If you’ve ever spent time on a languid veranda in West Texas at the height of a simmering summer, you’ve likely experienced the joy of a Ranch Water cocktail recipe first-hand. This summertime sipper is a Texan staple and will cool you down like nothing else. Here’s our super simple recipe for the iconic Ranch Water cocktail to try at home.
Use a nice mezcal if you like your drinks to have a smoky note.
A sprig of mint as an added garnish makes for added freshness.
Fresh lime juice is the zesty star of this show – so squeeze it yourself if at all possible.
Combine the tequila and lime juice in a highball glass and give it a good stir.
Fill with ice and charge with sparkling mineral water.
Garnish with a lime wedge and optional sprig of mint, and serve.
The backstory of the Ranch Water cocktail
The story goes that this easy-yet-amazing cocktail was first poured by restaurant owner and founder Kevin Williamson, who opened the doors to the Ranch 616 Restaurant in Austin, Texas in 1998. The cocktail has been a stalwart favorite since the day of the restaurant’s inception, and is said to have been inspired by Kevin’s childhood trips to South Texas with his parents.
Love a Ranch Water? Try these drinks too!
The Ranch Water is one of those classic tequila summer cocktails that cools you right down, which is why it is so widely adored. If you cannot get enough of this tall drink of YAY, here are a few more recipes you can try:
Grapefruit Ranch Water
Weave some extra citrus notes into the Ranch Water recipe by adding 1.5 oz of grapefruit juice to the drink before you add your sparkling water. If your juice is unsweetened, you may want to add a dash of simple syrup as well to even out the acidity a little.
Adore grapefruit? Zesty & Pink: The Best Paloma Cocktail for Summer
A Bourbon Rickey combines 1.5 oz Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon, 1 oz fresh lime juice, 5 oz club soda and ice in a tall Collins glass for a refreshing serve.
If you like things a little sweeter, but still want to enjoy the bright green note of lime in your tequila drink, we highly recommend that you try the Lime Margarita. It’s the OG Margarita, after all! Plus, it makes a great frosted drink, which is wonderful for those days when all you want is a boozy slushie situation.
Get your DIY on! How to Make Simple Syrup for Cocktails
When to serve our Texas Ranch Water cocktail recipe
So aside from every single hot day of summer, there are a few other occasions when our recipe for Ranch Water cocktail is very likely to make exactly the right kind of splash. This includes:
Wedding cocktail hour. Dare to be different by opting for tequila-based drink to keep your guests cool as a cucumber while you venture off to have photos taken during the wedding cocktail hour after your ceremony.
BBQs. The zesty taste of this lovely drink makes a great counterpoint to heavy BBQ dishes like buffalo wings and ribs.
Garden parties. Keep things nice and simple the next time you have friends over for a party in the garden by treating them to a Ranch Water cocktail paired with easy eats like taco chips, hummus and salsa.