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'