Although it’s worth it, and although you should, you can’t always go to West Texas.
You can, however, drink as though you’ve got the miles on your odometer to show for it by indulging in one of these two popular West Texas-originated, West Texas-enjoyed cocktails.
A Ranch Water is made, according to Punch, by mixing tequila, fresh lime juice, a little simple syrup and Topo Chico. Not mineral water, no. Topo Chico. Punch reports that traditionalists will settle for no less than the especially aggressive bubbles Topo is known for. Punch calls Ranch Water a “legitimate micro-regional, Texas institutional drink,” and estimates it to be something between a margarita and a Tom Collins.
There is reportedly “a deep love for that drink west of the Pecos River,” and it was included in the New York Times’ list of “Cocktails Only a Local Could Love.”
As Texas Monthly says, this cocktail is “as bright as the West Texas sun.” A Chilton isn’t that different than a vodka soda, but don’t let anyone from Lubbock hear you say so. The cocktail that calls for vodka, two lemons worth of juice and a splash of soda water, reportedly originated in the panhandle when a Dr. Chilton needed a refreshing drink at the Lubbock Country Club, the Avalanche-Journal reports. Sometimes the rim is salted, and sometimes a spicy chili powder like Tajin is added.
Both the Ranch Water and the Chilton are as easy to prepare as they are to enjoy and exemplify the West Texas mentality that not having a lot going on can be a great thing.