Calimocho - Spain's other Sangria...
09 December 2016 @ 19:05
A Calimocho (also spelt Kalimotxo) is a 50/50 mixture of red wine and Coca-Cola — yes i know what you are thinking, I thought exactly the same thing when I saw it for the first time. Favored by Spanish youth looking for a sweet, cheap buzz, teenagers will sometimes mix the wine and Coke by swishing them in a plastic grocery bag for distributing at "botellones", makeshift parties held in parks and other public spaces.
The drink was supposedly created — or at least named — at a festival in Algorta, Spain, in 1972, when some young entrepreneurs discovered that the wine they had planned to sell tasted not just bad but toxic, and added Coca-Cola-and ice to mask the flavor. It was an improbable hit. Automatically people see wine and Coke together and they think, ooh, that’s going to taste bad. However, it doesn’t, though the taste is one that could be considered “acquired”. Like the teenage years themselves, it’s simple-minded but mystifying.
It’s an affront to the wine only if you’re using the wrong wine. Actually it's no different than making a whiskey with coke, you wouldn't use a Single Malt would you? Wine used for Calimocho should be “strong and dry” or, if you wish to follow botellón tradition, the cheaper the better. The kind of wine that begs for a little helping hand.
One measure of a cocktail’s drinkability is its universality, and here the Calimocho scores big. In Chile and Argentina, a red-wine-and-Coke combination is known as a jote; in Croatia, it’s a bambus; in Germany, a kora or korea. Go ahead and grimace, if you like. But the world will keep on drinking.
In New York they have given it a sophisticated touch by adding freshly squeezed lemon juice and a slice to garnish the glass. They are not that sophisticated here.. the chances are you will only be able to buy a Calimocho in a bar in Spain served in a 1 or 2 liter plastic cup to share. As a refreshment it isn't that different to sangria and a lot less hassle but if you do use a cheap wine don't drink too much because it won't let you forget it that easily. Nonetheless it is an easy drink to jazz up and create your own version. Some add a dash of rum or a dash of lime and if you don't like Coke, try 7up!
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