Ranch Water, a refreshing concoction of tequila, fresh lime juice, and sparkling water, is a tequila highball said to have been created by cattle ranchers in West Texas in the early 1960s. Ranch Water has become more popular in recent years as people seek out cocktails that are low in alcohol. It's light and citrusy, making it especially drinkable when temperatures climb towards triple digits on a sticky summer afternoon. The components of a traditional Ranch Water cocktail are simple, so use the best ones you can find; a quality tequila and fresh lime juice are essential here. You can use an aged tequila, mezcal, or sotol if you prefer, although the classic version of this drink calls for blanco tequila. The type of sparkling water is also key to this drink's appeal; you need one that is sharp and extra bubbly. At the Houston bar Eight Row Flint, guests can enjoy several different flavorful takes on Ranch Water, including this colorful version made with blood orange syrup and Lillet Rosé. Eight Row Flint partner and bar director Morgan Weber and his team make large batches of clarified lime juice with lime juice, water and agar to use as a citrus component in this and other cocktails. If you want to keep things simple, just straining freshly squeezed lime juice is enough. The addition of a splash of the French aperitif Lillet Rosé to this cocktail lends it gentle floral flavor notes and a pink hue, while the blood orange syrup adds more sweetness and tart citrus notes, not to mention a striking boost of color. The pinch of dried rose petals on top emphasizes the rose connection, but is optional — this drink is refreshing on a hot summer afternoon or evening with or without the garnish.

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Credit: Photo by Sarah Crowder / Food Styling by Chandra Ram

Recipe Summary

active:
5 mins
total:
5 mins
Servings:
1
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Pour tequila, Lillet Rosé, bloody orange syrup, and lime juice into a rocks glass. Top with ice and sparkling water. Garnish with a pinch of dried rose petals.

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