Valencia Hot Punch

By / Wine + Drinks / May 30th, 2012 / 1

My favourite liqueurs are those that are great on their own or in harmony with one or two other pourable ingredients to make easy, delicious cocktails. I’ve recently been introduced to two fine examples that meet my rigid requirements and are well suited to cold weather creations.

The first is Licor Cuarenta Y Tres. Spanish for 43, it is the number of different ingredients that go into this complex bottling. The recipe reputedly dates back to 200 BC. The modern version has been produced by Diego Zamora in Cartagena, Murcua, Spain since 1924.

In the 1960s Licor 43 was a definite Spanish hit. You could see it on every back bar in Spain, with over half a million cases sold every year. It’s now sold in 55 countries and, finally, in Canada (better late than never). Okay, from Ontario westward right now, but wait until it heads east.


For me the predominant flavour is vanilla. Fruit juices, herbs and spices round out the character. Forget buying eggnog. Just use 2% milk and a drop of Licor 43. It gives you the same mouthfeel with that hint of nutmeg. Dust it with dark chocolate powder or more grated nutmeg.

valencia hot punch

1 1/2 oz Licor 43
1/2 oz Grand Marnier Liqueur
6 oz Cranberry juice

Warm cranberry juice and combine with other ingredients in heatproof glass. Stir. Garnish with a small piece of anise.


Sheila Swerling Puritt is a recognized judge at national and international wine, spirit and food competitions. She has maintained an ongoing love affair with the industry dating back to university and has taught in Sommelier programs. She was also President of the Wine Writers Circle of Canada.

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