July 20, 2022

Upgrade for the Perfect Aqua Velva Drink Recipe

A light citrusy flavor, piercing blue color, and unknown origin characterize the Aqua Velva cocktail, and here's how you can get it just right. 

Aqua Velva in a collins glass

Bubbly tart lemon soda with mellow sweet orange liqueur doesn't leave much not to like.

Add in the botanical notes of gin and you've got yourself a nice little highball. Not a fancy drink by any means, but hey, they don't all have to be.

Filling highball with ice

What's in the Aqua Velva drink?

An Aqua Velva is made with: gin, vodka, blue curacao, and lemon or lemon/lime soda.

The simplicity of the recipe means the final drink really just depends on what you put in it.

The easiest way to improve any drink is to avoid the bottom shelf booze, and this cocktail is no exception. However the soda and the blue curacao will dominate, so focus on those instead.

topping Aqua Velva with lemon soda

How to upgrade your Aqua Velva

Use a good soda! Simple as that.

7Up, Sprite or any other common citrus sodas will work, but if you can grab something with a bigger lemony zip you'll thank yourself later. My favorite is the Sanpelligrino Limonata which you can find it at many grocery stores and the upgrade is totally worth it.

You could also try Fever Tree or any lemon soda with real lemon.

I also recommend going for a mid to high end blue curacao like Giffard or Drillaud for a more authentic orange peel flavor in any blue cocktail you make.

opening malfy gin

Where did the cocktail come from?

The origin of the Aqua Velva is unknow, but most likely it was created in the 1980's to mimic the fluorescent blue of the classic 'Ice Blue" aftershave.  

As described in a detailed article from Punch, several older cocktail recipes called "Aqua Velva" can be traced back to before the existence of the most commonly accepted recipe.

Those recipes have almost nothing in common with the current version other than blue curacao, so it seems like the drink's creator might go unknown forever.

the finished Aqua Velva cocktail

The blue cocktail in Zodiac

In Zodiac, Jake Gyllenhaal's character orders his favorite drink, the Aqua Velva cocktail.

That pop culture reference might be entirely responsible for keeping this drink alive, and despite no recipe ever being mentioned in the movie we have landed on the version below as the way you make an Aqua Velva.

If you want the full effect from the movie garnish with an orange moon and a cherry on a stick.

Aqua Velva Drink Recipe

The Aqua Velva is a blue gin and vodka drink topped with bubbly lemon soda. It's most notable for an appearance in the movie Zodiac, though it's origins are unclear.


  • 1 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 3/4 oz Blue Curacao
  • Lemon OR Lemon/Lime Soda


  • Fill a tall highball glass with ice
  • Add the gin, vodka, and blue curacao to the glass and stir briefly to chill
  • Top with about 4 ounces of Lemon or Lemon/Lime Soda
  • Optionally, garnish with a cherry, citrus, or a cocktail umbrella


For an upgrade over the standard 7up try using a soda such as San Panpellegrino Limonata, it makes a big difference!
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Servings: 1 drink
Tag me at @mydrinkinghobby when you make this!

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