Texas Ranch Water: The Perfect Summer Cocktail

Texas Ranch Water is one of the best cocktails to have on a hot southern summer evening. It is light and low-calorie and absolutely refreshing.

Check out some other southern cocktails in our southern cocktail series!

Photo of a drink called Texas Ranch Water. There are two glasses with a clear liquid garnished with a lime. Ther are limes on the counter and two bottles of a drink called Topo Chico

History of the Texas Ranch Water Cocktail

This history on this one is a bit murky y’all. I’ve done a ton of research and all I can tell you is that it came from the dry, dusty, and relentlessly hot summers of west Texas.

Some stories claim that it started at the legendary Gage Hotel’s White Buffalo Bar in Marathon, Texas.

Marfa, Texas says that it was created there.

Another a rumor is that it was started by a wild haired rancher in Fort Davis, Texas.

It definitely has west Texas origins and it is delicious and revitalizing and that’s all I really need to know.

So, What is Texas Ranch Water?

Consider this drink to be the lighter, more refreshing cousin of the margarita. And if you are dieting – throw out the skinny margaritas and try a Texas Ranch Water instead! A Texas Ranch Water only requires three ingredients tequila, lime juice, and mineral water.

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One Thing Almost Everyone Agrees On…

While Texans might not agree on the origins of the drink almost everyone agrees that you must use Topo Chico Mineral Water to make a true Texas Ranch Water. Topo Chico has been made in Mexico since 1895!

There is a legend that hundreds of years ago an Aztec Princess who was suffering from an incurable disease drank from these waters and was cured.

It doesn’t claim to cure illnesses but Topo Chico is renowned for being extra bubbly, extra effervescent, and extra refreshing. Created in Mexico and long popular in Texas it has now gathered a cult following across the U.S.

Ingredients for Making a Texas Ranch Water

  • 3 ounces blanco tequila
  • 1.5 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) chilled Topo Chico
  • slice of lime for garnish

Recipe for Making Texas Ranch Water

  • Pour blanco tequila into a highball glass over ice
  • Add lime juice
  • add chilled Topo Chico (either measure or fill glass)
  • garnish with lime

Other Tips for Making This Refreshing Drink

  • Yes, the Topo Chico matters. It is sold in most grocery stores these days or you can find it on Amazon.
  • Use freshly squeezed lime juice.
  • Play around with the proportions – You might like this drink more or less citrusy.
  • Topo Chico also comes in a hint of lime flavored version and a hint of grapefruit flavored version. This can also be used to make a Texas Ranch Water. I think the grapefruit flavor with the lime in the drink is delicious!
  • Some people like to salt the rim of the glass as with a margarita. Often you will see the glass only half salted. Chili lime salt would be a fun addition to the drink.
  • It is fairly common to add a dash of an orange liqueur like Grand Marnier to add a bit of richness to the drink.
  • The Tequila does stand out in this drink so you won’t want to use the cheapest brand, but it’s not a sophisticated drink so you don’t need to use something top shelf either. Just a nice middle of the road blanco tequila.

Have fun coming up with your very own perfect version of Texas Ranch Water!

One of our other favorite southern cocktails that is a little less “skinny” than the Texas Ranch Water is the Bushwacker! It is frothy and delicious. You might also enjoy a Bama Breeze.

Photo of a drink called Texas Ranch Water. There are two glasses with a clear liquid garnished with a lime. Ther are limes on the counter and two bottles of a drink called Topo Chico

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