Spicy Ranch Water

Meet your new favorite tequila cocktail. With just a few basic ingredients needed, this light and refreshing Spicy Ranch Water is a drink you’ll be reaching for long after the summer months are over. 

Looking for more tequila cocktails? Check out a few more fan favorites like this Sangria Mexican Mule, Beer Margarita, or Frozen Raspberry Margarita.

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spicy ranch water in a glass with a chili lime rim

Why We Love Spicy Ranch Water

Oh spicy ranch water, you have my whole heart for the entirety of what feel’s like this never-ending stretch of scorching Midwest temperatures. Nothing is better than an ice-cold bubbly cocktail with a kick to make you forget you’re not actually poolside at an all-inclusive resort. 

Let me tell you, while the name might make this sound like an underwhelming cocktail, once you take one sip you’ll wonder where the concoction was your whole life. This simple yet fresh and flavorful combination of tequila, Topo Chico, and lime juice is one you won’t want to miss!

spicy ranch water in a cocktail glass next to a bottle of Topo Chico

What is Ranch Water?

Ranch water is known to be the unofficial drink of West Texas. As the dressed-down, more casual sister the classic margarita, this drink was made popular by local ranchers who couldn’t get enough of it during the heat of summer. It’s the epitome of a quick and easy “throw it together” cocktail perfect for tequila lovers who don’t love all the frills. 

Naturally, something that tastes as good as ranch water does wouldn’t be kept a secret for long. You can now find variations in all shapes and sizes, all over the US, but no one will ever love ranch water quite like the west Texas locals.

ranch water ingredients - a bottle of tequila, Topo Chico and lime juice on a counter

What’s in Spicy Ranch Water

  • Tequila – blanco or reposado 
  • Sparkling mineral water – using Topo Chico is key for getting that authentic flavor 
  • Lime juice – Trust me when I say fresh lime juice is the way to go in this cocktail 
  • Fresh jalapenos – With seeds for an extra kick, deseeded if you want less spice 
  • Chili lime seasoning – Tajin is my favorite, but you can also make your own 

ranch water in a glass

How to Choose the Best Tequila

When it comes to making a cocktail that’s very spirit-forward, you want to think a little harder about the quality of the alcohol going into it. Here are a few ways to choose the best tequila for making an amazing spicy ranch water cocktail. 

  • Check the location: Authentic tequila is only made in Mexico. If the label doesn’t say where it was made, it’s probably not authentic. 
  • Make sure it’s made with 100% agave: Tue authentic tequila is made with 100% agave, which is mostly what differentiates it from mezcal 
  • Don’t be fooled by the price tag: You do not have to spend an arm and a leg to find a good quality tequila. Don’t get me wrong, those big expensive brands we all know, live up to their potential, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more affordable options. Check out a few here.

photo collage of how to make spicy ranch water

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How To Make The Best Spicy Ranch Water

  1. Prepare your seasoning and rim the top of a rocks glass or collins glass 
  2. Add tequila and lime juice and jalapeno slices to the glass.
  3. Add ice and top off with Topo Chico and a lime slice to garnish. Serve and enjoy!

a cocktail glass with spicy ranch water

Tips for Making the Best Cocktail at Home

Adjust the sweetness to taste: As I mentioned, this is a very spirit-forward cocktail. If you prefer it to have a little less bite I would recommend adding in sweetened lime juice, or a splash of simple syrup. 

Roll your limes: If you’re using fresh limes, give them a quick roll with the palm of your hand on the counter. This will make i easier to extract all of the juice. 

Muddle the jalapenos: For extra flavor, and spice try muddling your jalapeno slices into the lime juice.

Try a variation: Change things up and try the Topo Chico with a splash of grapefruit to add just a dash of tangy sweetness into the mix.

overhead shot of spicy ranch water cocktails

Ranch Water FAQs

Can I make this for a crowd? 

To make a pitcher of Spicy Ranch Water, simply use a 2:1 ratio of tequila to lime juice and add Topo Chico when serving individual glasses. If you don’t want to rim the glasses in advance, you could very lightly sprinkle the seasoning over the finished cocktail.

Do I have to use Topo Chico?

Of course, any sparkling mineral water (water that is naturally carbonated) will work, but there is something about the exact taste of Topo Chico that makes it especially amazing. After all, it is one of the world’s largest and best sparkling mineral water brands. I usually find Topo Chico at Whole Foods, but if you can not find it, any plain sparkling water, such as seltzer will work. 

Can I leave out the jalapenos? 

Of course! If you’re not a fan of spicy drinks the jalapenos can easily be left out and you’ll have a classic ranch water recipe which is still just as delicious. 

ranch water with jalapeno slices

Like This Spicy Ranch Water Cocktail? Pin It!

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ranch water in a glass with a chili lime rim

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spicy ranch water in a glass with a chili lime rim

Spicy Ranch Water

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes

With just a few basic ingredients needed, this light and refreshing SPICY RANCH WATER is a cocktail you'll be reaching for long after the summer months are over. 

Ingredients

  • 2 shots (3 ounces) silver Tequila
  • 1 shot (1.5 ounce) sweetened lime juice
  • Topo Chico with Lime or sparkling mineral water to top it off
  • 3-4 jalapeno slices
  • Chili Lime seasoning for rim
  • fresh lime slice for garnish

Instructions

  1. Use a fresh lime slice to wet the rim of a rocks glass or collins glass. Then roll the rim in chili lime seasoning.
  2. Add tequila and lime juice and jalapeno slices to the glass.
  3. Add ice and top off with Topo Chico and a lime slice to garnish. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

LARGE BATCH: To make a pitcher of Spicy Ranch Water, simply use a 2:1 ratio of tequila to lime juice and add Topo Chico when serving individual glasses. If you don't want to rim the glasses in advance, you could very lightly sprinkle the seasoning over the finished cocktail.

If you can't find sweetened lime juice (I find it in the alcohol section at the grocery store) you can just use fresh lime juice and a little simple syrup if you prefer a little sweetness (Note: the sweetened lime juice is not overly sweet)

If you can find Topo Chico with Lime, that's my favorite. But plain Topo Chico or any sparkling mineral water will work. Note: Whole Foods is where I usually buy Topo Chico.

Don't like spicy? Use fewer jalapeno slices, or omit them completely. It's still a tasty cocktail, without the kick.

Making this recipe? Share it with us on Instagram using the hashtag #TidyMom so we can see what you're creating in the kitchen!

ranch water in a glass and the ingredients on a counter