Why Ranch Water Could Be The Next Hard Seltzer

A new Western-inspired drink is capturing the hearts — and tastebuds — of those who love refreshing, not-too-sweet cocktails. Ranch water, a combination of tequila and sparkling water, arose out of West Texas (via Punch). The drink's popularity quickly spread through word of mouth, becoming a staple at ice houses. Ice houses are open-air dive bars where Texans go to cool off, explains Texas Highways. Soon, good old-fashioned word of mouth turned into a TikTok trend, and before long, the drink was available in bars and in canned form (per Parade).

One of the reasons for ranch water's speedy success is that it combines three things already wildly popular right now: tequila, seltzer, and "better for you" drinks, says Texas Ranch Water Co. CMO Joey Parris in The Drinks Business. Tequila, in particular, is having a moment. "Tequila has been the fastest-growing spirits category in terms of share gains," according to Liz Paquette of Drizly, the online alcohol retailer.

Its roots in the western rancher mythos amplify ranch water's unique combination of everything in demand. Monique Ramos of Ranch Rider Spirits, the first company to can ranch water, explains that "no matter where you are, you can feel like a cowboy when you crack open a ranch water, (via Punch). With names like ShotGun and Epic Western, the drink appeals to those craving the cowboy lifestyle.

A drink for the wannabe cowboys and the ingredient conscious

Ranch water also satisfies ingredient-conscious consumers. Many shy away from alcoholic seltzers like White Claw with vague ingredients such as malted liquor and natural flavors, explains Punch. Findings from the IWSR Drinks Market Analysis say consumers prefer spirit-based ready-to-drink options like ranch water. They consider the drink superior to malt-based alcoholic sparking waters (per Vine Pair).

Furthermore, the canned version of ranch water isn't too far off from the at-home or in-bar version. Cara Piotrowski of Information Resources Inc. explains: "Canned ranch waters tend to have a similar taste profile as the original Texas-based ranch water, which lends itself to a more authentic cocktail experience" (via The Drinks Business).

To make your own ranch water, pour sparking water and tequila at a 2:1 ratio over a glass of ice with as much lime juice as you'd like, says Parade. Ranch water drinkers often consider Mexico-based Topo Chico as their go-to mineral water. For a sweeter experience, add agave or a splash of pineapple juice. 

When in need of relief from the heat and a little cowboy cosplay, ranch water is just the trick.