Give the classic ranch water cocktail from West Texas a spicy twist with jalapeno and whip up this Spicy Ranch Water recipe to enjoy anytime you want a refreshing tequila cocktail with a kick!
What is Ranch Water?
Ranch water is a tequila cocktail that originated in West Texas and made with out 3 ingredients; tequila, lime juice and Topo Chico mineral water. It was made famous by cattle ranchers as their refreshing cocktail of choice on hot summer days.
My husband loves to make spicy margaritas (we grow a LOT of jalapeno peppers each year) and since ranch water is somewhat of a simplified margarita, I knew we had to make a spicy version of this Texas tequila cocktail! It’s the perfect party cocktail to enjoy with friends!
My Dad’s side of the family is all from Texas so I like to think I’m enjoying a little bit of my Texas heritage with this ranch water, haha! Regardless of what part of Texas this drink originated, this spicy version definitely has that Texas kick!
Spicy Ranch Water Ingredients
What type of tequila is best for this cocktail?
You can use any type of tequila for this spicy ranch water, but I suggest a blanco tequila aka silver tequila. Blanco tequila hasn’t been aged, it’s clear in color, and has a slightly spicy finish. Look for bottles labeled 100% blue agave from Mexico for an authentic tequila.
What is Topo Chico? Do I have to use it?
Topo Chico is a sparkling mineral water hailing from Mexico. It’s the classic mineral water used in ranch water cocktails. The extra carbonation in Topo Chico means it’s super bubbly and gives this simple ranch water drink that extra fizz that makes it so delicious!
You can certainly use any sparkling mineral water you have on hand, but if you see a bottle of Topo Chico (or find it online here), grab it for that true West Texas ranch water experience!
DID YOU KNOW? Topo Chico makes a few flavored varieties (twist of lime, twist of grapefruit and twist of tangerine) that would be delicious alternatives to the traditional Topo Chico in a ranch water drink!
How to Make a Spicy Ranch Water Cocktail
- Garnish your rim with salt or seasoning (see my fave blend below)
- Muddle fresh jalapeno slices in the bottom of a your glass
- Fill your glass with ice
- Add fresh lime juice and tequila
- Fill to the top with Topo Chico Mineral Water and stir
- Garnish with extra jalapeno slices (the more the spicier) and lime wedges, even a little sprig of cilantro if you’re feeling fancy!
Here are a few cocktail tips for making the very best spicy ranch waters!
Take the extra time to use fresh, natural lime juice in your cocktail. It makes all the difference. If you are in a time crunch, however, be sure to buy store-bought lime juice that is 100% lime juice rather than sweetened varieties.
If you do want to add a touch of sweetness, add a 1/2 ounce of simple syrup or bit of organic agave.
Want an extra spicy ranch water? First things first, leave the seeds in the jalapeno slices if you love a super spicy cocktail with a lot of jalapeno flavors. Then, you can also add more jalapeños or add in a spicier pepper! And be sure not to miss that zesty spiced rim if you love the heat!
Garnishing your Spicy Ranch Water
Garnishing a cocktail is always my favorite part. I love adding a little festive touch for an extra flavor boost and because who doesn’t love a pretty cocktail?
Rimming your cocktail glass in sea salt or spicy seasoning will give it that perfect extra kick! Just dip it upside down in lime juice (or rub a wedge around the rim of the glass) and then dip in a shallow plate of your choice of salt or a seasoning. I love to use Tajin seasoning (a Mexican chili lime blend) but I also like to make my own blend of chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and a dash of sugar!
To garnish the spicy ranch water, add extra jalapeno slices on top along with fresh lime wedges or circles. Go the extra festive touch and add a sprig of cilantro if you like!
Serving a crowd? If you want to make spicy ranch waters for a crowd, say in a big pitcher for a party, keep in mind that you’ll want to add your sparkling mineral water right before serving so it doesn’t lose its fizz. So I suggest making them right before serving rather than in advance.
For even more delicious cocktails, try out these favorites below:
Spicy Ranch Water
- 4 jalapeno slices - (add more or less to taste)
- 2 ounces Blanco Tequila
- 1 ounce Fresh Lime Juice
- 4-5 ounces Topo Chico Mineral Water
- 2 lime wedges
- 1 teaspoon salt or seasoning - (such as Tajin chili lime seasoning)
- Use a lime wedge to rim your glass and dip in a shallow plate or bowl of sea salt or seasoning of choice.
- Muddle jalapeno slices in the bottom of glass.
- Fill glass with ice.
- Pour in tequila and fresh lime juice.
- Fill the glass (4-5 ounces) with Topo Chico Mineral Water and stir to mix.
- Garnish with extra lime wedge and extra jalapeno slices.