.........Home | cv | bio | What Was Esquire's Cocktail of the Week? ........... ... ...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Don't get your hopes up

I won’t be here for long. The adventures of balancing the glamorous Hollywood film life with the globe-trotting debonair charms of being Dr.Cocktail frankly leave me a tad weary. I must so very shortly retract my head again into my warren until such time as I again detect a brain cell blinking dimly in my head.

Yet some things just won’t wait, and plagiarism is one of them. Yes, yes, I could simply link to the article in citation, but it’s just so damned good I must reprint the entire thing here.

Great Caesar’s Ghost, how did we ever attain such perspective previous to the intarweb? Junk mail? Perhaps grasshopper, perhaps.

To wit:


Kalimotxo is one of the most popular drinks (in the Basque Country at least) to take in industrial quantity and the best drink at all for playing drinking games. It is always present in summer feasts, in bars and taverns and in any place people meet to drink around a table.

It is a cheap drink, to take in great quantity, that causes important headaches.

It has about 5 ~ 6 %Vol alkohol.

Also called “Korea” in other countries.


Kalimotxo is a mix of red wine and Coca Cola.

Wine must fulfil following conditions:

It has to be bad wine and this is fundamental, because kalimotxo with good wine tastes worse and you are wasting a good wine, intended for being drunk alone.
The wine should be bitter, because Coca Cola is sweet enough and the mix has to be compensated.
Packed in brik. It is very confortable and the best wine for kalimotxo is usually in brik, because bad wines are the only ones packed this way. It is also important that the brik contains 1 l. and calculating the mix becomes easier.
You should buy bad wine, but this is not the same as shit-wine. Don’t buy she-ass urine to spare some (euro-)cents.

Coca Cola is very important:
First of all, it has to be Coca Cola, Coca Cola. Not Cola Pumba or Super Cola, if you really want to drink the kalimotxo. Other brands’ colas have a too sweet taste that destroys the mix, it is very easy to recognize them.
If you don’t have Coca Cola (I know that it isn’t always there when you need it), there’s Pepsi as the last remedy, it is not the same but also not as bad as other colas. The bigger problem is the great amount of bobbles in the new formula.
Better in 2 l. bottle, very handly. There aren’t 2 1/4 bottles any more, they were very good for mixing.
Coca Cola light is twenty times sweeter as classic one although it hasn’t got sugar. Kalimotxo doesn’t taste good, too sweet.
Pepsi Boom is really bad for mixing with wine.


Kalimotxo has to be prepared with care, to avoid loosing gas and to succeed in mantaining full flavor.

At the beginning we have a 2 l. Coca Cola bottle and 2 briks of bad wine as described above, you have to follow these steps:

You need a recipient for mixing, depending on the moment it may be:

A bottle of mineral water, if you have bought the liters in a supermarket for making a little party. It is very important to remember this and not repenting of later.
A jar or empty bottle if you are at home preparing the party.
If you have forgotten to buy the water bottle and you also don’t have a jar, just use your illusion. Plastic bags, empty briks or any other recipient which may be used for putting one liter of cola. Other remedy is to empty 1 l. of cola, but this means 2 l. less of kalimotxo.
First of all you should fill with more than the half of the cola the empty water bottle or the jar. You put the liter of wine of a brik in the cola bottle and fill the rest of this bottle with the cola in the water bottle.
After closing the mix, it has to be turned 4 times, not by shaking it, but with care, so that it get perfectly mixed without loosing the gas. You can open the stopper after turning the bottle to let the bobbles get out, always handling the bottle with care. The kalimotxo shouldn’t flow out if it has been done well.

Now, one of the kalimotxo bottles is ready for drinking.

The second one is prepared similarly, but you have to wait for the first bottle to be emptied, in the case you don’t have any empty bottle.

It is very important to put wine before cola in empty bottles, because in doing it other way all the gas would go out.


Kalimotxo is drunken in the Basque Country since immemorial times (I don’t remember) so you have to respect all the traditions associated with it.

Original receipt must be keeped.

In our days is very common to “paint” the kalimotxo with fruit liquors like strawberry, green apple, peach… that give the mix a slightly different flavour. This is only a small fault.

A more important fault is to shake the bottle of kalimotxo instead of turning it with care, until it looses all the gas inside and tastes like a soup, especially if it’s warm.

The tasting of the kalimotxo is important. Everybody can recognize a good mix after practicing a bit:

You have to smell slightly the kali, so that you can apreciate if the wine is bitter enough and in the right quantity.
Then you take a small draught, just to check if the cola is good mixed and to verify that it is CocaCola and that it isn’t a sweet cheaper mark’s cola. Try to appreciate the taste of the whole.

After the tasting you should share your opinion about the mix with your friends, mainly with the one who mixed the kali. This is very good to correct errors in future drinking meetings.


This is bitter variant of the kalimotxo explained above. It is bitter and not so popular.

Pitilingorri has 5 ~ 6 %Vol Alkohol.

It is made with bad rose wine and lemonade.

Many times it is bought in the supermarkets because red wine is already sold out and there is no way to make a good kalimotxo. This is very frequent where I live.

You may know that rose wine makes the stomach a little “unstable” ,so notice that pitilingorri also isn’t your stomach’s best friend. Don’t drink too much for the first time, at least until you have felt the effects by yourself.


Dangerous mixing of wine, lemonade, fruit juice and fruits’ pieces without an exact receipt.

Alkohol amount in the mix depends on the wine you have put, in the sodas… but be sure you’ll finish alkoholized if you eat all the pieces of fruit.

Sangaree tastes strangely between sweet and bitter, it can be drunk fast without noticing anything, although its alkohol has quite important effects, maybe because of the fruits.

It is sold in briks, already mixed, prepared for drinking directly, but it doesn’t taste like the real home-made sangaree, although the flavour isn’t bad at all.

I have never suffered the hangover of the sangaree, so tell me about it if you have been more “lucky”.

Rose wine

This is the best drink for the basque tradition called “poteo”. The “poteo” consists in meeting with some friends (this is an only-men tradition) and visiting all the bars and taverns in one or more streets drinking a small glass of rose wine (it can also be red wine) in each bar. You can’t stay for too much because many bars should be visited.

This activity is not bad or reprochably, it is an old tradition of our basque ancestors and it has to be keeped. You have sure been teached that there’s always something to learn from older people, this is one of the things I’ve learnt.

Choose one street with many taverns and go up to the end taken a rose wine in each bar, with calm, chattering with your friends.

At the end of the street you’ll probably feel not right at all, just see your friends and you’ll notice this is totally normal.

Rose wine has more than 10 %Vol alkohol.

Get advised that rose wine is a bomb for the stomach and it also causes great hangovers.


Very strange mix, between kalimotxo, sangaree and different kinds of wine.
Normally you don’t know what you’re really drinking, and you shouldn’t ask. If you want to drink more, it’s preferable not to know the receipt.

It is given for free in some summers feasts. Normally drunk in “porrones”, a kind of wine bottle with a long side spout, or in small leather wine bags called “botas”.

Not very defined flavour, noticed it is wine with many sodas and lemonades.

Alkohol rich, of course, about 10% Vol.


Ahem. Dr.Cocktail again. Have I made my point? Drinking beyond human ken. Drinking related with such fervent sincerity and neoeloquence….Sir, Ruben P., I personally bow to you.

We all obviously have much to learn.

See you again soon.