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Written By cocktailflavors.com

Introduction to the Kalimotxo

Discover the Kalimotxo, a cocktail that marries the boldness of red wine with the fizzy sweetness of cola. This Spanish concoction is a testament to simplicity in mixology, yet it delivers a complex flavor profile that’s both refreshing and indulgent. Whether you’re hosting a casual get-together or unwinding after a long day, the Kalimotxo is a delightful choice.

Originating from the Basque Country, the drink has a storied past that adds to its charm. It’s a go-to beverage for those seeking a quick and easy cocktail option without compromising on taste. Let’s dive into the world of this unique wine cocktail and explore why it’s become a beloved staple at gatherings.

With its effortless preparation and accessible ingredients, the Kalimotxo is perfect for anyone looking to add a touch of Spanish flair to their drink repertoire. Keep reading to uncover the secrets of this simple yet sophisticated cocktail.

Key Facts About the Kalimotxo

  • Alcohol Content: Approximately 10% ABV (20 proof)
  • Calories: Roughly 125 kcal per serving
  • Preferred Glass: Highball or red wine glass
  • Typical Garnish: Lemon slice (optional)

Interesting Facts about the Kalimotxo

The Kalimotxo is often associated with youthful exuberance and music festivals, reflecting its laid-back vibe. Its name is said to have originated from a humorous incident involving a spoiled wine batch at a festival in the 1970s. The drink’s popularity has since spread beyond Spain, capturing the hearts of cocktail enthusiasts worldwide.

Kalimotxo Cocktail Preparation

Tasting Notes on the Kalimotxo

The Kalimotxo offers a harmonious blend of the dry, fruity notes of red wine with the caramel sweetness of cola. This balance makes it an appealing choice for those who enjoy a less alcoholic taste without sacrificing depth. Its versatility shines through as it can be enjoyed year-round, perfect for both summer barbecues and cozy winter gatherings.

Its appeal extends to a wide audience, from wine aficionados to those who prefer softer, sweeter cocktails. The Kalimotxo is particularly favored by individuals looking for a refreshing drink that’s both familiar and novel. It’s an ideal choice for casual events where a sophisticated yet approachable beverage is desired.

History of the Kalimotxo

The Kalimotxo’s roots can be traced back to the Basque region of Spain, where it quickly became a cultural phenomenon. The story goes that the drink was born out of necessity when a group of friends at a festival discovered their wine had gone bad. In a stroke of ingenuity, they mixed it with cola, and the Kalimotxo was born.

Since its accidental creation, the drink has evolved into a symbol of Spanish festivity. It’s a testament to the idea that great things can come from unexpected places. The Kalimotxo’s rise to fame is a classic example of how a simple idea can take on a life of its own, becoming a part of regional identity and tradition.

Today, the Kalimotxo continues to be a staple at social gatherings, particularly among the younger crowd. Its ease of preparation and affordability contribute to its enduring popularity. The drink’s history is a charming narrative that adds to the enjoyment of each sip.

Kalimotxo Ingredients

  • Red Wine (4 oz / 120 ml): The backbone of the cocktail, providing rich, fruity notes.
  • Cola (4 oz / 120 ml): Adds sweetness and carbonation, creating a delightful contrast.
  • Ice Cubes: Essential for chilling and diluting the drink to perfection.
  • Lemon Slice (optional): Offers a citrusy garnish that can enhance the overall flavor.

Did you know?

The Kalimotxo is sometimes referred to as “Rioja Libre” in certain parts of Spain, combining the name of the famous wine region with the Spanish word for “free.”

Kalimotxo Cocktail Glass

Kalimotxo Method

Creating the perfect Kalimotxo is all about balance and simplicity. Start by filling your chosen glass halfway with ice cubes to ensure the drink is well-chilled. Next, pour the red wine over the ice, allowing it to cool and slightly dilute for a smoother taste.

Top the glass with an equal amount of cola, which will mix with the wine as it’s poured, creating a natural blend. Gently stir the mixture to unify the flavors without losing too much carbonation. If you’re adding a lemon slice, place it on the rim or drop it into the drink as a final touch.

The stirring technique is crucial; a gentle touch preserves the fizz while ensuring the wine and cola are evenly mixed. The result should be a cocktail that’s both visually appealing and deliciously balanced.

Serving Suggestion for the Kalimotxo

The traditional highball glass is a popular choice for serving the Kalimotxo, providing ample space for ice and the perfect ratio of wine to cola. However, a red wine glass can also be used for a more sophisticated presentation. The choice of glass can influence the drinking experience, so consider the occasion when selecting.

When it comes to garnishes, a simple lemon slice can elevate the drink’s appearance and add a fresh twist. The preparation of the garnish should be straightforward; a clean cut and a small slit for perching on the glass rim are all that’s needed.

Elevating the Kalimotxo

  • Quality of Ingredients: Opt for a decent table wine and a well-known brand of cola for a more refined taste.
  • Temperature Control: Ensure both the wine and cola are chilled before mixing to maintain the drink’s refreshing quality.
  • Proportions: Experiment with the wine-to-cola ratio to cater to different palates, though the classic 1:1 ratio is a great starting point.

For an extra touch of sophistication, consider using artisanal colas with natural flavors. The type of ice can also make a difference; large cubes or spheres melt slower, preventing over-dilution. Lastly, a dash of bitters or a spritz of citrus can add complexity to the cocktail.

Kalimotxo Cocktail

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Kalimotxo

If red wine isn’t available, a rosé can provide a lighter alternative, though the flavor profile will shift. For those avoiding caffeine, caffeine-free cola is a suitable substitute. As for similar cocktails, the Cuba Libre shares the cola component, while Sangria also combines wine with additional flavors.

For a non-alcoholic version, a red grape juice mixed with cola can mimic the original’s essence. Other wine cocktails like the Spritzer or Tinto de Verano offer similar refreshment with varying ingredients.

Add a Twist to the Kalimotxo

Infuse the cocktail with herbs like mint or basil for a botanical note. A splash of flavored syrup, such as cherry or vanilla, can introduce a new dimension to the drink. Alternatively, a shot of a spirit like rum or bourbon can add depth and warmth, creating a more complex cocktail.

Another idea is to rim the glass with sugar or a spice blend for an extra sensory experience. These twists can transform the Kalimotxo into a personalized drink that caters to individual tastes.

Preferred Liquors for the Kalimotxo

While the Kalimotxo is traditionally made with table wine, selecting a medium-bodied red like a Tempranillo or Garnacha can enhance the drink. These varietals offer a balance of fruit and tannins that complement the sweetness of cola.

Avoid using wines that are too robust or oaky, as they can overpower the cocktail. The choice of cola is also important; classic brands like Coca-Cola or Pepsi are preferred for their consistent flavor profiles.

Similar Cocktails to the Kalimotxo

If the Kalimotxo piques your interest, you might also enjoy the following:

  • Sangria: A fruity wine punch with added spirits and chopped fruit.
  • Tinto de Verano: A refreshing mix of red wine and lemon-lime soda.
  • Cuba Libre: A classic combination of rum, cola, and lime.

These cocktails share the Kalimotxo’s spirit of simplicity and refreshment, making them excellent alternatives for different occasions.

Food Pairings to Go with the Kalimotxo

The Kalimotxo’s versatility makes it a great companion to a variety of snacks. Classic Spanish tapas like patatas bravas or chorizo pair beautifully with its flavors. For a more unconventional pairing, try spicy wings or a savory barbecue to contrast the drink’s sweetness.

For a lighter option, a cheese platter with nuts and dried fruits can complement the wine’s complexity. The key is to balance the Kalimotxo’s flavor profile with foods that either contrast or harmonize with its taste.

Kalimotxo FAQs

Can I make a Kalimotxo in advance? Yes, but add the cola just before serving to preserve the fizz.

What type of red wine is best for a Kalimotxo? A medium-bodied red like Tempranillo or Garnacha is ideal.

Is it necessary to use ice? Ice is recommended to chill the drink, but it can be omitted if both the wine and cola are pre-chilled.

Can I use diet cola for a Kalimotxo? Yes, diet cola can be used for a lower-calorie option.

What’s the best way to garnish a Kalimotxo? A simple lemon slice works well, but feel free to experiment with other citrus fruits or herbs.


Kalimotxo (Calimocho)

The Kalimotxo is a simple, refreshing drink hailing from the Basque region of Spain, gaining popularity in the 1970s. It's a casual, unpretentious beverage that combines red wine and cola for a sweet, slightly tannic taste. Perfect for a laid-back gathering or a warm evening.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Cuisine Spanish
Calories 125 kcal


  • Highball glass or red wine glass
  • Spoon for stirring


  • 4 oz Red Wine
  • 4 oz Cola
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon slice (optional) for garnish


  • Fill a highball glass or red wine glass halfway with ice cubes.
  • Pour the red wine over the ice.
  • Add the cola to the glass, filling it to the top.
  • Gently stir to combine the ingredients.
  • If desired, garnish with a slice of lemon.


The choice of red wine doesn't need to be high-end; a simple table wine will suffice. The ratio of wine to cola can be adjusted to taste, but a 1:1 ratio is traditional. Some variations may include a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for an added zesty flavor.
Keyword Basque drink, Calimocho, casual, Coca-Cola, cola, Easy Recipe, Kalimotxo, party drink, Pepsi, Red Wine, refreshing beverage, simple mixed drink, Spanish cocktail, Wine Cocktail

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