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Cowboy Ranch Water Recipe

Simple Cowboy Ranch Water Recipe (Straight from Bar Rescue!)

If you’ve been searching for the perfect drink to kick back and relax, look no further than the Cowboy Ranch Water cocktail from Bar Rescue.

This refreshing concoction, featured on the popular TV show “Bar Rescue,” has become a go-to choice for those seeking a simple yet satisfying beverage.

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Short history of Ranch water drink: Why is it called Ranch water?

best tequila for Ranch Water

The origins of the name “Ranch Water” for this iconic Texan drink are deeply tied to the region’s rugged history and the lifestyle of ranchers and cowboys.

The name itself conjures images of vast, sun-soaked landscapes, open plains, and the refreshing quality of water—elements integral to life on a ranch.

Legend has it that Ranch Water got its name from ranchers and cowboys who, while tending to their cattle and working under the scorching Texan sun, sought a simple yet revitalizing beverage.

The drink typically consists of three main ingredients—blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, and sparkling mineral water—all elements that were readily available and easy to carry on the expansive ranches.

Ranch Water found its cultural foothold in the 1960s and 1970s, gaining popularity as a go-to refresher for those enduring the harsh Texan climate.

Its simplicity and balance became synonymous with the region’s laid-back lifestyle, making it a staple at bars, cookouts, and ranch gatherings.

Over the years, Ranch Water has transcended its Texan origins and gained a broader audience, earning a place on cocktail menus far beyond the Lone Star State.

As mixologists and enthusiasts continue to experiment with variations and flavors, the drink remains a testament to the enduring appeal of uncomplicated, quality concoctions—a true embodiment of Texan tradition in a glass.

Simple Cowboy Ranch Water Recipe from Bar Rescue

Jon Taffer, the host of Bar Rescue, is a big fan of the Ranch Water. He has said that it’s a simple, refreshing drink that’s perfect for hot weather. It’s also a very popular drink in Texas, where it originated.

Here’s a copycat recipe for a Cowboy Ranch Water cocktail, as featured on Bar Rescue recipes:

Cowboy Ranch Water Recipe (from Bar Rescue)

Recipe by JenniferCourse: cocktailCuisine: Texan


Prep time


Cooking time





Craving a taste of the Wild West? Saddle up for the Cowboy Ranch Water cocktail, a refreshing and simple cocktail made with tequila, lime juice, and Topo Chico. This Bar Rescue-approved drink is perfect for hot days and cool nights.


  • 2 ounces blanco tequila

  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice

  • Topo Chico mineral water, to top

  • Lime wedge, for garnish


  • Fill a highball glass with ice.
  • Add the tequila and lime juice.
  • Top with Topo Chico.
  • Garnish with a lime wedge.

Recipe Video


  • For a spicier kick, add a few slices of jalapeño to the glass.
  • If you don’t have Topo Chico, you can use another sparkling water, such as club soda or seltzer.
  • To make a pitcher of Ranch Water, simply multiply the recipe by the number of servings you want to make.

How to Make Cowboy Ranch Water Recipe at Home

Quench your thirst with the delightful Cowboy Ranch Water by following these easy steps. Recreate the magic of this popular cowboy ranch water cocktail from bar rescue in the comfort of your own home.


Blanco tequila: Choose a good-quality blanco tequila to be the base of your drink. The smoothness of blanco tequila adds a rich flavor to the cocktail.

Fresh lime juice: Use freshly squeezed lime juice for a burst of citrusy freshness. The acidity balances the sweetness and adds a zing to your Cowboy Ranch Water.

Topo Chico mineral water (to top): This carbonated mineral water brings effervescence to the cocktail, making it crisp and refreshing. Adjust the amount to your liking for the perfect level of fizziness.

Lime wedge (for garnish): A lime wedge not only enhances the visual appeal but also adds a hint of lime aroma to each sip. It’s the perfect finishing touch.


Highball glass: The classic highball glass is ideal for serving this drink. Its tall and narrow shape allows for the perfect combination of ingredients, and it provides a visually appealing presentation.

Ice: Use plenty of ice to chill your Cowboy Ranch Water. The cold temperature enhances the flavors and ensures a refreshing experience.

Step by Step Preparation

  1. Fill a Highball Glass with Ice: Start by filling a highball glass generously with ice. This step ensures that your drink stays chilled throughout.
  2. Pour in 2 Ounces of Blanco Tequila: Carefully measure and pour 2 ounces of your chosen blanco tequila into the highball glass. The tequila serves as the robust foundation for the Cowboy Ranch Water.
  3. Add 1 Ounce of Fresh Lime Juice: Squeeze or measure out 1 ounce of fresh lime juice and introduce it to the mix. The lime juice provides a tangy and citrusy kick, balancing the sweetness of the tequila.
  4. Top the Mixture with Topo Chico Mineral Water: Pour Topo Chico mineral water over the tequila-lime juice blend, filling the glass to the top. This step adds effervescence, turning your drink into a fizzy and invigorating delight.
  5. Garnish the Drink with a Lime Wedge: Complete your Cowboy Ranch Water by garnishing it with a lime wedge. This not only adds a visually pleasing element but also imparts a subtle lime essence to each sip.

Now that you’ve meticulously crafted your Cowboy Ranch Water, take a moment to savor the refreshing blend of flavors.

Ingredients Substitutes for this Ranch water Recipe

cowboy ranch water cocktail from bar rescue

If you find yourself short on certain ingredients for the Cowboy Ranch Water recipe, don’t worry—there are alternatives you can use to create a delicious and refreshing drink. Here are some ingredient substitutes:

Blanco Tequila Substitutes

Silver Tequila: If you’re out of blanco tequila, you can use silver tequila as a substitute. A close cousin to blanco tequila, silver tequila shares a similar unaged quality. Its clean and crisp flavor makes it a suitable replacement for the Cowboy Ranch Water.

Gold Tequila: While gold tequila has a bit of aging, it can still work well in this recipe. It adds a subtle depth of flavor that can enhance the overall profile of the drink.

Reposado Tequila: If you prefer a slightly aged tequila, reposado can be a flavorful substitute. It brings hints of oak and vanilla, providing a unique twist to the Cowboy Ranch Water.

Fresh Lime Juice Substitutes

Bottled Lime Juice: When fresh limes are unavailable, bottled lime juice is a convenient substitute. Opt for 100% pure bottled lime juice as a convenient alternative. Ensure it has no added sweeteners or preservatives for a clean and tangy flavor.

Lemon Juice: In a pinch, lemon juice can be used instead of lime juice. While the flavor will be slightly different, it still provides the citrusy kick essential to the Cowboy Ranch Water.

Topo Chico Mineral Water Substitutes

If you can’t find Topo Chico, any other sparkling mineral water or club soda can be used as a substitute. Look for a carbonated water that is neutral in flavor to maintain the integrity of the Cowboy Ranch Water.

Club Soda: A readily available substitute for Topo Chico, club soda brings carbonation without altering the flavor significantly. It’s a versatile option for maintaining the drink’s effervescence.

Sparkling Water: Choose a plain sparkling water with no added flavors for a clean substitute. The bubbles will contribute to the refreshing quality of the Cowboy Ranch Water.

Lime Wedge (for Garnish) Substitutes

Lemon Wedge: If limes are unavailable, a lemon wedge can be used as an alternative garnish. It adds a citrusy aroma and a visually appealing touch to the drink.

Orange Twist: For a different twist, consider garnishing with an orange twist. It brings a subtle citrus essence that complements the flavors of the Cowboy Ranch Water.

Feel free to mix and match these substitutes based on what you have available. The goal is to create a customized version of the Cowboy Ranch Water that suits your taste preferences. Enjoy your refreshing creation!

Ranch Water recipe with vodka

Ranch Water recipe with vodka

For a refreshing twist on the classic Ranch Water, try the Vodka Ranch Water by combining 2 ounces of vodka with 1 ounce of fresh lime juice in a chilled highball glass. You can use any vodka for this recipe, but if you have stomach issues or acid reflux, go for non grain vodkas.

Top it off with sparkling mineral water, like Topo Chico, and garnish with a lime wedge. Stir well, add ice cubes, and you have a delightful blend of crispness, citrus zing, and the smoothness of vodka—a perfect variation for those seeking a different take on the Texan favorite.

  • Feel free to customize the vodka quantity based on your preference for a stronger or milder drink.
  • Experiment with flavored vodka for an additional layer of taste. Citrus or cucumber-flavored vodka can complement the lime and effervescence nicely.

Now you have a refreshing Vodka Ranch Water that combines the best of the classic Ranch Water with the smoothness of vodka. Enjoy responsibly!

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Variations of the Cowboy Ranch Water

Explore the world of flavor with these delightful variations of the classic Cowboy Ranch Water. Whether you’re feeling adventurous or just want to add a personal touch, these variations offer a unique twist to this refreshing ranch water cocktail:

1. Berry Bliss Ranch Water

Elevate your Cowboy Ranch Water with the enticing Berry Bliss variation. Begin by muddling a handful of your preferred berries – be it succulent strawberries, plump blueberries, or tart raspberries – at the bottom of your glass. Check out a simple and easy Strawberry Ranch Water Recipe.

The muddling process releases the berries’ juices, infusing the drink with a burst of fruity flavors. As you add the classic Cowboy Ranch Water ingredients – blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, and Topo Chico mineral water – the berries create a visually stunning and deliciously refreshing concoction.

The combination of the tequila’s robust notes with the citrusy zing from the lime like Orange Gatorade Shot , all intertwined with the natural sweetness of the berries, makes Berry Bliss Ranch Water a delightful treat for your taste buds.

2. Spicy Kick Ranch Water

For those seeking a bit of heat, the Spicy Kick Ranch Water is the perfect variation. Introduce a bold twist by incorporating fresh jalapeño slices into the mix.

As the tequila, lime juice, and Topo Chico mineral water meld together, the spiciness from the jalapeño adds a fiery kick to the drink.

Adjust the number of jalapeño slices according to your spice preference – whether you prefer a subtle warmth or a more intense heat.

The resulting Spicy Kick Ranch Water is a tantalizing fusion of flavors, marrying the traditional ranch water elements with an invigorating and spicy twist.

3. Cucumber Mint Ranch Water

Cool down and refresh with the Cucumber Mint Ranch Water. Begin by adding a few crisp cucumber slices and a sprig of fresh mint to the classic Cowboy Ranch Water ingredients.

The cucumber imparts a cool undertone to the drink, while the mint contributes a burst of herbal freshness.

The mingling of these ingredients with blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, and the effervescence of Topo Chico creates a revitalizing and invigorating beverage.

The Cucumber Mint Ranch Water is a go-to choice for those seeking a relaxing and rejuvenating drink, especially on warm days.

4. Tropical Pineapple Ranch Water

Embark on a journey to the tropics with the Tropical Pineapple Ranch Water. Dice up fresh pineapple and let it infuse the classic Cowboy Ranch Water ingredients.

The tequila’s robust character, complemented by the zesty lime and effervescence of Topo Chico, harmonizes with the sweet and tropical essence of pineapple.

The result is a vacation-worthy beverage that transports you to a sunny paradise with every sip. The Tropical Pineapple Ranch Water offers a delightful balance of fruity and invigorating flavors, making it a favorite for those craving a taste of the tropics.

5. Sweet Agave Ranch Water

Indulge in a touch of sweetness with the Sweet Agave Ranch Water. This variation substitutes agave nectar for triple sec, adding a smoother and slightly sweet profile to the drink.

Begin by muddling fresh berries if desired, then proceed to incorporate blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, and Topo Chico mineral water.

Adjust the quantity of agave nectar to suit your preference for sweetness. The result is a well-balanced Sweet Agave Ranch Water that maintains the integrity of the classic recipe while offering a gentle and pleasing sweetness.

6. Frozen Ranch Slush

cowboy ranch water recipe

Beat the heat with the Frozen Ranch Slush variation. Transform the classic Cowboy Ranch Water into a frosty delight by blending the ingredients with ice.

The resulting slushy texture enhances the overall refreshment, making it an ideal choice for warm days or as a frozen treat.

Pour the frozen mixture into a glass, kick back, and relish in the icy goodness of the Frozen Ranch Slush – a fun and delightful twist on the traditional recipe.

7. Blueberry Bliss Ranch Water

Add a burst of color and flavor to your glass with the Blueberry Bliss Ranch Water. Begin by muddling fresh blueberries at the bottom of your glass, releasing their vibrant juices.

Blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, and Topo Chico mineral water join the blueberries, creating a visually appealing and deliciously fruity concoction.

The Blueberry Bliss Ranch Water offers a delightful balance of sweet and tart, making it a refreshing and visually stunning choice for any occasion.

8. Coconut Lime Ranch Water

Transport yourself to a tropical paradise with the Coconut Lime Ranch Water. Introduce a splash of coconut water to the classic Cowboy Ranch Water ingredients, infusing the drink with a refreshing and exotic flavor.

The combination of coconut and lime creates a tropical flair, turning your ordinary ranch water into a vacation-worthy beverage.

The Coconut Lime Ranch Water is a delightful and invigorating choice for those seeking a taste of the tropics in every sip.

9. Mango Tango Ranch Water

Experience a dance of flavors with the Mango Tango Ranch Water. Begin by dicing up fresh mango and letting it soak in the classic Cowboy Ranch Water ingredients.

The sweet and tropical essence of mango seamlessly blends with blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, and Topo Chico mineral water.

The result is a Mango Tango Ranch Water that offers a delightful balance of fruity sweetness, making it a deliciously delightful choice for any occasion. Also check how to make Starbucks Pink Drink with Vanilla Cold Foam.

10. Basil Elegance Ranch Water

Elevate your Cowboy Ranch Water with the sophistication of the Basil Elegance variation. Begin by adding fresh basil leaves to the classic Cowboy Ranch Water ingredients.

The herbal notes of basil introduce a layer of complexity and refinement to the drink. As blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, and Topo Chico mineral water combine with the basil.

The result is a Basil Elegance Ranch Water – a subtly sophisticated and tastefully herbal variation that adds an extra dimension to your sipping experience.

How to make Non Alcoholic version of Texas Ranch water cocktail

Texas Ranch water cocktail

Creating a non-alcoholic version of the Texas Ranch Water cocktail allows you to enjoy its refreshing flavors without the inclusion of tequila. Here’s a simple recipe for a non-alcoholic Texas Ranch Water:


  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup (or homemade syrup using equal parts sugar and water)
  • 1/2 ounce sparkling water (for a bit of sweetness)
  • Topo Chico mineral water, to top
  • Lime wedge, for garnish
  • Optional: Slices of jalapeño, cucumber, or mint for a twist


  1. In a highball glass filled with ice, combine the lime juice, simple syrup, and sparkling water. Stir well to dissolve the syrup.
  2. Top with Topo Chico, ensuring a nice fizz.
  3. Garnish with a lime wedge and any optional extras like jalapeño, cucumber, or mint.


  • For a sweeter mocktail, use more simple syrup or add a splash of fruit juice like grapefruit or orange.
  • If you prefer a tangier version, reduce the simple syrup or add a squeeze of extra lime juice.
  • Get creative with your garnishes! Sliced berries, grapes, or even a sprig of rosemary can add a unique touch.
  • Want a little spice? Muddle a few slices of jalapeño in the glass before adding the lime juice and syrup.

Bonus Tip: Rim your glass with Tajín chili powder for a Tex-Mex kick without the alcohol.

Enjoy your non-alcoholic Ranch Water with good company, good tunes, and maybe even a good book under the wide-open sky (or indoors, no judgment!).

Also check out copycat Bourbon Pineapple punch Cocktail recipe from Buffalo wild wings!

Tips to Make the Perfect Cowboy Ranch Water Cocktail

Cowboy Ranch Water Cocktail

Crafting the ideal Cowboy Ranch Water involves a few simple yet crucial steps. Start by ensuring that all your ingredients are well-chilled.

The colder the drink, the more satisfying it becomes. Begin by chilling the highball glass before pouring in the ingredients.

This not only maintains the desired temperature but also preserves the effervescence of the Topo Chico mineral water, ensuring a crisp and refreshing experience.

If you’re short on time, store your tequila and Topo Chico in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes before crafting your Cowboy Ranch Water. This speeds up the chilling process.

To take it a step further, use an ample amount of ice in the glass. This not only keeps the Cowboy Ranch Water pleasantly cold but also contributes to a well-balanced and easy-to-sip cocktail.

Get the most juice out of your limes by rolling them on the countertop before squeezing. Applying a bit of pressure and rolling helps release more citrusy goodness.

Freeze lime juice in ice cube trays. This way, when you’re making your Cowboy Ranch Water, you can drop in a couple of lime juice cubes for an extra burst of flavor without dilution.

Adjust the proportions of tequila, lime juice, and Topo Chico to suit your taste preferences. Finding the right balance is key to the perfect Cowboy Ranch Water.

With these tips, you’ll be on your way to creating the perfect Cowboy Ranch Water every time.

Serving and Presentation Tips for Cowboy Ranch Water

How Much Alcohol Does Cowboy Ranch Water Contain?

Enhance the enjoyment of your Cowboy Ranch Water with thoughtful serving and presentation. Opt for a chilled highball glass – the tall, slender design not only looks elegant but also concentrates the drink’s enticing aromas.

Chilling the glass beforehand ensures that the drink remains cool and invigorating. As you pour in the Cowboy Ranch Water, consider garnishing it with a lime wedge.

This simple addition not only adds a pop of color but also imparts a touch of citrus freshness to each sip.

The lime wedge garnish is a visually appealing and aromatic element that enhances the overall presentation of your Cowboy Ranch Water, making it a delightful experience for all your senses.

Check our other cocktails Recipes:

Nutrition Facts of Cowboy Ranch Water

Indulging in a glass of Cowboy Ranch Water not only satisfies your taste buds but also keeps your calorie count in check just like a purple Gatorade shot. Each serving of Cowboy Ranch Water contains approximately 150 calories.

This makes it a guilt-free treat, allowing you to enjoy the refreshing flavors without any unnecessary calorie concerns.

Here’s a table summarizing the nutrition facts for Cowboy Ranch Water per serving:

NutrientAmount per Serving
Total Fat0g
Saturated Fat0g
Trans Fat0g
Total Carbohydrates8g
Dietary Fiber0g

Values are approximate and may vary based on specific ingredients and quantities used.

How Much Alcohol Does Cowboy Ranch Water Contain?

The alcohol content in Cowboy Ranch Water primarily comes from the blanco tequila. A standard serving of Cowboy Ranch Water, following the classic recipe, typically contains 2 ounces of blanco tequila.

Blanco tequila generally has an alcohol by volume (ABV) of around 40%. This means that each serving of Cowboy Ranch Water contributes approximately 0.8 ounces of pure alcohol.

Remember: Alcohol content can vary depending on the tequila you use and how much you pour. Always drink responsibly and know your limits.

Conclusion: Best Ranch Water Drink Recipe

In conclusion, crafting the perfect Cowboy Ranch Water, inspired by the Bar Rescue recipe, brings forth a delightful fusion of flavors that embodies the spirit of the Wild West.

This iconic Texan cocktail, elevated with the refreshing effervescence of Topo Chico and the bold notes of blanco tequila, is a true crowd-pleaser.

Whether you’re recreating this recipe at home or enjoying it at your favorite bar, the Cowboy Ranch Water is a testament to the timeless appeal of Texan mixology.


What is a Cowboy Ranch Water?

A Cowboy Ranch Water is a classic Texan cocktail renowned for its refreshing and straightforward combination of ingredients.

Typically, it consists of blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, and sparkling mineral water, served over ice.

The drink’s name reflects its association with the ranching culture of Texas, where cowboys sought a revitalizing beverage amidst the arid landscapes.

Where can I get a good Ranch Water?

You can find a good Ranch Water at various bars and establishments, especially those with a focus on craft cocktails or Texan-inspired beverages.

Many bars, particularly in Texas and regions with a vibrant cocktail culture, feature Ranch Water on their menus.

Additionally, some restaurants or bars may offer their unique twists on the classic recipe. If you’re looking to enjoy a Ranch Water at home, the ingredients are readily available, and the simple recipe allows for easy preparation, bringing the Texan spirit to your own glass.

Does Ranch Water have vodka?

No, the traditional Ranch Water recipe does not include vodka. It typically consists of blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, and sparkling mineral water, offering a crisp and refreshing Texan cocktail without the addition of vodka.

How much alcohol is in Texas Ranch Water?

The alcohol content in Texas Ranch Water primarily comes from the blanco tequila. A standard serving, following the classic recipe, usually contains around 2 ounces of blanco tequila, contributing approximately 0.8 ounces of pure alcohol.

Is Ranch Water drink healthy?

Ranch Water, when consumed in moderation, can be a relatively light and refreshing choice. It’s low in calories, especially if you opt for a version without added sweeteners, making it a healthier alternative compared to some other cocktails.

What is the best tequila for Ranch Water?

The best tequila for Ranch Water is subjective and depends on personal preferences. However, many enjoy using a quality blanco tequila for its clean and crisp profile, allowing the flavors of lime and mineral water to shine.

What’s the difference between Ranch Water and skinny margaritas?

While both Ranch Water and skinny margaritas share a commitment to lower-calorie options, Ranch Water is a simpler concoction, consisting of tequila, lime, and mineral water. Skinny margaritas often involve additional ingredients like triple sec and agave syrup, potentially increasing the calorie count.

Is Ranch Water better for you than beer?

In terms of calorie content and simplicity, Ranch Water can be considered a lighter option compared to beer. It typically has fewer calories, especially if prepared without added sugars, making it a potentially better choice for those mindful of their calorie intake.

Is Ranch Water a liquor or beer?

Ranch Water is not a beer; it is a cocktail. It falls into the category of mixed drinks, combining blanco tequila, lime juice, and sparkling mineral water. It offers a refreshing alternative to beer, embodying the Texan spirit in a glass.

Is Ranch Water beer or seltzer?

Ranch Water is neither beer nor seltzer. It is a cocktail made with blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, and sparkling mineral water.

While it shares the effervescence of a seltzer, it distinguishes itself through the inclusion of tequila, offering a unique and flavorful drinking experience.

Is Ranch Water just tequila soda?

While both Ranch Water and tequila soda share some similarities, they are not the same. Ranch Water specifically includes fresh lime juice in addition to blanco tequila and sparkling mineral water, giving it a unique flavor profile beyond a simple tequila soda.

Do bartenders know how to make Ranch Water?

Yes, bartenders are generally familiar with how to make Ranch Water. It has gained popularity, especially in regions like Texas, and is a straightforward cocktail to prepare.

The classic recipe involves blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, and sparkling mineral water, making it a well-known and appreciated choice at many bars.

Does Ranch Water taste like a margarita?

While both Ranch Water and margaritas share tequila and lime elements, they differ in complexity. Ranch Water’s simplicity, with just tequila, lime, and sparkling water, offers a crisper and lighter taste compared to the more intricate flavor profile of a margarita, which often includes triple sec and other ingredients.

What is Ranch Water called in Mexico?

In Mexico, a drink similar to Ranch Water is commonly known as “Tequila con Agua Mineral” or “Charro Negro.” These variations typically involve tequila mixed with mineral water or soda, capturing the essence of the Texan cocktail in a Mexican context.

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Hey there, I'm Jennifer, the brains and heart behind Thirstpals.com. I'm on a mission to explore and share the amazing world of drinks and beverages. From healthy sips to spirited concoctions and the perfect cup of coffee, I've got it all covered. Join me in sipping and smiling through life's flavorful moments!

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