The Valencia cocktail is a classic drink recipe that can be found in Harry Craddock's 1930 "The Savoy Cocktail Book." It's a fruity mix of apricot brandy and orange juice that makes a nice brunch drink. The name points to Valencia, Spain, an area that's known for producing world-famous oranges.
In its time, this recipe was known as the Valencia cocktail no. 1. It's a rather pleasant drink, though doesn't seem to appeal to modern drinkers as much as it did to those in Craddock's time. Yet, it is always interesting to get a taste of the original recipes, which you can then adapt to your personal taste. That has been done many times with this cocktail, as you will see. The variations include the popular (and arguably better-tasting) Valencia cocktail no. 2, which has a mimosa-like spin, as well as Spain's popular Agua de Valencia.
Gather the ingredients.
Garnish with an orange twist.
For the apricot brandy, it's best to pour a top-shelf apricot brandy or liqueur. Giffard Abricot du Roussillon and Marie Brizard Apry are two popular options.
- Some Valencia cocktail variations pour equal parts (1 ounce each) of apricot brandy, gin, and orange juice, then add a dash of lemon juice.
- To make a Valencia cocktail no. 2 (or Valencia Royale) shake the same drink as above, strain it into a Champagne flute, then top it off with brut Champagne.
- The Agua de Valencia ("Valencia water") cocktail builds on the sparkling wine recipe. It is popular in Valencia, Spain and the drink celebrates the areas oranges as well as cava, Spain's famous sparkling wine. The recipe is given to Constante Gil of the Café Madrid de Valencia in 1959. It's made by the pitcher: Combine 2 parts each fresh Valencia orange juice and cava with 1 part each gin and vodka. The ratio varies with different recipes and some are sweetened with a little sugar to taste. Another popular combination is 1 cup of orange juice, 2 ounces each of vodka and gin, and a full bottle of cava.
How Strong Is a Valencia Cocktail?
In general, all variations of this cocktail will be pretty mild drinks. For instance, if you make the Valencia cocktail with Marie Brizard Apry, a 42 proof liqueur, the drink will shake up to 12 percent ABV (24 proof). Surprisingly, adding 3 ounces of Champagne will produce a drink of the same strength.