Frame Cocktail Recipe: Ranch Water

Frame & FRAMEbar > Frame Stories > No. 7: The Water Issue > Frame Cocktail Recipe: Ranch Water

This was the summer of Ranch Water. Not to be mistaken for the brand of alcoholic seltzer by the same name, it’s a familiar highball that you may have already made for yourself without realizing it.

What’s a highball? It’s a type of mixed alcoholic drink that usually consists of a base spirit and a bubbly mixer — simple, easy, and refreshing.

Although named Ranch Water, I promise you it’s more appetizing than it sounds. A popular sipper in West Texas, like many cocktails, the exact origin and originator is unknown. Refreshingly sparkling with a light acidic bite of lime, it’s the perfect companion for hot weather.

The recipe is straightforward: Use a Collins or a highball glass. (What’s the difference? A Collins is taller and more slender.) And although technically any soda water could serve, the preferred is Topo Chico. The bubbly mineral water is sourced and bottled in Monterrey, Mexico. Maybe the proximity to the Texan border makes it a popular choice for the southern drink. Or maybe it’s the quality of the bubbles…

The beautiful thing about this cocktail is its simplicity. No need to make any ingredients or pull out a shaker. This is a beverage that is built in the glass over ice.

It’s also easily adjustable. Want something less boozy? Just use 1½ ounces of tequila or add more Topo Chico. Are you a salt fiend? Add a salt rim. There’s no wrong way to refresh yourself.

Drink responsibly and enjoy!

— By Jaz’min Weaver


2 ounces of your choice of tequila (mine is Espolon Blanco)
½ ounce of fresh-squeezed lime juice
Soda water (about 6 ounces), preferably Topo Chico
Garnish with a lime wedge or peel


1. Add tequila and lime juice to a glass then top with soda water and garnish.