Ranch Water Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 5 min.
Three simple ingredients come together in this ranch water recipe, which is bound to become your new go-to summer cocktail.

Updated: Jun. 04, 2024

There’s no shortage of options when it comes to tequila cocktails. And while margaritas, tequila sunrises and bloody Marias are always great, it’s this ranch water recipe that reigns supreme on scorching hot summer days.

Legend has it that ranch water was first mixed by ranch hands in west Texas in the 1960s to quench their dry throats after a long day of work. Since then, ranch water has become a staple in Texas and can be found in just about every dive bar, cocktail lounge and poolside bar in the state.

What goes into ranch water?

Ranch water is a simple cocktail made with 100-percent agave tequila, fresh lime juice and Topo Chico sparkling mineral water, served over ice. The Topo Chico is essential as it gives the drink a kick of earthy mineral flavor and tons of bubbles. Many Texans don’t consider it a proper ranch water recipe unless it’s made with Topo Chico.

The result is a tequila cocktail that’s light, refreshing and free of added sugar or any other sticky, sweet ingredients, so you can easily sip it all day long. The best part, though, is that ranch waters are so easy to make. With just three ingredients and no tools needed, you can have a quality cocktail in a minute flat.

Ranch Water Ingredients

Table view shot of all ingredients for ranch water; knife; chopping board; black texture background;TMB Studio

  • Ice: Ice is essential for keeping this cocktail cool and refreshing.
  • Blanco tequila: Use 2 ounces of your favorite blanco tequila. If you don’t have blanco tequila, reposed or even mezcal make fine substitutes.
  • Lime: Squeeze half a lime into each glass, then garnish the glass with a lime slice for a bit of color and extra lime flavor.
  • Topo Chico: This sparkling mineral water is essential for making ranch water. With its earthy flavor and tons of bubbles, it quenches thirst and dilutes the tequila.


Step 1: Add ice, tequila and lime juice

Table view shot of fill highball glass about two-thirds full with ice; half cut lime; chopping board; black texture background;TMB Studio

Fill a highball glass about two-thirds full with ice.

Overhead shot of add tequila; chopping board; ice jar; black texture background;TMB Studio

Pour in 2 ounces of tequila.

Table view shot of squeeze lime into glass; ice jar; black texture background;TMB Studio

Squeeze a half of a lime into the glass.

Editor’s Tip: Since it’s such a prominent ingredient, high-quality tequila is important in this recipe.

Step 2: Top it off with seltzer

Table view shot of pouring mineral water into a highball glass and stir; ice jar; black texture background;TMB Studio

Top the glass with chilled Topo Chico mineral water and give the cocktail a quick stir.

Step 3: Garnish it with lime

High angle view shot of ranch water in highball glasses garnished with lime slices; wooden chopping board; knife; black texture background;TMB Studio

Garnish the ranch water with a lime slice and enjoy!

3/4 angle view shot of Ranch Water; served in glass; garnished with lime slices; wooden chopping board; black texture background;TMB Studio

Ranch Water Variations

  • Rim the glass: Add texture and sharpness by running a slice of lime around the edge of your highball glass and rolling it in some kosher salt or tajin.
  • Add grapefruit: For a cross between a ranch water and a paloma, add a splash of grapefruit juice to your cocktail.
  • Change the tequila: While white or silver tequila is the traditional choice for a ranch water, you can also use different types of tequila, like reposado tequila or even mezcal.
  • Change the citrus: Substitute the fresh lime juice with lemon or orange juice for a different citrus profile.

Ranch Water Tips

Where can you find canned ranch water?

Canned alcoholic drinks—like the best hard seltzers—are a summertime favorite, so it’s no surprise several brands are canning their own version of ranch water for a ready-to-drink beverage. Here are our picks for the best canned ranch water cocktails:

  • Ranch Rider Ranch Water, 6% ABV
  • Lone River Ranch Water, 4.0% ABV
  • RancH2O Ranch Water, 7% ABV
  • Fizz Ranch Water, 6% ABV

While these cans are great for a day at the beach or park, they aren’t made with Topo Chico mineral water, so the flavor will be a bit different. Luckily, Topo Chico has its own line of hard seltzers with flavors like lemon lime, tropical mango, strawberry guava and pineapple.

What kind of glass should you use for ranch water?

Tall highball cocktail glasses or even pint glasses work well for ranch water, since you can add plenty of ice and Topo Chico for maximum refreshment.

Ranch Water

Prep Time 5 min
Yield 1 serving.


  • Ice cubes
  • 2 ounces blanco tequila
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 can Topo Chico mineral water
  • 1 lime slice, optional


  1. Fill highball glass about two-thirds full with ice. Add tequila; squeeze lime into glass. Top with mineral water and stir. If desired, garnish with lime slice.

Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 130 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 1mg sodium, 0 carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.

Three simple ingredients come together to make ranch water, your new go-to summer cocktail. Essential to the drink, the Topo Chico brings a kick of earthy mineral flavor and tons of bubbles. —Caroline Stanko, Milwaukee, Wisconsin