The Story Behind The Ranch Water

Perfect to beat the arid West Texas heat, this one-time rancher staple has soared to nationwide popularity in recent years. While its composition is simple — just tequila, lime, and Topo Chico mineral water — by no means is this cocktail lacking in complexity. The über-effervescent water is the ideal partner for tequila, complementing its earthy, mineral notes while still allowing the spirit's character to shine. 

Some may be tempted to build this cocktail in a Collins glass. But Taylor Samuels, owner of Dallas’s Las Almas Rotas, prefers to enjoy Ranch Water exactly as those who inspired its recipe did. “It's so easy to just open a bottle of Topo Chico, pour a little bit out, and then replace those ounces with tequila (or mezcal) and lime,” he says. “It literally was a way for ranchers to have a happy hour.”

Enjoy an authentic rancher happy hour using Samuels’ recipe below.


  • 12-ounce bottle Topo Chico, chilled
  • 1 ½ ounces blanco tequila, such as Arette
  • ½ ounce fresh lime juice


  1. Start by pouring out (or drinking) two ounces of the Topo Chico.
  2. Add the tequila then lime juice to the Topo Chico bottle.

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Updated: 2020-10-27

Ranch Water Recipe