Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Sunshine and Oranges

Aqua de Valencia
(Valencian Water)

A wonderful, refreshing, summer punch from the sunshine city of Valencia, Spain

Agua de Valencia (Spanish, water of Valencia) is a cocktail made from a base of cava or champagne, orange juice, vodka or gin and cointreau. In general, it is served in pitchers of various sizes and is drunk in a broad cocktail or champagne glass. It was made for the first time in 1959 by Constante Gil in the bar Café Madrid de Valencia in the city of Valencia, Spain.

According to the writer María Ángeles Arazo in her book "Valencia Noche" the bar was frequented at that time by a group of Basque travellers that used to order "Agua de Bilbao" (Spanish, Water of Bilbao), referring to the bar's best cava. Tired of always ordering the same thing, they challenged the owner to offer them something new and he suggested that they try the "Agua de Valencia". They agreed to try what Gil made, and liking it, they continued to drink it in later visits.

For a decade the drink was known only to a small group of clients and it wasn't until the 1970s that it started to become known in the wider Valencian nightlife. Since then, it has grown to be a very popular drink.

Constante Gil left the bar in 2000. And he dedicated himself to painting "Tertulias de Café" (Spanish, social gatherings of the café), a homage to his experiences there. Gil died of a heart attack the 7th of June, 2009 in Valencia, Spain

• 20 cL Orange juice
• 5 cL Gin or Vodka
• 5 cL Cointreau
• 70 cL Cava

• Squeeze half a litre of orange juice into a pitcher.
• Add a bottle of semi-dry cava.
• Add 5 cL each of coiuntreau and vodka or gin.
• Add sugar according to your taste.
• Place in the refrigerator.

As seen on 'COME DINE WITH ME'


  1. This will without doubt be gulped (excluding the typo ginger reference in 'labels') for aperatif, with gay abandon and much glee, on Easter Saturday when 'the gurrlls' decend on our humble hovel for a proper weekend knees up. That'll be Bear, Tammin, Helen, Loveday, Vanessa, maybe Romy if she can squeeze the weekend off and, of course, ma cherie.
    What better way to start a day/night long BBQ?
    Should be a good one. This recipe might just get the party started?
    I'll stick to Vodka Red Bull cos I'm just an uncooooottthhhh bloke and will be doing the eats:)

  2. Andy......it will get the party started but it may also finish it. BEWARE - it's lethal. I KNOW x

  3. Merci bien! We have a French neighbour (older) who once lived in the French Caribbean and insists on starting all his summer get togethers with a ridiculously wicked and disguised Rum Punch of some sort. We've all learnt from the experience. And now refuse it.

    I won't be making the same mistake cos fun is one thing and rat-arsed is another. I'll probably use only the Gin cos daughter likes that :)

    If you're free on Easter Saturday you can critique it in person :) xX

  4. Did you see me on channel 4's @come dine with me' ?? Well on the first night I got very, very drunk.....not a good move when you're on prime time, national tv Ha ha!!!

  5. Shame you weren't here on Easter Saturday to test my version of the brew. You'd have enjoyed the 'BBQ' gig. Last person standing went home at 4am. Those NOT still standing remained where they rested in peace until we tripped over them just before lunchtime on Sunday :-O

    Did try A de V as promised and used Gin not Vodka. Final mix, after several try-outs (hic), was 15cl Gin, 15cl Cointreau, 250cl freshly squeezed Orange Juice in a litre of French fizz. Went down very very well with the gurrllls but the blokes were soon reaching over it to grab some St Emillion Grand Cru. :)