Today we’re returning to one of our favorite summer pastimes: day drinking. On a nice day, hours pass by quickly while drinking amongst friends, and you can easily find yourself quite tipsier than you intended to be. Add in heat and dehydration and a beautiful day can turn into a rough evening. What’s a red wine loving day drinker to do? Lighten up on the alcohol, cool the temperature, and add some effervescence. Our friends in Spain invented a pair of simple-to-make wine cocktails that solve these problems in delicious ways.
While sangria is well known, the two drinks we’re going to show you how to make are a bit more obscure. The first cocktail, kalimotxo, combines red wine and Coca Cola. The second, tinto de verano, mixes red wine and a lemon-flavored gaseosa, often La Casera. We use Sprite as a substitute. We also like to occasionally make our tinto de veranos with Orange Fanta. We’ll only do so if we can get our hands on some real Fanta, not the neon orange version that Coca Cola reintroduced to the American market a few years ago.
Both drinks, kalimotxo and tinto de verano, are served on the rocks in a highball glass. For each, simply pour equal parts red wine and soda into a highball glass already filled with ice, and then stir to combine. You’ll want to garnish a tinto de verano with a slice of lemon, though some people prefer oranges. We like to keep it traditional with a lemon, as the additional sour acidity is great on a hot day.
As for the wine, a cheap, dry Spanish red is perfect. You shouldn’t be shelling out a lot of money on wine you’re going to mix with soda. We like to use Tempranillo, especially in the tinto de verano. The Coca Cola in a kalimotxo allows less of the wine flavor to come through, so it’s best to just keep things as cheap as possible. Box wine is just fine in both.
Some Background & History
Kalimotxo doesn’t have a real English translation. The word is Basque in origin, and that’s how you’ll see it spelled in Basque Country. Throughout the rest of Spain, calimocho is commonly used. You might also come across cocavino on a menu. Tinto de verano is a lot simpler to translate. Word for word it reads in English as ‘red wine of summer.’ Whichever drink you try, both will quench your thirst for red wine on a hot summer day.