Kalimotxo - red wine with cola

Recipe by Neil Morris - 21 September 2012


Region: The Basque Country

Preparation: 2 minutes

Cooking time: no cooking

Difficulty: easy

Serves: 2-4


Warning! Wine connoisseurs please look away now! You may find the following scenes upsetting. Why? Because I am about to mix red wine with your favourite well-known brand of cola. There, I said it.

When I was first introduced to this concept by a friend from Venezuela (Hola Dilcia!) I was equally horrified and reacted appropriately; throwing my arms in the air, screaming and generally acting like I had witnessed something truly unspeakable. Once I had calmed down I remembered that I had heard about a similar drink in the Basque Country but had always dismissed it as a fad amongst young people who wanted a cheap way to get drunk. Well that is partly true. Kalimotxo, as it is known, is widely drunk in the Basque Country by young people and it is often made with cheaper table wine that actually benefits from being mixed. It is also popular in other areas of the world and has many different names.

In other areas of Spain it is a popular alternative to 'Tinto de Verano' which is a mix of red wine and soda. When served over lots of ice, it is actually very refreshing and the combination of alcohol and caffeine makes it a very stimulating pick-me-up drink.

So, next time you are at a party and confronted with a glass of cheap red wine, just grab some cola and some ice cubes and make yourself a Kalimotxo. You might just become seduced by its dubious charms!

Shopping list

  • 1/2 litre red table wine (vino tinto)
  • 1/2 litre good cola (cola)
  • 1 dash of lime (lima) *optional
  • or
  • 1 dash of cherry/blackberry/aniseed liqueur (licor de cereza/blackberry/anís ) *optional
  • ice (hielo)


OK, so the method for making this cocktail is certainly not rocket science but there are subtle variations according to taste. The wine to cola ratio is always 50/50 and it is then served over ice. A hint of flavour is often added - this can be provided by a dash of lime juice, a cherry or blackberry liqueur or even a dash of Pernod/aniseed liqueur.

There are no doubt dozens of other variations of this drink available and you could experiment with your own flavours should you wish. Have fun!

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