two cocktails with salty rims

Ah, a ranch water — one of the most refreshing cocktails, without a doubt, and also one that is quite easy to make. No, you won’t be mixing together Hidden Valley ranch and water in this recipe, as the name might deceivingly suggest. Instead, you’ll combine tequila, lime juice, and the always-crispy-and-refreshing Topo Chico to create a no-frills, understated cocktail that relies on simplicity to achieve its greatness. Okay, maybe there’s one frill in this rendition, as recipe developer Jaime Shelbert has graced us with a spiced ranch water recipe, which incorporates "a fun chili-lime spiced rim," as she describes it.

Other than the spiced rim, you can rest assured that this cocktail remains true to even the most elite ranch water purists out there. "This is a refreshing, hard seltzer with minimal ingredients. It makes for a great summer cocktail with its fresh flavor," Shelbert says. "If you don’t like sweet, this is the perfect seltzer." She’s right — there’s virtually no sugar in this cocktail, and it proves that sometimes, simplicity really is best.

Gather your spiced ranch water ingredients

ingredients for spiced ranch water

As we’ve already covered, the boozy element of this cocktail is tequila, which you’ll combine with Topo Chico mineral water and fresh lime juice. For the spiced rim, you’ll need a lime wedge, lime zest, chili powder, and some salt.

Rim the glasses with a spice blend

chili powder on glass rim

On a small plate, add the lime zest, chili powder, and salt, then mix these ingredients together. Next, grab a lime wedge and run it along the edge of the two cocktail glasses you’ll be using. Then, circle the wet rims in the chili powder mixture, ensuring that the entire rim of each glass is evenly coated in the spice blend.

Build the cocktails

liquid pouring into cocktail glass

With the spiced rims ready to go, you can focus on building the cocktails. Fill each glass about halfway with ice, then pour 3 ounces of tequila into each, followed by 1 ½ ounces of lime juice. Finally, top each glass off with some Topo Chico and stir it all up.

Garnish your spiced ranch water with a lime wedge

spiced ranch water garnished

To stay true to the lime-infused nature of ranch water, go ahead and garnish each glass with a lime wedge. Now, you can enjoy all of the flavors that this spiced ranch water has to offer — flavors that Shelbert describes as "light, refreshing, and hydrating."

"Enjoy this refreshing drink on the patio with friends, at a cookout, happy hour, or any celebration," Shelbert suggests. "It tastes great paired with salty snacks like chips, salsa, guacamole, and queso, or have it with a meal of tacos or fajitas." Essentially, you can’t go wrong pairing this Tex-Mex-inspired cocktail with Tex-Mex food — who’d have guessed?

  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • ½ tablespoon chili powder
  • salt, for glass
  • 1 lime, sliced into wedges
  • 6 ounces tequila blanco
  • 3 ounces lime juice
  • 6 ounces Topo Chico, chilled
  1. Add the lime zest, chili powder, and salt to a small plate. Stir to combine.
  2. Run a lime wedge around the rim of 2 cocktail glasses. Press the wet rims into the chili lime salt, to coat.
  3. Fill the glasses halfway with ice.
  4. Pour 3 ounces tequila into each glass, followed by 1 ½ ounces lime juice.
  5. Top off each glass with 3-4 ounces Topo Chico, depending on desired strength of drink.
  6. Garnish with a lime wedge, and serve.