Drink Like the Spanish Do: The Kalimotxo

Want to discover your wine taste profile?

Take our quick 7-question quiz to find wines that fit your taste profile and get them delivered to your door.

Free Wine Quiz Arrow
Surely you’ve heard of a little festival in Spain called San Fermín. A 427-year-old celebration of Basque culture, San Fermín attracts thousands of people to the small Spanish town of Pamplona. If San Fermín rings a bell, it’s probably for one big reason: El Encierro or “Running with the Bulls.” Yes, San Fermín is most well-known for enticing adrenaline junkies from around the world to run alongside the most powerful mammal in Europe. You might be thinking, “Wow, I would never be dumb enough to try that. I would probably be really bored in Pamplona if I ever went.” How wrong you are, my friend. The city of Pamplona has plenty to offer to those who choose not to risk their lives for fun. So, what do the people of Pamplona do while the streets are shut down for the runs? Watch. And wine. Drink like the Spanish do
From the beautiful apartment balconies above the Pamplona streets, people can observe the festivities. As people start lining the streets for the run, onlookers can enjoy the intensity of the event with Spanish snacks and beverages. And nothing calms the “I might-see-a-human-get-trampled-by-a-bull-today” nerves like the Kalimotxo (cal-lee-mo-cho).

Kalimotxo Cocktail The Kalimotxo, one of Basque country’s oldest concoctions, is possibly the easiest mixed drink to whip together:

Step 1: Fill a glass halfway with ice.

Step 2: Fill the glass half full with red wine.

Step 3: Top off the glass with Coca-Cola.

Garnish with something random you find in your kitchen (we suggest a cocktail umbrella, always).

iSalúd! You’ve got yourself a Kalimotxo.

Upon learning about the ingredients in a Kalimotxo, there are two distinct types of people. First, there are those who wrinkle their noses in disgust. Do not let these fools sway your excitement. Shortly after trying a Kalimotxo, the doubters quickly realize it’s the sip of the summer.

The second type of person is much more optimistic when hearing about the recipe for a Kalimotxo. Their eyes light up as they say, “holy shiraz!” These people have just realized that Coke and red wine, their two go-to beverages, have been beautifully married into one glass.

Coca-Cola and Red Wine

It’s important to note that there is no wrong way to make a Kalimotxo. Typically, a Kalimotxo calls for one part Coca-Cola for every one part red wine. However, if you feel you want to bend the rules a bit, you can adjust that ratio to suit your needs. Since Kalimotxo is a social drink and normally consumed among large groups of people in a festive setting, Spaniards don’t traditionally use the most expensive wines from their cellars.

Acopio Bright Cellars wine

If you want the most authentic or traditional Kalimotxo, it is best to use a Spanish red. We recommend a Tempranillo (a.k.a. Rioja). Spanish recipe + Spanish wine = a fiesta of flavors in your mouth.

In Spain, the Kalimotxo is a drink most popular amongst a younger crowd with less experienced palates. So, the wines they use are often less expensive.

If you’re looking for the most authentic Spanish Kalimotxo, you should opt for a $15 Tempranillo over a $60 Cabernet Sauvignon.

If you'd rather judge a drink’s quality based on flavor alone, we've got some pairings for you. In order to make the ideal Kalimotxo, think about the different flavors of Coca-Cola that you see on the shelf at the supermarket - Cherry Coke, Diet Coke (yes, it tastes different than regular Coke), Vanilla Coke and a whole slew of others. The geniuses at Coca-Cola have given us a gift. All these flavors give us hints as to which one might pair best with specific wine tasting notes. To make a delicious Kalimotxo, make sure that the flavors in your wine compliment the flavors in your soda.

For an Italian twist on the Spanish classic, choosing a Chianti with sour cherry flavors can really highlight the fruity aspects of a Kalimotxo. Another great wine match, especially for those who love richer, oakier vino, is a wine with hints of vanilla or baking spices (like California Red Blends or Merlots). If you’re feeling adventurous, try an Australian Shiraz. The bold, spicy flavors of this varietal can hold their own against the already complex Coca-Cola.

Hopefully, you’re heading to Pamplona soon to check out the festivities of San Fermín and enjoy the Kalimotxo in it’s most natural environment. However, if the streets of Spain aren’t in your near future, or in your budget, we suggest safely sipping a Kalimotxo while watching tiny kids try to outrun a dog in a fenced-in backyard. Similar experience, without the underlying fear of massive injury. Actually, maybe the fear is still there, we don’t know your kids.


Sources: Coca-Cola Company, Telegraph

Arrow Previous Article
July 28, 2017
Dear Sangiovese, Don’t Ever...
Next Article Arrow
August 01, 2017
#Winesday: Drink Pink
Featured Articles
Follow Bright Cellars

Articles you might like...

Ready to learn more about wine? Dive right in.

This is a carousel. You can use the slide dots to navigate to a specific slide.

Tips + Tricks
December 01, 2023

7 Wine Gift Ideas for Everyone On Your List

When in doubt, gift wine. Here are some helpful ideas for gifting to the wine lovers on your list this...

Pairing Tips
October 08, 2022

Wine and Pierogi Pairings For National Pierogi Day!

Happy National Pierogi Day! This Polish dumplings can be savory or sweet. Here are 7 wine and pierogi pairings to...

Tips + Tricks
July 12, 2022

10 Ways to Get Out of a Wine Rut

Looking to rediscover your love for wine? Here are 10 fun, foolproof ways to get out of that wine rut...

Wine Spotlights
July 07, 2022

Wine Spotlight: Paper Tiger Wines

We're introducing our new wine brand, Paper Tiger wines. These varieties are rare, enticing, and, above all, worth trying.

Tips + How To
June 12, 2022

Wine Wisdom: How to Learn About Wine

Introducing Wine Wisdom — a series of bite-size, sommelier-approved lessons that allow you to learn about wine on your own...

June 01, 2022

All for Wine & Wine for All: Raising a Glass to our Differences

Happy June, fellow wine drinkers! This month, we’re celebrating with a reminder: There’s enough room at the table for all...

May 26, 2022

Wine Spotlight: Dreamlet Wines

These California wines are exploding with flavor, but we’ve also added a new bottling technique with a little bit of...

May 13, 2022

New Wine Alert: Unsinkable Wines

Bright Cellars is excited to announce the launch of a captivating new brand ready to hit boxes – Unsinkable wines.

Wine 101
May 11, 2022

From the Judge's Corner: Wine Competitions Explained

Our own Julie Albin recently judged two wine competitions in London – the International Wine Challenge and Decanter World Wine...

Wine 101
May 02, 2022

What’s the Deal with Chilling Red Wine?

Should red wines be chilled? The short answer: yes, but don’t go tossing any red wine in your fridge. Here...

April 20, 2022

Best Cellars Spotlight: Folk & Fable Wines

Of all our Bright Cellars wines, there’s one that never fails to impress, time and time again. From its bold,...

Wine 101
April 14, 2022

7 Things to Know About Malbec Wine

You know about the ever-popular Cabernet Sauvignon, and you probably know a thing or two about Merlot. It’s time we...

Wine 101
Wine Facts
April 07, 2022

What Is a Red Blend Wine?

What is a red blend wine and why do winemakers blend wines? We're explaining the magical process that is blending...

Tips + Tricks
March 29, 2022

Spring Cleaning: Wine Bar Cart Essentials

As the weather warms, use this handy checklist of wine bar cart essentials to prepare yourself for spring sipping.

March 25, 2022

NEW! Colorfast Wine Label Spring Cleaning

In the true spirit of spring cleaning, we’re excited to unveil something we’ve been working on behind the scenes. Introducing...

Wine Inspiration
March 22, 2022

Sipping Through Spring: Wine Playlist

Imagine: You're sitting on a blanket at the park with sunshine on your face, a good read in one hand,...

Wine 101
March 16, 2022

A Beginner’s Guide to Different Types of White Wine

Not sure where to start with white wine? Here are the most common types of white wines you'll see at...

February 28, 2022

How to Be the Main Character of Your Wine Experience

Some call it main character energy. We call it good wine vibes. Everyone’s story is different – whether you’re just...

Wine 101
Wine Facts
February 09, 2022

How to Talk About Wine: Wine Terms to Know

From tannin to terroir, here's how to talk about wine and the top wine terms to know for your next...

Wine 101
January 27, 2022

What Are Wine Sulfites & Which Wines Are Low Sulfite Wines?

Sulfites get a bad rap in the wine world, but the truth is, they’re essential to the winemaking process. So,...

Wine Inspiration
January 21, 2022

37 Wine Quotes to Keep You Inspired

Wine quotes are like a good glass of wine - they can truly take your day from good to great....

Wine 101
January 21, 2022

What is Wine Sediment and How Does It Get In My Glass?

In your wine lifetime, you may have experienced wine sediment - traces of the winemaking process left in wine that...

Wine 101
January 14, 2022

Can Wine Freeze? 3 Hacks for Frozen Wine

We know hard alcohol can’t freeze, but can wine freeze? Here's the explanation you've been waiting for and a few...

Wine 101
January 12, 2022

Red Wine vs White Wine: What’s The Difference?

We're sharing the fundamental differences of red wine vs. white wine, plus how you should serve both types of wine.

Tips + How To
January 07, 2022

7 Ways to Embrace Try January, Instead of a Dry January

New Year’s resolutions don’t always have to involve giving something up. Here are 7 ways to make this month a...

Wine 101
December 31, 2021

Sparkling Wine VS Champagne: What’s the Difference?

As we ring in the New Year, it’s important to address this surprisingly common question - what is the difference...

Tips + How To
December 16, 2021

7 Wine Holiday Traditions to Start this Year

Some holiday traditions are just better with wine. Here are 7 creative ways to celebrate the season with vino, year...

Wine Inspiration
December 10, 2021

Last Minute Gifts That Will Arrive In Time

These last minute gifts are great for wine lovers and are guaranteed to arrive before the holidays. Check out these...

Wine Inspiration
December 03, 2021

25 Best Christmas Songs and Wine Pairings

From classic carols to modern hits, we’ve taken the liberty of rounding up the best Christmas songs and pairing them...

Tips + Tricks
Wine Inspiration
December 03, 2021

Holiday Hacks: How to Reuse Your Bright Cellars Box

Instead of tossing your box on the curb, here are a few holiday hacks and DIY wine bottle crafts to...

Pairing Tips
December 02, 2021

Top Wine Pairings for Your Holiday Dinner – No Matter What You Cele...

The holidays are all about enjoying good food! Here are the perfect holiday dinner and wine pairings – no matter...

Wine 101
November 29, 2021

Winter Wine: The Best Winter Reds

There’s nothing like cozying up next to a fire with a glass of winter wine in hand. Here are the...

Wine Inspiration
November 26, 2021

Gift Guide: Gifts for Wine Lovers

Wondering what to get someone who loves wine? From the Wine Newbie to the Cocktail Connoisseur, here are the perfect...

Wine Inspiration
November 24, 2021

7 Reasons to be Thankful for Wine

When you go around the table this Thanksgiving and share what you're thankful for, don't forget to be thankful for...

By The Numbers
November 23, 2021

Your Favorite Wine Cocktails, Ranked

There’s something special about the seasons changing. It’s the perfect time to try a new wine or get out of...

Pairing Tips
November 19, 2021

Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes & Wine Pairings

You can only eat turkey so many days in a row. Here are the best Thanksgiving leftover recipes and the...

Wine Inspiration
November 19, 2021

2021 Black Friday Wine Deals

Whether you're a wine beginner or seasoned sipper, here are the best Black Friday wine deals for wine lovers alike.

Wine Inspiration
November 12, 2021

The Best Holiday Wine Gift Subscription On The Internet

We found the perfect holiday wine gift to give your loved one all the warm and fuzzies this holiday season.

Wine 101
November 12, 2021

How to Open a Bottle of Wine

Grab your corkscrew and your favorite Bright Cellars wine - we're teaching you how to open a bottle of wine...

Wine 101
November 04, 2021

How to Read a Wine Label

Deciphering wine labels can be downright confusing. Today we're teaching you how to read a wine label in four easy...

Wine Inspiration
October 29, 2021

Have You Ever Visited a Vineyard?

There are some experiences that are simply irreplaceable when it comes to wine. We asked our Bright Cellars’ community, “Have...

Tips + Tricks
Wine 101
October 29, 2021

How to Taste Wine

How to Taste Wine in 3 Easy Steps https://youtu.be/yZiVhcLNCto Anyone can drink wine, but tastin’ wine ain’t easy. In order...

Hosting Tips
Wine Inspiration
October 28, 2021

Don’t Forget the Wine: A Holiday Hosting Checklist

Are you hosting for the holidays? Check out our holiday hosting checklist focused on, you guessed it, wine!

Pairing Tips
Wine Inspiration
October 21, 2021

How to Pair Wine With Your Fall Charcuterie Board

Get creative for your next fall get together! Here are our recommendations for pairing wine with your next fall charcuterie...

Pairing Tips
October 19, 2021

Thanksgiving Wines Based on Your Favorite Side Dish

In some situations, it’s okay to play favorites! Here’s which wine you should drink based on your favorite Thanksgiving side...

Pairing Tips
Wine Inspiration
October 19, 2021

5 Apple Dessert and Wine Pairings Perfect for Fall

Move over pumpkin, it's apple's time to shine! These 5 fall apple desserts and wine pairings are perfect for celebrating...

Hosting Tips
Tips + How To
October 15, 2021

How to Throw a Hallowine Party

If you think Halloween is just for kids, think again. Here are 5 foolproof ways to take your celebration from...

Wine Cocktails
Wine Inspiration
October 15, 2021

How to Make Mulled Wine (And Other Fall Cocktails)

There’s just something special about a homemade fall wine cocktail. Here's how to make mulled wine (and other fall cocktails!)

Pairing Tips
Wine Inspiration
October 14, 2021

Pairing Wine With Halloween Candy: The Ultimate Guide

Sometimes you have to treat yourself! These 12 Halloween candy and wine pairings are perfect for ending spooky season and...

Pairing Tips
October 11, 2021

9 Wines for Pumpkin Spice Lovers

Some call it fall, others call is pumpkin spice season! Here are 9 wines perfect for pumpkin spice lovers for...