Kalimotxo (But You Didn’t Hear It From Me, I Swear)

by Matt on January 31, 2007



Oh, Spain spain spain. El Bulli Basque Blah Chorizo Pimenton Spain Spain Spain. Serrano Croquetas Mahon Zamorano Cava Rioja Morcilla Lomo Spain Spain Spain. Spain Spain Spain.

There, I feel better.

Lest you think I’m being sarcastic, I am not. I love Spain. Let me say it again: I love Spain. It’s where my family’s ancestors come from, genealogically speaking. And I’m proud to sport a crazy long and OLD Basque surname. I love my Spanish friends and I love the way Spanish people welcome me into their homes when I visit their glorious country, sharing long meals with me that go deep into the night.

With that said, I’d like to veer just a little bit off the path of Spain’s culinary hotness and talk about something so trashy, so silly, so Spanish: Kalimotxo.

Kalimotxo (pronounced Calimucho) is one of those things that I secretly love but never admit to drinking outside of my close circle of friends. It’s a concoction of cheap red wine, ice, syrup and Coke and enjoyed in the Basque country. Yes, you read that right. A glorified wine cooler, vulgar and crude. AND I LOVE IT!

Like all regional specialties, what goes into a Kalimoxto changes wherever you are at. Add lemon-lime soda and it becomes Pitilingorri, use orange soda and you have yourself a Txurrimuski. Made with white wine and your Kailmotxo becomes a Kalitxuri! FUN!

The irony in all this is that I am not a soda or Coke drinker at all, and in fact I don’t care for syrupy sweet things too often. I do love a good homemade Sangria, so it stands to reason that I’d dig a Kalimotxo on a long-summer day provided there are no cameras or food purists around.

Skip the fancy-schmancy this Valentine’s Day–I know I am! Serve up a big plastic 2-liter of Kalimotxo, eat some Popeye’s fried chicken and wrap your greasy arms around the one you love. Remember, we can return to high-class eating and drinking tomorrow. Cheers!

This delightful beverage must be made with bad red wine. You wouldn’t mix a bottle of the good stuff with Coca Cola, would you? I didn’t think so. Also, don’t get fancy with the soda here and do NOT shop your generic aisle; YOU MUST USE COKE®! I add a splash of raspberry syrup because I got it like dat. Suck it up, buttercup!

Red Wine
Splash of Raspberry Syrup (if you like)
Lots of ice.

Mix it up to your liking. Serve with aspirin or ibuprofen the next day.

Note to my Wine Pedant friends, including retailers, tasters, importers and vintners: Zip it. Can it. Hush. Silencio, por favor. I know what you’re thinking and you’re right. Just today I ask you to keep your lectures and gasps and fainting spells to yourself. Is that too much to ask for?

This post previously appeared at the old Mattbites site.

Tiny update: This post in no way implies that those who like this drink, including myself, are low brow whatsoever. It’s more of a statement reflecting the fact that we tend to be food snobs entirely too often.