How To Make An Aqua Velva

A refreshing blue cocktail for when you want to feel like you’re sitting at a dive bar in the 1980s.

The Aqua Velva was named after a line of bright blue shaving products that you often see in vending machines. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this isn’t the world’s most complex or refined cocktail. Mostly, it’s just fun to drink. The Aqua Velva is very much a beverage of the ’70s and ’80s, and it was prominently featured in the movie Zodiac. Watch that movie, and you’ll want to drink several Aqua Velvas, guaranteed. You also might have stress dreams or nightmares - but just try another crisp, refreshing Aqua Velva. That should do the trick.

For more movie & drink ideas, check out our guide to 9 Iconic Cocktail & Movie Pairings.

You’ll Need:

Makes 1 Aqua Velva

  • Ice

  • Highball or hurricane glass

  • 1 ounce vodka

  • 1 ounce gin

  • .5 ounce lime juice

  • .5 ounce lemon juice

  • .75 ounce blue curaçao

  • .5 ounce simple syrup

  • Sparkling water

Step One: Lemon Juice

Some Aqua Velva recipes call for lemon-lime soda, but we’re going to make a (slightly) fancier version with fresh juice instead. Juice a lemon, and add .5 ounce lemon juice to your cocktail shaker.

Step Two: Lime Juice

Remember when you juiced that lemon? You’ll need to do the same thing with a lime. Once you’re done, pour .5 ounce lime juice into your shaker.

Step Three: Simple Syrup

Next, you need some simple syrup to help balance all the tart citrus. If you don’t know how to make that, mix equal parts white sugar and warm water, then stir until the sugar is dissolved. Put .5 ounce of this simple syrup in your cocktail shaker.

Step Four: Blue Curaçao

Blue curaçao is just an orange-flavored liqueur that happens to be blue. Why is it blue? Because sometimes it’s fun to drink blue things. Most liquor stores have a bottle or two, and any brand will work for this Aqua Velva. Add .75 ounce to your cocktail shaker.

Step Five: Vodka

Time to start making this an actual cocktail. Pour 1 ounce vodka into your shaker.

Step Six: Gin

Mixing vodka and gin might seem strange - but the two liquors don’t actually clash with one another, as evidenced by another classic cocktail, the Vesper. Put 1 ounce gin into your cocktail shaker.

Step Seven: Shake

Add 5 or 6 ice cubes to your shaker, and shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Once you’re done, strain everything into a highball or hurricane glass filled with ice.

Step Eight: Seltzer And Garnish

Finally, top your drink with plain seltzer (around 4 ounces), and give it a brief stir. It should be the same color as the water you see in stock photos of tropical beaches - but this cocktail still isn’t complete. It’s important that you garnish with a cherry, a pineapple wedge, and a paper umbrella. That’s how you show the world that you’re drinking an Aqua Velva.

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