Agua de Valencia will forever be synonymous with sunny warm weather, the sea, a burlesque café in the laid back beautiful old town of Valencia and sweet sunriped Valencian oranges! It is the perfect cocktail to drink in the late afternoon to cool down the heat and start a romantic evening. It is the signature cocktail of Valencia, invented in café Madrid, a café already shut down when we visited.
Valencia seemed an unlikely choice for a city trip to Spain. Many prefer Madrid or Barcelona, but those last two where already off our bucket list. Many who had visited Valencia praised it as a beautiful city, with a very lively atmosphere, not too touristy yet, great food, drinks and parties, and with all the advantages of Madrid and Barcelona, but without the tourists!
We first tasted agua de Valencia in Café de las Horas in Calle de conde Almodovar, a small street that comes on to the square with the Basilica. The café is decorated in a great burlesque boudoir style, which gives the place a warm atmosphere.
The agua de Valencia in cafe de las Horas is ‘to die for’. We tried other places, but this is by far the best place to drink Valencia’s famous cocktail. Freshly squeezed orange juice is a must, so please only drink it only if they use fresh juice, in all other cases keep your money in your wallet!
Once home we decided we should try to make it ourselves, since it would be the perfect cocktail to drink on a on a sunny day in our garden.
After looking up the recipe, and trying it out, we adapted it a bit. The oranges in Belgium or not as sweet as those in Valencia, so it needs a bit more juice and sugar. The quality of the cava is very important and should be rather sweet than dry.
300ml freshly pressed orange juice
700ml Cava (or Champagne)
Sugar (or liquid sugar)
Into a pitcher jug, pour the orange juice – best if it is freshly squeezed orange juice.
Add the semi-dry Cava (or Champagne if you do not have Cava).
Add the vodka and gin.
Add the sugar according to taste.
Refrigerate before serving.
Serve in the jug, and then pour into glasses onto the crushed ice to drink.
You can decorate the glass with a fine slice of lemon or a raspberry.
No need to use a cocktail shaker, you should mix the drink in the pitcher with a spoon, but when serving the drink, you should try and remove the spoon from the jug without disturbing the mixture too much. Enjoy!