According to legend, back in the 1440s, an Aztec princes was suffering. As the story goes, her father, the king, was prepared to do whatever it took, including seeking out mystical waters, to heal her. Naturally, this led him to Topo Chico.
"After traveling long and rugged roads, the Princess and her expedition reached a fertile valley flanked by mountains. To the east, they saw a mountain with the form of a woman's face (now Cerro de la Silla) and a mole-shaped hill, from whose slopes flowed the prodigal waters."
Upon sipping those prodigal waters, the princess was healed, and a legend was born.
Today, Topo Chico doesn’t get press for its magical properties, but for being the best sparkling water available, at least according to me. And if you’re using it in a cocktail, even better.
Which brings us to Ranch Water, a drink that absolutely demands to be made with the mystical water.
The drink is currently gaining currency for its ability, at least in canned form, to be thrown in a cooler and taken on a float trip, though it didn’t originate as a prepared beverage, but as just a cocktail. It was simple, a mixture of tequila, lime juice, and the prodigal water.
You can still enjoy that throwback, though you’ll have to ditch the can and get out a citrus press, plus a few more ingredients.
Start with a highball glass and a shot of tequila plata, the latter of which is your choice. Add the juice of half a lime or so, ice, and top with Topo Chico. You can also throw in an additional lime for garnish.
Should you decide to gussy it up, as I do, you can rim your glass. Salt is an option, thought I prefer Cielito Chili with Lime. Classic cocktails, like any other classic recipe, are but springboards from which one can leap. Skip the chili powder, adjust the ratio, use crushed ice, whatever. You’ve got the template.
But when you’ve stirred up your perfect glass, the formula gets more exact. For then, there is no choice but to sit back, sip, and enjoy, preferably while grilling or at least soaking up some late evening rays from the comfort of your deck.