A soothing punch for the broken-hearted
February is gone. Love is no longer in the air. Life is moving along, and suddenly one of my friends sends me an email: “What’s the best drink for a broken heart?” After considering several options (the cheapest cocktail? the beer nearest my hands?), I try to put myself in her shoes (not difficult at all) and provide her with a good answer. Sartre, the French philosopher, said that happiness is not doing what you want but wanting what you do. I know my friend really wants a good answer, so I put my hands to work, write her an invitation to my house, and start creating an uplifting cocktail.
Yes, it’s time for a drink, and it’s called Agua de Valencia, a cousin to the mimosa.
The legend goes that the mimosa was created for the Ritz hotel in Paris. Who knew? But I have to give credit to the French for always inventing the most glamorous backstories for their culinary concoctions. The Agua de Valencia isn’t that fancy. It was created in 1959 in a coffee shop called Café de Madrid in Valencia, as the result of a bet between the owner of the café and some of its patrons. Valencia is a city by the Mediterranean, and it’s also the area that produces more oranges than anywhere in Europe. With that in mind, it’s kind of shocking that it wasn’t until the 60s that they decided to create a cocktail with the resources of this sunny land.
OMG, (that was the first line of my message to my friend; I am using it again because I just found out she’ll be here in an hour!) I just realized that I haven’t said what the soul of the cocktail is: cava (the Spanish version of champagne), orange juice, vodka and gin.
Aqua de Valencia Ingredients:
½ liter of orange juice
½ bottle of cava or champagne
60 ml of vodka
60 ml of gin
1 cocktail spoon of sugar
Stir with spoon until you see that the sugar has dissolved in the liquid. Add ½ a bottle of cava or champagne and stir smoothly because you don’t want the cocktail to lose the fizz. Keep it in the fridge and serve it in champagne glasses.
And now some tips for making it even better:
• It is better to use seasonal fruit.
• Don’t use orange liqueur; it isn’t a good substitute for the real thing.
• If you would like it dry, don’t add sugar, use a brut cava-champagne.
• Make the cocktail in advance and cool it until it’s frosty.