It’s that wonderful time of year when we host our annual gourmet dinner, which has been going on for a very long time now. We never get tired of trying out new recipes for our friends.
This year we chose a Spanish tapas theme, with the hope that we could prepare many of the dishes ahead of time and just enjoy ourselves on the evening.
To welcome our guests, we served a cocktail originating from Valencia, where oranges reign supreme.
We squeezed our own juice and bought our favorite Spanish cava. The recipe calls for premixing the drink and chilling it awhile in the fridge. I chilled the juice and the bottle of wine separately and mixed them when I served the drinks. More bubbles that way.
Agua de Valencia
- 7 or 8 ounces (200-250 ml) Valencia orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 1.5 ounces (50 ml) gin
- 1.5 ounces (50 ml) vodka
- 26 ounces (750 ml) Spanish cava
- In a pitcher, mix the orange juice with the gin and vodka, and refrigerate until serving time.
- Add a bottle of ice-cold semi-dry cava.
- Dip the rims of your glasses in lemon juice and sugar.
- Serve in the jug, and then pour into glasses with an ice-cube or two and some orange peel and mint to decorate.
This drink depends on fresh orange juice for its unique taste and aroma. If you can find oranges grown in the Valencia region, your drink will be all the more authentic.
Choose cava over champagne for a truly Spanish flair. The sugar is optional. I decorated the rims of my glasses with a little lemon juice, then some coconut palm sugar. This kind of sugar proved very stable on the rim. I love the flavor, but I buy it because it has a low glycemic index compared with standard sugar.
You can alter the sweetness to suit your taste by choosing sweet or dry cava. If I want to sweeten the drink further, I add a little stevia. But on this occasion, I didn’t need to.