This simple ranch water recipe is a refreshingly simple summer drink. It’s a great low-sugar cocktail option, made with just a few ingredients.

ranch water
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The first time I heard the term “ranch water” I was skeptical. I was relieved to find out this drink doesn’t have any relation to ranch dressing. (That’s where my mind went!) The term ranch water is thought to have started in West Texas among ranchers and cowboys in the area. It’s a refreshing drink, perfect for a hot day on the ranch. Or, in my case, a hot day on the patio!

Why I Love This Recipe

This simple cocktail is great for happy hour because it’s low in sugar and you can customize it exactly how you like it. It reminds me of a skinny margarita. You can even add a little agave nectar if you want it to be sweeter. There are so many ranch water variations, it’s easy to make it your way. It has a refreshing taste, perfect for a hot summer day. And since it’s only a few ingredients, it’s easy to make!

If you’re looking for more fun cocktail ideas, be sure to try my vegan gin fizz or this cranberry gin and tonic!

Ingredients & Substitutions

The drink itself is simple and consists of tequila, fresh lime juice, and Topo Chico, a brand of sparkling mineral water that is particularly popular in Texas. You could make this drink with any sparkling water, but I did use Topo Chico. You can use fresh lime juice or bottled lime juice. For the liquor, I recommend using blanco tequila, but you can use any kind you like.

What is Topo Chico?

Topo Chico is a brand of mineral water from Mexico. It is known for its distinctively bubbly and crisp taste. It has a bit of a cult following, and it’s the brand of sparkling water used in a classic ranch water drink. Any sparkling water (also known as club soda) can be substituted for the Topo Chico.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Topo Chico alcoholic? No. Topo Chico contains no alcohol, but ranch water is made with tequila.
  • Can I make a ranch water mocktail? Absolutely! You can skip the tequila altogether or you can use a non-alcoholic spirit like the ones from Seedlip.
  • What alcohol does ranch water use? Traditionally it’s made with tequila.
  • Does ranch water hydrate you? Any alcoholic beverage tends to be dehydrating, so make sure to drink plenty of water. I wouldn’t consider this a hydrating drink.
  • How can I make ranch water spicy? Try my Spicy Ranch Water drink made with jalapeño and tajín!
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ranch water

Ranch Water

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  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: American


This simple ranch water recipe is a refreshingly simple summer drink. It’s a great low-sugar cocktail option, made with just a few ingredients.


Units Scale
  • 2oz tequila
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 6oz Topo Chico mineral water or other sparkling water
  • Lime wedges for garnish


  1. Fill a glass with ice.
  2. Add lime juice and tequila.
  3. Top with Topo Chico and garnish with a lime wedge.