The global novel coronavirus pandemic may have grounded us, but we can still enjoy happy hour. This daily series will provide delicious drink recipes for you to try at home. So call your friends for a virtual sip session and traverse the globe, even if it's only in your mind. 

Today's cocktail hails from Spain – Kalimotxo. 

What is it?

Guaranteed to have wine purists up in arms, this cheeky beverage is a mix of red wine and cola. It’s refreshing, cheap and championed by many – especially Spanish teenagers. 


Originally known as a Rioja Libre or Cuba Libre del pobre (poor man’s Cuba Libre) in 1970s Spain, its current name was later coined at a Basque festival. According to legend, its creators realized they were serving bad wine and decided to disguise the taste by mixing it with Coke; the drink became an unlikely hit. Named after their two friends, Kalimero and Motxo, it’s popular throughout Spain and is an icon of Basque culture. 

You'll need (Serves 8)

32fl oz (1l) red wine (preferably strong and dry, of the cheaper variety) 
32fl oz (1l) cola 
slice of lemon (optional) 


Step 1: Mix equal parts of red wine and cola. Serve with ice. 
(If you want to spice up this simple drink you could add a slice of lemon, but kalimotxo purists – if they even exist – may disagree). 

Tasting notes

Some may have doubts about this drink, especially given its reputation as the drink of choice for Spanish teenagers; they are known for buying the harshest of wines and swishing it together with Coca-Cola in a plastic bag at botellones (impromptu street gatherings). However, on a sizzling summer night, surrounded by a boisterous crowd at a Spanish festival, it all starts to make sense. Like the festival itself, the drink is cheerful and unfussy. It comes in a plastic glass loaded with ice. For a few euros it’s immediately satisfying. The sugar and caffeine pep you up, but are balanced by the mellowing effect of the wine. How else are you expected to last well into the next morning? 

Other recipes: 

Espresso Martini
Mint Julep

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