A Basque in Boise

Kalimotxo, what’s its story?

Yesterday, I read about Basque typical products thanks to a link (in Spanish) that my friend Lontzo shared on his Facebook wall. He’s now responsible for networking at EITB, but Lontzo is the reason why I started this blog a few years back, in case you wanted to thank him (or give him hell, that’s up to you).

As I went down the list of typical Basque products and learned more about their history, I realized I couldn’t have told you how Kalimotxo came to be. An entire life surrounded by it – in Bilbao as well as in Boise – but no idea where it came from!

It only took a couple of minutes and my friend Google to find the answer. Apparently, it was originally called Rioja Libre or Cuba Libre del pobre (poor man’s Cuba Libre) but it was renamed to Kalimotxo during the 1972 Puerto Viejo festivities in Algorta by the Antzarrak cuadrilla (Geese friends circle). Legend has it that the servers in one of the txoznas (stands in Basque festivals where drinks are served) noticed that the wine they had bought was not in good condition, so they decided to to doctor it with coke to make it drinkable. The mixture was then named after two members of the group, one known as “Kalimero” (after the Calimero chicken character) and “Motxo”, hence the name “Kalimotxo”.

A prime example of what I call “Basque engineering”.

How To Make A Kalimotxo

The Kalimotxo is basically 50-50 cola and red wine, served over lots of ice. Here’s the way the locals do it: Get a 2-liter bottle of Coke, pour out half (save for later), then pour in a bottle of inexpensive red wine. Serve over cups of ice. Pretty easy. Pretty cheap.

Additional information

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4 thoughts on “Kalimotxo, what’s its story?

  1. Steven Roosevelt

    The story of Kalimotxo is probably not as interesting as the stories Kalimotxo could tell. 🙂

  2. Lontzo Sainz

    It’s a pleasure having you on board, Henar! Eskerrik asko ia egunero kontatzen dituzun gauzengatik. You rock!

  3. Henar Chico

    Jeje, eskerrik asko! Oso ondo pasatzen dut blogan idazten. Ea zer aurkitzen dudan biharko!

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