Calimocho, Say What?


A recent trip to Screen on the Green with some friends resulted in my first experience of a drink I had never heard of before (and for me that takes some doing), an unusual concoction of sorts that my friend Tiffany introduced me to. It’s called Calimocho (or Kalimotxo). I’m sure some of our European readers may have heard of this – Calimocho is a Basque inspired drink consisting of equal parts red wine and in this instance Diet Coke, over ice. I know, you are thinking this is a crazy notion, but I have to say, not so much. It was actually a refreshing blend, the wine almost removes the fizz of the soda while the soda tones down the strength of the wine, without removing the basic taste of the two. The pairing kind of neutralizes the smell and intensity of the contrasting flavours.

Apparently this drink is common for teenagers in Spanish regions. The lax alcohol laws enable the younger generation to drink wine, so they mix it with coke, or in my case Diet Coke. One of my Spanish friends laughed at me when I told him about my discovery; he basically said it was the equivalent of a trashy wine cooler. I refuse to accept this drink as being trashy, I say it’s a fine, refreshing compliment to an outdoor social. I have to admit though, I was a little hesitant at first as I don’t drink soda, so it took a lot for me to actually drink it. Not something to be done on a whim, but it’s certainly one I will be offering to my guests at future events.

Other variations after the jump.

I thought I would also try it with Dr. Pepper. This was obviously different–the taste of the Dr. Pepper was more apparent and perhaps too overpowering for the wine. Not sure if I needed to have an alcohol induced Dr. P but it was worth the try. Why not give it a go with other drinks too: Fanta, full fat Coke, Pepsi, Cherry Coke etc… One final note, the only wine I had in my apartment was a nice Pinot Noir, perhaps wasted on this. It is perfectly acceptable and encouraged that Calimocho be made with a cheap wine, perhaps a Two Buck Chuck.

If you try other variations be sure to tell us about them in the comments.

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  • BS August 14, 2008  

    I love me some calimocho with full-flavored coke. I do NOT love the headache it gives me. Does the sugar-free coke/wine mix still result in a killing freaking hangover?

  • Britannia August 14, 2008  

    BS– I would love to be able to tell you but unfortunately after my glass or three of calimocho I drank way too much of other good stuff, so my head this morning was not one I care to live through again. I will experiment with it another night and report back!

  • Mariah Carey August 14, 2008  

    No more Charles Shaw purchasing! Their farm worker labor practices are deplorable (which is most like why they sell the shit for so cheap). Two more girls died in their vineyards not too long ago from inadequate hydration – as in they were denied water breaks in 100 degree napa heat.

  • Antoinette Russ's Sis August 14, 2008  

    Yes this drink is quite strange, I didn’t know the name but I’ve had a few times. My gf (she is Czech) introduced me to it. To be honest thinking about it I think it’s just wrong. why spoil a decent glass of red?

  • IOI August 14, 2008  

    Kalimotxo has been part of our fiestas, celebrations and drinking nights and I can assure you that Kalimotxo’s hang over comes with a headache and you better make sure, you have a toilet close by, because you may need it.

    The experts ask for a Katxi of Kalimotxo, and don’t expect a fancy glass like in the picture above.

    Txin-txin, salud

  • Iknow August 15, 2008  

    That has been one of my favs for quite some time!

  • Tom Aarons August 17, 2008  

    I have a friend who drinks this. But I think it’s just to kill the taste of the cheap cask wine! 🙂

  • Norm Schoen September 6, 2008  

    Hey, I stumbled across this post. I made a similar discovery on my way to Boise, Idaho (large Basque population). See my post:

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