RED WINE + COKE. YES, WE’RE SERIOUS.
Having logged many hours behind the stick at Boston’s popular Spanish tapas joint Toro, I can tell you from experience: Americans love to drink sangria while they sample small plates. And as anyone who knows anything about Spain will tell you, that’s not what the locals people drink when they’re doing the same. More popular among the Iberians is a drink called “Calimocho”, a refreshing blend of red wine and Coke. As in Coca Cola.
No, that’s not a typo.
While red wine purists shudder at the thought of adding cola to their tinto, Calimocho happens to be a wildly popular tipple all over Spain. The drink purportedly hails from Basque country, that curious region that straddles northeastern Spain and Southeastern France, known for its unique wines, tiny bar snacks called pintxos, consonant heavy words filled with lots of x’s – and separatism. Calimocho (or Kalimotxo in Basque) was born when clever beverage vendors at a Basque festival sought to mask the inferior qualities of their wine. Necessity sure is the mother of invention.
“What does it taste like?” people always ask, sounding curious and disgusted all at once. “Is it actually good?” Frankly, it tastes exactly how one would imagine: like red wine and coke. And since neither of those things tastes particularly bad on their own, together they make a pretty happy marriage. Stop by Toro, or mix one up. Life’s too short not to see for yourself.
3 ounces of red wine
3 ounces of Coca Cola
build in a highball glass with ice.
stir to combine.
garnish with a cherry (optional).