Ranch Water Cocktail Recipe

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Cocktail Type


Great for




Refreshing Ranch Water Cocktail with mint and lime

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.


Color pencil illustration of a Ranch Water cocktail


1 Person

3 Oz

90 Ml

3 Parts

Espolòn Tequila Blanco 
1.5 Oz

45 Ml

1.5 Parts

Fresh lime juice
4 Oz

120 Ml

4 Parts

Topo Chico (or other sparkling mineral water) 
To garnish, a lime wedge and a sprig of mint (optional) 



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. 

Learn more: What is the Difference Between Mezcal and Tequila?

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

Bourbon Rickey

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. 

Lime Margarita

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.  

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A simply composed drink like the Ranch Water cocktail calls for a high-quality tequila as its base. We love using Espolòn Tequila Blanco, which is unaged and perfectly balanced. With aromas of tropical fruit and lemon zest on the nose, it also adds a hint of pepper on the palate, and lingers on notes of vanilla bean and grilled pineapple. Simply delicious! 

Topo Chico is a very popular brand of sparkling water that is widely available in Texas and the United States. It is renowned for its exceptionally fine and well-dispersed bubbles, which is why it is the preferred mixer for a Ranch Water cocktail. However, you can feel free to use any other sparkling water or soda water instead when you DIY the mixed drink at home.  

We like to serve a Ranch Water cocktail in a highball glass to give the bubbles in the drink plenty of space to do their effervescent dance. However, you could also serve it in a Collins glass, or a hurricane glass if you prefer the look.