The Game-Changing Ingredient To Spice Up Your Ranch Water Cocktail

A ranch water cocktail is a perfect drink to make when you want something crisp, cool, and refreshing. Even though summer is coming to an end, ranch water cocktails are something you can enjoy year-round. A ranch water cocktail is essentially a hard seltzer drink. It's great for those who are watching their sugar intake, as it's essentially sugar-free. The name should conjure up images of sprawling Texas ranches and cattle since the drink was invented in West Texas. According to, ranchers in West Texas would often take a sip of Topo Chico mineral water before slugging back a shot of tequila and lime. Austin bar Ranch 616 officially gets credit for introducing the drink to the world. The owner, Kevin Williamson introduced the drink to the menu in 1998 and it's been a staple ever since.

The classic ranch water cocktail recipe includes blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, and Topo Chico. The drink has become so popular that large brands have developed canned versions of the cocktail. Topo Chico makes a canned version of ranch water with lime juice and agave for sweetness (per Total Wine).

But when you're ready to make some ranch water cocktails at home, a spicy ingredient will take the drink to the next level.

Add some chili to your next cocktail

Recipe developer Jaime Shelbert came up with a unique and spicy twist on the ranch water cocktail, which she dubbed a spiced ranch water cocktail. She takes this simple cocktail and flips it on its head, starting with the regular ingredients of tequila blanco, Topo Chico, and fresh limes. Before mixing up the cocktail, Shelbert adds some spice to the rim of the glass. To make the spicy rim, she mixed chili powder, lime zest, and salt. To get the salt rim to stick to the glass, the glass is first coated with a slice of fresh lime. The glass is rolled in chili lime salt before the drink is added. The kick from the chili and the tartness of the lime pair great with the lime juice and tequila. Shelbert calls the drink "light, refreshing, and hydrating."

Spiced ranch water can be enjoyed on its own, but Shlebert recommends sipping on the cocktail while enjoying Tex-Mex food like chips and queso or tacos.