'Kalimotxo' conquers New York cocktail scene

Steve Tallantyre
Steve Tallantyre - [email protected]
'Kalimotxo' conquers New York cocktail scene

The red wine and Coca-Cola mixture, popular as a refreshing summer drink in many parts of Spain, has been praised in the New York Times.


Former bartender and current New York Times drinks writer Rosie Schaap used her column this week to praise one of Spain's favourite summer drinks, the kalimotxo.

Originally from the Basque Country but now popular all over Spain, the drink consists of a mix of red wine and Coca-Cola, served cold.

Variously spelled as 'calimotxo' or 'calimocho', the drink was originally known as 'Rioja Libre' in some areas.

Infamous as the typical fuel of 'botellón' street drinking parties popular with young people, kalimotxo often consists of cheap red wine from a Tetra Brik, such as the Don Simón brand, crudely mixed with Coke.

The drink is said to have been invented to cover the taste of cheap wine.

The New York Times opts for a more high-class version, but recommends Coca-Cola made with cane sugar, such as that found in Spain, and not the variety made with High Glucose Corn Syrup such as that found in American since 1980.

Described by Schaap as "surprisingly sangria-esque, minus all that fruit-chopping and waiting, and wonderfully refreshing," she lauds kalimotxo as "a fine pick-me-up: an ideal afternoon drink when you know you’ve still got a long day, and night, ahead."

How to make a kalimotxo fit for a New York cocktail bar, according to the NYT:

"In a glass filled with ice, combine 3 or 4 ounces dry red wine (preferably Spanish) with an equal amount of cola and 1 squeeze lemon juice. Garnish with a lemon or orange slice to serve." 


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