AUSTIN, Texas — The team behind the beloved healthy food truck Ranch Hand is at it again with Ranch Rider Spirits Co., which will launch better-for-you canned tequila and vodka cocktails in select bars, restaurants, venues and liquor stores this December. The cocktails will be available in three Southwestern-inspired flavors: Ranch Water, Tequila Paloma, and The Chilton.
Created by co-founders and The University of Texas at Austin alumni Brian Murphy and Quentin Cantu, Ranch Rider was inspired by long shifts and late nights on the Ranch Hand food truck. On a search for shift drinks that weren’t loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners, the duo couldn’t find anything on the market that met their needs. They began mixing and taste-testing cocktails with their health-conscious customers, eventually landing on three recipes that featured sparkling water and real juice rather than artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or coloring.
“Our mission is to disrupt the ready-to-drink alcohol category with a badass brand that is emblematic of the Southwest,” said Murphy. “Our recipes all have roots in Texas or Mexico. We support producers and wildlife initiatives in the region. We source our tequila from Mexico and our citrus from the valley right between Texas and Mexico. We felt that the majority of the beer alternative brands on the market spoke primarily to coastal elites: soirees in the Hamptons or house parties in San Francisco. We started a food truck in Austin, Texas. That is not us.”
Cantu added: “Ranch Hand was our response to the problem of overwhelmingly unhealthy food options on the UT campus. Ranch Rider is our response to a segment of products that are either made with fermented cane sugar or are excessively sweet and artificial tasting. Ranch Rider is real spirits and real ingredients prepared simply. No sugar, no shit.”
Ranch Rider cocktails are made with reposado tequila from Jalisco, Mexico, and premium vodka sourced from the States. Each 12-ounce can is gluten-free and contains 6 percent alcohol by volume, fewer than 125 calories and two grams of sugar. There are three flavors to choose
To get the product off the ground and primed for the market, Murphy and Cantu built out a production facility in Drippings Springs and hired industry veterans from Austin East Ciders and Republic National Distributing Company.
“It was important to hire people from the start who were industry experts,” said Cantu. “Consumer preferences change rapidly, and new products are born daily. We needed to hire an initial team well-versed in production and launching new alcohol products.”
The ready-to-drink products are packaged in Insta-worthy cans featuring imagery that gives a nod to their Mexico and Texas supply chain. To establish a new level of transparency in how brands display their ingredients, Ranch Rider also highlights every ingredient and nutritional fact on each of their labels—a move that isn’t federally required and often not disclosed by other spirits brands.
Ranch Rider products will be exclusively sold in Austin and San Antonio-area bars, restaurants and liquor stores, including Native Hostel, The Peached Tortilla, Bar Peached, Twin Liquors, Spec’s, and Total Wine & More. To stay in the loop on where to find Ranch Rider near you, visit www.ranchriderspirits.com.
About Ranch Rider Spirits Co.
Founded in 2019 and born from the Ranch Hand food truck, Ranch Rider Spirits Co. is an Austin-based canned cocktail company. Each can features premium spirits and better-for-you ingredients, free of added sweeteners, coloring or preservatives. Ranch Rider offers three Southwestern flavors and is available for purchase in select bars, restaurants and liquor stores in Austin, including Native Hostel, The Peached Tortilla, Twin Liquors, and Total Wine & More. To stay in the loop, visit www.ranchriderspirits.com and follow along on Instagram and Facebook at @ranchriderspirits.