Agua de Valencia was invented last night by your alcoholic uncle, who raided your kitchen and poured all the liquor he could find into his orange juice. “Just some OJ,” he said, stumbling out to join you on the terrace. But you know your uncle, so you took a sip from his glass when he wasn’t looking. Woah, that’s not just orange juice! And actually, it’s kind of delicious.
The best way to describe Agua de Valencia is to list its ingredients: orange juice, sparkling wine, gin, vodka and sugar. And now, either your bile is rising or your taste-buds are tingling. There are people who will love Agua de Valencia, and those who will hate it. You probably already know which you are.
Agua de Valencia was invented in 1959 at Valencia’s now-defunct Bar Madrid, and has remained popular throughout the years. Though it’s marketed as a touristy drink, you’ll also see locals ordering it on a warm summer evening. It’s always served in a pitcher, and the quality varies wildly — the best we’ve had is at the Cafe de las Horas. Decorated like a salon from the early 19th century, this is a place you should check out even if you’re not in the mood for a drink.
Agua de Valencia Recipe
- 3 Cups Sparkling Wine
- 1 Cup Orange Juice
- 1 Shot Vodka
- 1 Shot Gin
- 6 Tbsp Sugar
Actually, the best Agua de Valencia is that which you make at home, because you can use decent liquor and fresh-pressed oranges. And you can tailor it to your taste; six tablespoons of sugar seems perverse to us, so we use one or two. Mix it all up in a pitcher of ice, and serve your thirsty guests. Go ahead and give your uncle the biggest glass — he’s earned it.