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Navarra's Local Red Wine Drink: The Kalimotxo #worldwinetravel

This month our World Wine Travel group is taking a virtual trip to the Navarra region of Spain.  We are hosted by Robin at Crushed Grape Chronicles. Click on the link to learn more about this area of Spain and what we plan to offer you this month!

Let's talk about the Navarra area first.  About four hours from Madrid, this area is best known for the Running of the Bulls and the Fiesta de San Fermin.  This event takes place in Pamplona every July.  The event is on millions of Bucket Lists.  The tradition of the event stems back centuries and was written in one of Hemingway's novels, The Sun Also Rises, in the 1920s.  If you are interested in learning more, there is a documentary called Running of the Bulls that is highly recommended.

Our World Wine Travel group wrote about Spanish wines for the entire year.  I have loved getting to know these wines personally. I wish I would have had this information when we visited Spain in 2019. I would have added so much to my itinerary! Here's my year's worth of content on Spanish wines.  Click on each link for a deep dive into that month's study. You will learn a lot about Spanish wines.

January: Our First Rioja
February: Chicken Empanadas and Azimut Cava
March: Exploring Castilla y Leon through Wine and Food
Apil: One Grape: Three Unique Experiences with
May: Calatayud, Aragon Wines: Evodia + Fully Loaded Pork Taquitos
June: Basque Country Wines for Beginners and Great Food Pairings
July: Pollo con Ajoy y Limon and Spanish Hard Ciders

When I was researching the wine I wanted to review for this post, I kept coming to this recipe that the Pamplonians claim for their local drink, called the Kalimotxo. Although the Basque region claims fame for the drink's re-emergence into the cocktail scene, Pamplonians quickly caught on and made it one of the reasons people stay to party after the Running of the Bulls. One local described it as the "sangria of Pamplona." 

This cocktail is super simple to make. Take equal parts of red wine and Coca-Cola, and serve over ice. The sweetness of the Coke cuts the tannins of the red wine for a perfect marriage.  Here's where the controversy lies: most people would say to use the cheapest red wine you can find for this. After all, you are cutting it with Coca-Cola.  Others say to use a good red wine, as it makes the drink all the better.  Some say to garnish it with a bit of lemon, others say use orange to get a more Sangria-like flavor. My favorite:  lime garnish with a cherry.

Terri Steffes


The famous cocktail hailing from Navarra, Spain!


  • 3 oz regular Coca-Cola
  • 3 oz red wine from Navarra, Spain
  • 1 cherry
  • 1 lime wedge
  • ice


  1. Fill glass with ice.
  2. Pour Coca-Cola into glass over the ice.
  3. Add the red wine.
  4. Stir slightly.
  5. Garnish with lime.
  6. Drop in a cherry.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @tsteffes on instagram and hashtag it #ourgoodliferecipe

Check these other fine Navarra posts out. Excellent information and wonderful food pairings!

Would you like to comment?

  1. I have never heard of this cocktail. I can't wait to try it! Salud!

  2. I was intrigued when I you asked Robin about sharing this. It sounds like a great change of pace.

  3. If I drank Coke, I would definitely try this one. And I'm all for using a good wine for drinks like Sangria.

  4. I love the idea of this wine cocktail! While I love the idea of the lime garnish, for some reason, my taste buds got all excited about the thought of the lemon garnish, it made me think more savory and I like that idea. I would probably need to try both! LOL! I think perhaps fixing one of these and grabbing some Hemingway would be a great mini-getaway!

  5. THE KALIMOTXO Cocktail It is one of the best cocktail. Thank you for posting.


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