kalimotxo: great drinks you’ve never tried

photo by Ginny
photo by Ginny

If this is your first visit to JoyJournist, I write a series called “great drinks you’ve never tried.” Living in San Sebastian, the drink of choice on a summer night of pintxo hopping is the Kalimotxo. Cheep and cheerful, it’s surprisingly good.

kalimotxo origins

Kalimotxo (pronounced cali-mo-cho) is a Basque drink. Its origins are of legend, but locals say that the drink originated in the Parte Vieja (oldtown) of San Sebastian in the early 1970’s as a make-shift cocktail to mask the flavor of sour wine. The name is reportedly a mix of 2 brothers’ nicknames: Calimero (a popular cartoon chicken with an eggshell on its head) and Motxo (ugly in Euskera).

how it’s made:

The drink is simple. In a glass, add:

  • Ice
  • Half Coke
  • Half inexpensive red wine like Tempranillo or Crianza

how to serve:

A wedge of lemon or lime for garnish is optional but good. The drink pairs well with simple and salty items like chips, pizza or anchovy pintxos on bread. If bar hopping in the Basque Country, a smaller portion can be ordered, called a Kalitxiki.

Give a Kalimotxo a try and let me know what you think!

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