Ranch Water is a classic, refreshing, summery, tequila cocktail. It has more in common with a Vodka Soda than with a Margarita, which means it’s light, bubbly, and low on sugar and calories. If you’re looking for a lighter tequila cocktail to cool off with this summer, the Ranch Water is for you!
This upgraded recipe uses blueberry-infused tequila for maximum summer flavor and vivid color, without adding any heavy syrups or artificial colors. Best of all, with a rapid blueberry infusion, this recipe is for everyone – even the impatient imbiber.
How to make blueberry-infused tequila
I walked through infusing gin with blueberries in my Blueberry Gin and Tonic post, and this recipe uses the same quick process. Simply add some frozen blueberries to a mason jar, cover them with tequila, and let the mixture sit for an hour or two, or longer.
After about an hour, the liquid will have a great color and a mild berry flavor, but after a couple of hours it’s usually quite flavorful.
The key to this rapid infusion is to use frozen berries. When the tiny ice shards within the fruits begin to melt, they break the berries down rapidly. This is why frozen fruits tend to turn to mush when they thaw. Not great for making a fruit salad, but perfect for infusing spirits with fresh, juicy flavors!
To get started: gather your berries, tequila, and a mason jar with a lid.
Add about a ½ cup of blueberries to the jar and cover them with ½-¾ cup of blanco tequila. You want to make sure that the berries are completely covered with liquid.
If they aren’t, add more tequila. The fun part about infusions is that most don’t require exact measurements. Add some fruit or an herb to a jar, cover with spirit, let steep, strain, and enjoy. It’s that simple.
Next, screw the lid onto your jar and give it a gentle shake. Let the jar sit for anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 days, depending on the flavor and color you want to achieve.
Once the infusion is done, use a fine mesh strainer to remove the berries and either discard them or keep them to use as a garnish for your cocktails.
Tequila-soaked berries are the perfect garnish for your Blueberry Ranch Water! Store the infused berries in the fridge if you do decide to keep them for garnishes, and toss them after a couple of days.
Store any leftover blueberry-infused liquor in your mason jar. I like to keep my infusions in the refrigerator, but you don’t have to because of the alcohol.
Infusions like this do keep for a while, but they taste best when they’re fresh. This is why I typically just make small batches like this, rather than infusing an entire bottle of liquor. It’s a lot more economical, too.
Blueberry-infused tequila vs. blueberry simple syrup
I love to use fruit-infused spirits when I want to add flavor without adding excess sugar or calories. The Ranch Water is an unsweetened and refreshing mix of tequila, lime juice, and Topo Chico Mineral Water.
Adding a sweetener to this drink would completely change it (and would turn it into a Collins-style drink or a spiked limeade). But by simply infusing the tequila with blueberries, the cocktail remains virtually unsweetened while taking on a mild fruity flavor.
In addition to blueberry, the Ranch Water is also wonderful when infused with other summer fruits like strawberries, peaches, or even watermelon!
Make it with mezcal
The Ranch Water is great with tequila or mezcal. Try it with Del Maguey Vida, Montelobos, or El Silencio. Blueberry-infused mezcal also makes for a great variation on Tommy’s Margarita or Frozen Margaritas.
It has to be Topo Chico
If it’s not Topo Chico, it’s not Ranch Water, sorry. Topo Chico is a unique sparkling mineral water from Mexico that adds flavor and subtle salinity to this ultra simple cocktail.
If you can’t find Topo Chico locally, you can substitute with a high quality and highly carbonated club soda like Fever-Tree or Q Mixers and just add a small pinch of salt when mixing the drink. It won’t be the same, but it will still be delicious and refreshing!
Jeweled swizzle stick
Blueberry Ranch Water Recipe
- 2 oz blueberry-infused tequila* (recipe below)
- ½ oz freshly squeezed lime juice
- 4-6 oz Topo Chico Mineral Water
For the Blueberry-Infused Tequila
- Add frozen blueberries to a mason jar (about 1/2 cup). Cover the berries with tequila (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup) and seal the jar. You can fill the jar with tequila to within one inch of the lid if you want to make a larger batch.
- Gently shake the closed jar, then let the mixture steep for an hour (or longer, if desired).
- Use a fine mesh strainer to remove the berries. Reserve the liquid and store any leftovers in a sealed mason jar in the refrigerator. Use within a couple of weeks for best flavor and color.
For the cocktail:
- Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour the blueberry-infused tequila and lime juice over the ice and stir gently to combine.
- Top with Topo Chico and garnish with blueberries and a lime wheel.