Sunday, January 29, 2012

kalimotxo - spanish red wine cocktail

it has been Too Long since we talked about cocktails.

this is not due to a dearth of cocktails in my life, so please don't worry your pretty little head about that. there has been a notable lack of new cocktails, though, as mainly i've been sticking to tried'n'true equations such as bourbon + ginger = best. even when we went out to a fancy cocktail place last night i stuck with good old bourbon/ginger. it didn't hurt that they make their own ginger ale and augment it with generous shavings of fresh ginger. that didn't hurt at all.

but sometimes you want to go in another direction, i guess, so today i saw that there was a small amount of red wine that was just sitting around bored and then i remembered that we had coke (normally we don't - we are a proud diet coke family) and - ta da! - kalimotxo! (aka calimocho)

i first had this in spain, at a little bar in barcelona. it was incredibly hot and we'd been walking around forever. the ice-cold red wine and coke served in a cool dark courtyard was just the thing to refresh and revive us for another round of sightseeing.

this is kind of a weird cocktail. it tends to divide tastes. mike, for instance, thinks it's gross. i like it, but it's something i get a craving for maybe once a year. it's probably best in the summer, because it's not-very-alcoholic and is sort of refreshing and i could see taking a pitcher of them to the beach or on a picnic or something.

but here we are in the dead of winter and it's raining somberly and it was still pretty good. so.

making a kalimotxo is dead easy. just mix equalish amounts of red wine and coke and squeeze some lime in! you've just made a cocktail! i didn't have any limes, but lemon worked a treat. you can also leave the citrus out, but i think it adds a lot.

clearly, this is not something in which you want to use your best red wine that you've been saving for a special occasion, but if you have some indifferent and cheap wine and some coke lying around, this is an interesting way to use it. the wine and coke combine to make a beautiful dark ruby-colored drink that is somewhat sweet but has some savory deeper flavors from the tannins in the wine. it may not be an earth-shaking experience, but it's well worth a try.

mix some up, sit back, and pretend you are in beautiful spain, looking out on the mediterranean and thinking about having some jamón, a siesta and going out to dinner at 11 pm.

the above is some vodka that is patiently awaiting its time in the sun. i'm steeping some lemongrass and ginger in it and plan to make something like the cocktail equivalent of tom kha soup. but it still has some sitting around and infusing to do, so it will have to wait. in the meantime, enjoy your coke-and-wine!

listening to: santigold, MIA, more santigold.

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