Kalimotxo Cocktail Drink

Kalimotxo

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley

If you’re searching for a unique cocktail to spice up your summer, this Kalimotxo (pronounced cali-mo-tcho) recipe is exactly what you’re looking for! It’s a delightful drink, packed with simple ingredients, and incredibly easy to make.

Kalimotxo Recipe

Invite the Basque Country at home with this simple Kalimotxo recipe! Composed of equal parts red wine and Cola, this unique cocktail is a delightful treat for the warmer months.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

138 kl

Ingredients

  • 4 oz Red Wine
  • 4 oz Coca-Cola
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon slice, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball Glass
  • Measuring Jigger

Instructions

  • Fill your highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Pour 4 oz Red Wine over the ice.
  • Fill up the glass with an equal quantity of Coca-Cola (approx, 4 oz Coca-Cola).
  • Stir gently to mix the ingredients.
  • Place a lemon slice into the glass for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Red Wine: You can use rosé or white wine for a lighter flavor if you don't have red wine (in that case, it may be even better to substitute Coca-Cola with Sprite). I've also used grape juice for a non-alcoholic version.
  • Cola: If you're not a fan of Coca-Cola's sweetness, try using diet Coke or Coke Zero. This drink also works very well using Sprite instead of Coke, and this version is known as “Tinto de verano”.

Making a Pitcher of Kalimotxo:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 32 oz of red wine and 32 oz of Cola.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the red wine and Cola. Stir gently.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into ice-filled highball glasses, garnish with a lemon slice, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Red Wine Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic red wine substitute; these are available in most supermarkets and do a good job mimicking the flavor of red wine. You can also try using red grape juice, preferably with no added sugar.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use this non-alcoholic substitute instead of the regular ingredient, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

  • Wine: Ensure that the red wine you're using is vegan. Some wines use animal products in the fining process, so check the label or do a quick online search to make sure.
  • Cola: Most colas are vegan, but checking the label for hidden animal-derived ingredients is always a good idea.
  • Proceed As Usual: After ensuring your ingredients are vegan-friendly, follow the original steps to enjoy a delicious vegan Kalimotxo.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
138
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.02
g
0
%
Sodium
 
9
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
14
g
5
%
Sugar
 
11
g
12
%
Potassium
 
146
mg
4
%
Protein
 
0.2
g
0
%
Vitamin A
 
2
IU
0
%
Calcium
 
11
mg
1
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%

 

Kalimotxo Cocktail Drink

Kalimotxo Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
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Invite the Basque Country at home with this simple Kalimotxo recipe! Composed of equal parts red wine and Cola, this unique cocktail is a delightful treat for the warmer months.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 138

Ingredients
 

  • 4 oz Red Wine
  • 4 oz Coca-Cola
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon slice - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball Glass
  • Measuring Jigger

Instructions

  • Fill your highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Pour 4 oz Red Wine over the ice.
  • Fill up the glass with an equal quantity of Coca-Cola (approx, 4 oz Coca-Cola).
  • Stir gently to mix the ingredients.
  • Place a lemon slice into the glass for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Red Wine: You can use rosé or white wine for a lighter flavor if you don't have red wine (in that case, it may be even better to substitute Coca-Cola with Sprite). I've also used grape juice for a non-alcoholic version.
  • Cola: If you're not a fan of Coca-Cola's sweetness, try using diet Coke or Coke Zero. This drink also works very well using Sprite instead of Coke, and this version is known as “Tinto de verano”.

Making a Pitcher of Kalimotxo:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 32 oz of red wine and 32 oz of Cola.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the red wine and Cola. Stir gently.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into ice-filled highball glasses, garnish with a lemon slice, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Red Wine Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic red wine substitute; these are available in most supermarkets and do a good job mimicking the flavor of red wine. You can also try using red grape juice, preferably with no added sugar.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use this non-alcoholic substitute instead of the regular ingredient, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

  • Wine: Ensure that the red wine you're using is vegan. Some wines use animal products in the fining process, so check the label or do a quick online search to make sure.
  • Cola: Most colas are vegan, but checking the label for hidden animal-derived ingredients is always a good idea.
  • Proceed As Usual: After ensuring your ingredients are vegan-friendly, follow the original steps to enjoy a delicious vegan Kalimotxo.

What is a Kalimotxo?

A Kalimotxo is a red wine-based cocktail made of equal parts inexpensive red wine and Cola. This simple yet refreshing drink hails from the Basque region of Spain and has become popular worldwide due to its easy-to-find ingredients and straightforward preparation.

Making a Kalimotxo is relatively easy at all, even for beginners. The steps involved are pouring the two components into a glass filled with ice, stirring gently, and optionally garnishing with a slice of lemon or lime. Its simplicity makes it an ideal choice for large gatherings or when you want to whip up something quick and enjoyable.

A side shot of a Kalimotxo drink in a highball glass on a wooden coaster placed on a multicolor tray with a jigger and a bar spoon around

What is a Kalimotxo made of – The ingredients

The following ingredients are necessary for a Kalimotxo:

  • Red Wine: Provides the cocktail’s base, adding depth and complexity with its rich, fruity flavors.
  • Cola: Balances the robustness of the wine with its sweet, caramel notes and effervescence.
  • Ice: Chills the drink, enhancing its refreshing quality and diluting the mixture slightly for a smoother taste.
  • Lemon Slice (optional): Adds a tangy twist to the cocktail, complementing the sweetness of the Cola and the tannins in the wine.

Red wine and Coca-Cola laid out on a white bar table

How do you make a Kalimotxo?

Get hands-on experience making a Kalimotxo with our practical steps:

1
<p>Start by filling a large highball glass with ice-cubes.</p>

Start by filling a large highball glass with ice-cubes.

2
<p>Then, fill the glass halfway with red wine (approx 4 oz). Any variety of red wine will work, but a simple, inexpensive table wine is traditionally used in Spain, where this drink originates.</p>

Then, fill the glass halfway with red wine (approx 4 oz). Any variety of red wine will work, but a simple, inexpensive table wine is traditionally used in Spain, where this drink originates.

3
<p>Next, pour an equal amount of Coca-Cola into the glass (approx. 4 oz). The Coca-Cola should be chilled for the best results.</p>

Next, pour an equal amount of Coca-Cola into the glass (approx. 4 oz). The Coca-Cola should be chilled for the best results.

4
<p>After adding the Coca-Cola, stir the mixture gently. This will ensure that the wine and Cola are thoroughly combined.</p>

After adding the Coca-Cola, stir the mixture gently. This will ensure that the wine and Cola are thoroughly combined.

5
<p>To enhance the flavor, squeeze a slice of lemon into the glass. This step is optional but can add a refreshing citrus note to the drink.</p>

To enhance the flavor, squeeze a slice of lemon into the glass. This step is optional but can add a refreshing citrus note to the drink.

History and Origin of the Kalimotxo

The Kalimotxo cocktail, a delightful blend of red wine and Cola has an intriguing history that traces back to the Basque region of Spain. This simple yet refreshing drink is a staple at Spanish festivals and parties.

The story of Kalimotxo begins in the 1970s. During the Puerto Viejo festivities in Algorta, a district in Getxo, a group of friends discovered that the wine they had bought for the event tasted terrible. Instead of throwing it away, they decided to mix it with Cola to mask the unpleasant taste. They named this new concoction “Kalimotxo”, after a character from their group, Kalimero, and a pun the others liked to make with his name (“motxo” meaning ugly in basque).

A Kalimotxo drink, shot from above, in a highball glass on a beige surface surrounded by red wine and Coca-Cola

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FAQ

How many calories does a Kalimotxo drink contain?
A standard serving of Kalimotxo, which typically includes equal parts red wine and Cola, contains approximately 150-200 calories. However, the exact calorie count can vary depending on the specific brands of wine and Cola used.
How strong is a Kalimotxo cocktail?
The strength of a Kalimotxo cocktail largely depends on the alcohol content of the red wine used. On average, this drink has an Alcohol By Volume (ABV) of about 4-6%, making it roughly 8-12 proof. This makes it less potent than straight wine or spirits.
What type of alcohol is used in a Kalimotxo?
The only alcoholic ingredient in a Kalimotxo is red wine. The type of red wine can vary based on personal preference, but traditionally, a young and fruity Spanish red wine is used.
In what kind of glass is a Kalimotxo served?
A Kalimotxo is typically served in a tall glass, often called a highball or Collins glass. This allows for plenty of room for both the wine and Cola and ice.
What does a Kalimotxo taste like?
A Kalimotxo has a unique taste that combines the fruity and slightly bitter flavors of red wine with Coca-Cola's sweet and fizzy characteristics. The result is a refreshing, balanced, sweet, and tangy drink.
What is the ratio of ingredients in a Kalimotxo?
The traditional ratio for making a Kalimotxo is 1:1 - equal parts red wine and Cola. This simple ratio makes it easy to adjust the recipe to make larger or smaller quantities.
How is a Kalimotxo served with ice?
A Kalimotxo is typically served over ice. The ice keeps the drink cold and helps dilute the flavors slightly, making it a more refreshing beverage.

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