocktail and is similar to Ranch Water due to the way that it combines lemon juice and a strong spirit.

Daisies (e.g., Whiskey Daisy, Gin Daisy)

Daisies (e.g., Whiskey Daisy, Gin Daisy)

Daisy cocktails are a classic family of drinks that can be changed up and altered depending on what type of spirit you prefer. The cocktail is made by first choosing your base spirit.

This can be vodka, tequila, bourbon – whatever you desire. To this base, lemon juice, sugar syrup, Cointreau, and sparkling water are added.

This drink is very similar to Ranch Water and is perfect if you are looking for a cocktail that you can alter freely in order to match your personal tastes (or to suit whichever spirit you have on hand).

Similar Cocktails You Will Enjoy

Similar Cocktails You Will Enjoy

If you are a fan of a classic Ranch Water cocktail and are on the hunt for other similar drinks that you may enjoy, then look no further.

We’ve got some of the best cocktails that Ranch Water enjoyers are sure to love. From Paloma to Tequila Sodas, there will be something else out there to tickle your fancy.

Paloma

Paloma

The Paloma cocktail is another classic tequila-based cocktail, similar to Ranch Water. This drink is made by combining the base spirit of tequila with lime juice and a grapefruit-flavored soda. The soda brands most commonly used to create this drink are Fresca, Squirt, and Jarritos.

This cocktail is served with ice and has subtle flavors. Just like the Ranch Water cocktail, the Paloma is extremely refreshing.

The combination of tequila and lime juice is very reminiscent of Ranch Water, with the grapefruit soda giving it that fizzy mouthfeel, as well as an extra dose of fruity flavor.

Margarita

Margarita

Another iconic cocktail that Ranch Water enjoyers are sure to love is a Margarita. This drink is created by mixing tequila, triple sec, and lime juice. Some people will also add a dash of simple sugar syrup to their Margarita for a bit of added sweetness.

This drink is essentially a more common, slightly more alcoholic version of Ranch Water, that adds triple sec and omits the sparkling water.

If you’re at a restaurant or cocktail bar and are disappointed to see that they don’t have Ranch Water available, why not order a Margarita instead?

Tequila Sunrise

Tequila Sunrise

A Tequila Sunrise cocktail is a visually stunning drink that is made by combining tequila, orange juice, and grenadine syrup. This drink is perfect for orange juice and Ranch Water lovers alike.

This California-based drink is also endlessly refreshing, similar to Ranch Water. If you’re on the hunt for a tequila-based drink that is similar to Ranch Water but has a stronger fruity taste, then a Tequila Sunrise is the drink for you.

The combination of the orange juice and the pomegranate flavors of the grenadine syrup make for a bright summer cocktail.

Tequila Soda

Tequila Soda

If you’re dead set on ordering a Ranch Water – only to find that the establishment you are visiting does not offer it – then a Tequila Soda is the next best thing that you can order.

This cocktail combines tequila, lime juice, and club soba. Essentially, it is the same thing as Ranch Water. The difference between a classic Ranch Water and a Tequila Soda is that the latter is likely not going to be using the iconic Topo Chico that is present in a Ranch Water.

A Tequila Soda is more often than not going to contain a more common, standard version of club soda or sparkling water.

Tequila Mojito

Tequila Mojito

If you’re wanting a tequila based drink, then a Tequila Mojito is definitely worth a try. This combines all of the standard ingredients that can be found in a typical Mojito: mint, lime juice, simple syrup, and soda water.

The base of a Tequila Mojito, however, is of course tequila. This is a deliciously refreshing drink that both Ranch Water and Mojito fans are sure to love.

The tequila pairs wonderfully with the mint, and the lime juice and club soda keep the drink bubbly and refreshing.

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