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Rancho Clara Cocktail

In Cocktails by Patrick "Pops" Garrett3 Comments

Editors Note: Today’s post is from Amanda Duffer, one of the semi-finalists who are applying to become a regular contributor to Bourbon & Banter. We hope you’ll read all of their posts and let us know what you think of each applicant by commenting below the post, sharing online or dropping us a note via email. You can find out more about Amanda on Twitter and Instagram. Good luck!

There was a time in the distant past when liquor store shelves weren’t crowded with $50 bottles of the latest celebrity- endorsed Blanco tequilas. Heck, during that time there weren’t any celebrity endorsed spirits at all. If a celebrity liked a particular brand, they bought it and enjoyed it, just like the rest of us mere mortals. John Wayne, the most iconic celebrity of all time, was well known for his capacity to imbibe.

It’s a given considering his cowboy image that he enjoyed whiskey, but the Duke’s drink of choice was tequila. His favorite tequila, the tequila he once gifted a couple of cases to Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev, can still be found today…usually on the bottom shelf below a certain former Batman’s agave juice and for far cheaper.

That tequila is Sauza Conmemorativo. It’s an Anejo usually priced under $20 that punches above its cost class.  Bourbon drinkers will be familiar with the notes of vanilla, caramel, and brown sugar offered by the Conmemorativo, along with subtle hints of pepper and tropical fruit.

The Rancho Clara combines Sauza Conmemorativo, Topo Chico mineral water, and muddled blackberries to form a refreshing riff on the Ranch Water cocktail that is popular in South Texas – a place with a rich heritage of sprawling ranches and oversized cowboy personas. A place where John Wayne would’ve felt right at home.


  • Handful fresh blackberries
  • 2.5 oz. Sauza Conmemorativo Anejo Tequila
  • 4-6 oz. Topo Chico Mineral Water
  • Lime garnish


  1. Put blackberries into Collins Glass and muddle very well.
  2. Add ice to fill the glass.
  3. Slowly pour tequila over ice.
  4. Fill to top with Topo Chico and add lime garnish.


About the Author

Patrick "Pops" Garrett

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Patrick Garrett, "Pops" as he's known to his friends, is the founder of Bourbon & Banter, LLC and claims the title of Chief Drinking Officer (CDO). A long-time marketing professional and photographer, Pops hopes to use his professional experience and love of Bourbon to spread the Bourbon Gospel and help everyone realize the therapeutic power of having a good drink with friends.


  1. Pingback: Rancho Clara Cocktail – Beer and Bourbon

  2. One thing I’ve learned in the alcohol business, and life in general, is you don’t have to tear down one thing in order to build another up.
    Also, the irony of complaining about celebrities and then talking about John Wayne as nauseum… LOL

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