Ranch Water is an incredibly simple cocktail. There are just three essential ingredients: blanco tequila, lime juice, and seltzer, Topo Chico, ideally. Interestingly enough, Topo Chico does not make the best canned Ranch Water. Like so many other brands, theirs tasted like a glorified citrus-flavored hard seltzer. The assignment was simple, but so many brands just couldn’t pull it off!
We tried all the Ranch Water in a can we could find and, really, only one brand is totally nailing it. Since we didn’t want to publish a ranking with a number one and only a number one, we’re shouting out a couple of other Ranch Water brands that deserve recognition for their efforts. But see #1 for the absolute best Ranch Water in a can.
- Lone River Ranch Water Spicy Hard Seltzer
This doesn’t really taste like Ranch Water, but it’s a hard seltzer and it lives up to its most important promise: It is, in fact, spicy. It’s limey, it’s nice and fizzy, and it has a great jalapeño burn. It actually made my nose run a little! This was way more interesting than the non-spicy version. It’s not the best canned Ranch Water, but if you want some heat and you don’t mind a Ranch Water that’s actually a hard seltzer (and tastes like one), it’s a good option.
Credit: Merc / Lone River
- Painted Donkey Ranch Water
If someone made a Ranch Water-flavored soda, this is what it would taste like. It’s sweet like cream soda, but has a lot of tequila on the nose, which we liked. The flavor reminded Sporked editor-in-chief (and cocktail expert) Justine Sterling of cooked agave. All in all, this is very easy to drink. It’s limey without being too zingy, and the sweetness makes it go down smooth, although I’m not sure how many you could drink in a sitting. If straight-up tequila, soda, and lime is too no-frills for you, you might actually like this canned Ranch Water better.
Credit: Merc / Painted Donkey
- Cutwater Lime Ranch Water
Hey, look! A Ranch Water that tastes like Ranch Water! Cutwater had a major advantage over a lot of its competitors. While many canned Ranch Waters are actually malt beverages, Cutwater’s drinks are actual canned cocktails made with real spirits. The difference is so stark in this case. Justine actually tried this during her taste test of all the Cutwater canned cocktails, and loved this as much as I did. “It tastes like a good, homemade Ranch Water with a healthy slug of tequila, a squeeze of lime, and a refreshing pour of seltzer,” she wrote. It’s the best canned Ranch Water you can buy by a mile. If you want a Ranch Water you don’t have to mix yourself, buy this.
Credit: Merc / Cutwater
Best of the Best
Other products we tried: Lone River Ranch Water Variety Pack, Dos Equis Ranch Water Variety Pack, Topo Chico Ranch Water, Cutwater Ranch Water Variety Pack, El Padrino Mango Ranch Water, El Padrino Strawberry Ranch Water
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