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What Is Ranch Water? (And the Recipe to Make It)


From time-honored classics like the Scotch and soda to more innovative sips like the Killer Queen cocktail, adding sparkling water to spirits isn’t anything new. But recently, a three-ingredient cocktail featuring tequila, lime juice and mineral water has made headlines. With roots in Texas, Ranch Water is a simple, refreshing and low-sugar drink for those looking to keep things basic, but not boring. Here, we answer the question “What is Ranch Water?” and share the best Ranch Water recipe to make for yourself.

What Is Ranch Water?

Said to have originated as a refreshment among West Texas ranchers, Ranch Water is a simple tequila highball that has grown in popularity to become a summertime staple across the U.S. Nobody knows the drink’s exact inventor, but Kevin Williamson, chef and owner of Ranch 616 in Austin, claims to have put Ranch Water on his menu way back in 1998 and even previously applied for a trademark, according to The Washington Post.

The ingredients for Ranch Water are as simple as they come: tequila, lime juice and sparkling water. This places the drink in a cocktail category that dates to the 1800s—the Rickey—which adheres to the same structure but generally calls on gin or bourbon instead of tequila. Whatever the base liquor, the combination creates a refreshing, sugar-free drink that’s as tasty in a cocktail bar as it is outdoors under the afternoon sun.

Ranch Water Recipe

Ingredients 1 ½ ounce tequila ½ lime Sparkling water Lime wedge, for garnish (optional)

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