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Kalimotxo: The Odd Combination Of Cola And Red Wine

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There are endless ways to cool down on a hot day, but none so refreshing as downing a chilled drink. Here in the States we like our iced teas, lemonades and cold beers. But in Spain beverages like sangria, a punch made with wine and fresh fruit, is the drink of choice for many.

But there's another mixed drink that's even more popular, especially with teens (yes, kids drink in Spain!). It's called the kalimotxo (calimocho) and it combines two beverages most people would never think to mix, Coca-Cola and cheap red wine. It may sound weird, but don't knock the drink until you try it.

This presumably mismatched combination isn't new -- it's been around since the 1970s and is very popular to this day, especially in the Basque region. You can find it served in most bars and people drink it all the time when there's any reason to party. It was originally called Rioja Libre or Cuba Libre del pobre (poor man's Cuba Libre) but during a Basque festivity in 1972 it was renamed by a group of friends who were serving bad wine and decided to doctor it with cola to make it drinkable.

Over the years the drink has spread to other nations especially in eastern Europe. In Romania it is known as motorină (diesel fuel). In the former Yugoslav nations it's known as bambus (bamboo). In the Czech Republic it's called houba (mushroom). In Hungary it is called vadász (hunter) or vörösboros kóla (red-wine cola) or just VBK.

How To Make The Kalimotxo

The Kalimotxo is basically 50-50 cola and red wine, served over lots of ice. Here's the way the locals do it: Get a 2-liter bottle of Coke, pour out half (save for later), then pour in a bottle of inexpensive red wine. Serve over cups of ice. Easy!

So maybe it's time for the Kalimotxo to come to America. What do you think, would you try it? Let us know below.

Image courtesy of Erik, Flickr.

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