Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Recently I have been turning friends onto a drink that I have been drinking  for a while now called Calimocho or Kalimotxo, Calimotxo or Rioja Libre. Rarely bars ever offer it or even have heard of it. It's more common to see a Calimocho in a Spanish restaurant or lounge. A Calimocho is an equal mixture of Coca-Cola and red wine. I use Diet Coke instead because I am into watching my caloric/sugar intake. Usually when ordering a glass of red wine and a tall glass of Diet Coke then mixing at the bar, table what have you I get the weirdest of looks. People, gasping with a puzzled look on their faces that I totally just mixed wine and coke. After letting my friends sip it they end up loving it!

Calimocho is a drink that originated in Spain and in the Basque region it is known as "Kalimotxo". When I did a little research on the drink I found that many countries around the world have a common drink just different names. In  the Czech Republic it is known as "Houba", Chile it is known as "Jote", in Bosnia, Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, and other former Yugoslav republics it is known as "Bambus", Germany it is known as "Korea" The pouring ratio doesn't change much. Some add a twist of lime or blackberry liquor. I got a little fancy recently and mixed in a little Cassis syrup.

Calimocho's are easy to make and are usually received well once people try it. I wouldn't go using a good bottle of  Chateauneuf-du-Pape to make a Calimocho. You can pick up a cheaper bottle like "two buck chuck" from Trader Joe's. But, it has to be a red wine.  (not Port) 

Things needed. 
Tall glass
One part red wine one part cola stir together and pour over ice. 
It's that simple.  Remember cheap wine equals a bad headache so don't be too cheap! 

Places in Orange County that offer Calimocho's are Habana in Costa Mesa and my favorite spot Lola Gaspar in the Artist Village in Santa Ana

Another similar drink is Tinto de Verano. Another wine based drink that is more like Sangria yet easier to make because there is no need of cutting up fruit and it's less of a mess to deal with! I had my very first Tinto de Verano which means "red wine of the summer"at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs close to a year and a half ago. It is a perfect refreshing cocktail for the summer. I personally reserve the Tinto de Verano's for summer and Calimocho's for the cooler months.. I even like to make the Calimocho's sans the ice! 


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Thanks for your post!
- Christina Sanchez