This Is The Most Searched Summer Recipe In The South

It'll cool you down, for sure

Pineapple-Coconut Fizz

Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Summer is all about relaxed cooking. Nobody wants to be hanging out over a hot stove in the middle of a Southern heatwave. That means plenty of no-bake desserts, cold dinners, and even colder cocktails. While some of the top searches for this time of year revolve around seasonal produce like okra, corn, or heirloom tomatoes, other popular search terms have to do with grilling staples like ground beef.

But of all the things Southerners are looking for during the summer, it’s not burgers, kebabs, or salads, but rather a Texas staple. The most searched summer recipe in the South is The Best Texas Ranch Water. This three-ingredient cocktail is as easy as can be and lends itself to many creative twists. No wonder so many Southern Living readers are looking for this recipe.

texas ranch water

Fred Hardy II; Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall; Props Stylist: Christina Brockman

What Makes This Cocktail So Good

One of the many reasons we love this recipe is that it doesn’t require a long list of ingredients. You won’t have to make a simple syrup or buy any special bar equipment, simply combine blanco tequila, lime juice, and Topo Chico. That's it.

You might be wondering, must it be Topo Chico or would any sparkling water do? Texans will probably argue it’s mandatory, but we don't mind if you use your favorite sparkling water instead. That said, using Topo Chico's Hint of Lime or Hint of Grapefruit flavor, rather than plain, is a fantastic way to add extra citrus flavor to the drink. 

That’s far from the only way to customize this drink. Here’s a few more ways to make this cocktail your own: 

  • Swap tequila for sotol or mezcal, two different Mexican spirits, each with their own distinct flavor. Sotol is often brighter tasting than tequila and has a slightly grassy flavor, while mezcal brings smoky notes to cocktails.
  • Don’t limit yourself to lime juice. Orange, grapefruit, or pineapple juice can provide a similar tang, but with a bit more sweetness. Our Strawberry Ranch Water and Pomegranate Ranch Water are two other ways to infuse fruit flavors into this cocktail. 
  • Just like a margarita you can add a flavorful rim to this drink using Tajín, lime zest and sugar, or chili powder. 

Southern Living reader Tasha Woodmansee also has a savory twist on the drink, “I ease [up on] the lime juice and add pickle juice. [Then] toss in a [pickle] spear and a garlic-stuffed olive.”

Why Southerners Love This Recipe

If you aren’t convinced to give this cocktail a try yet, don’t just take it from us, take it from our readers who love this drink just as much as we do. And not just any readers mind you, we have Texans weighing in with their approval. 

“What a refreshing drink!! This is so smooth and delicious. I am a simple mixologist that relies on simple homemade ingredients to create a satisfying, smooth delicious drink and this one meets the finish line in first place!! This one is my go-to drink at the end of a hot, sweaty summer day in my great state of Texas!!” writes one Southern Living member. 

Another Texan also gave this cocktail their blessing with a five-star review. “Add a pinch or two of rock salt or something similar, very refreshing. By the way, I am from Texas, and I own a ranch, so I know a thing or two,” writes Southern Living reader Robert Solis. 

Give ranch water a shot, it just might end up being your new favorite cocktail to sip on all summer long. 

RELATED: 18 Utterly Refreshing Tequila Cocktails You'll Want To Make Again And Again

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