Review: Ranch Rider Canned Cocktails

Review: Ranch Rider Canned Cocktails

Newcomer Ranch Rider Spirits Co. seems to be having a decent run in the rising canned cocktail market. Their Texan roots are proudly touted, with a key expression being the “ranch water,” a Texas bar favorite. Ranch Rider seeks to provide simple, classic, and familiar cocktails with real ingredients and no additives; not even added sweeteners.

They are going for bold, so let’s see how they fare.

All 6% abv.

Ranch Rider Ranch Water – This cocktail is the traditional “ranch water” recipe of tequila, sparkling water, and lime. This drink is first and foremost quite tart — but refreshing. There is not a smidge of sweetness to the lime flavor. The tartness rides on the carbonation, then settles back fairly quickly. There’s a faint malty quality owing to the reposado in the mix. All in all it’s as advertised, if you are looking for a clean and unsweetened tequila-lime twist to seltzer on a hot day.

Ranch Rider Tequila Paloma – The traditional ingredients for a paloma are featured here – tequila, grapefruit, lime – as well as a touch of sea salt. The sea salt is a bit curious and seems to bring out a sourness more akin to kombucha or other fermented drinks. This version of sour may not be the most universally appealing, and I find myself in the rare occasion wishing there was more sweetness and fruitiness to a cocktail. B- 

Ranch Rider The Chilton – This cocktail includes vodka, sparkling water, sea salt, and lemon. The sea salt again lends a curious boost to the sour lemon; but without the masking of added citrus fruit accents. This is a peculiar flavor that almost asks to be a really good base for a cocktail that features tropical fruits. B-

Ranch Rider The Buck – The real ginger and real lime in this cocktail feature strongly in this version of a Moscow mule. Again, no sign of added sweeteners — or any sweetness at all. This puts me on the border between “very refreshing with a great kick” to “too much kick, not enough flavor.” It’s well executed nonetheless.

Tartness is the hero in all these cocktails, which sit somewhere between a bolder novel hard seltzer offering for the hard seltzer fans to too bold for the general audience. The sea-salt driven sourness takes some getting used to and seems to mask any of the base tequila or vodka spirit. To their credit, these drinks certainly taste nothing more and nothing less than the stated ingredients, so you know exactly what you’re getting from the label. The amplified tartness could be what ultimately wins fans.

each $14 per four-pack of 12 oz cans /

Ranch Rider Ranch Water




Monica is an incurable dilettante, who is relentlessly curious about books, brews (the coffee kind) and bourbons.

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