So I’m reading The Meaning of Tingo and was happy to come across a drink that people always made fun of me for drinking because no one thought it was real.
The drink is a calimocho which is equal parts red wine and coke. I was first introduced to this drink when I was 19 by teachers who had come from Spain to teach English in Kansas. At the time, I was living with an Department of Education Employee who was in charge of bringing them to teach in Kansas in rural areas. We were their last stop before they continued onward to Western Kansas or their first stop on their return to civilization. They would talk about Spain, their teaching, whatever. Calimochos would be one of my first introductions to mixed drinks and remained a secret, personal preference for years, because people would always make fun of me.

However, seven years later and being legitimized by the Spanish, I feel I can proudly proclaim the joys of this drink.

It’s appropriate that I was introduced to this drink at such a young age, because one of the theories behind this drink is that it was a Cuba Libra del Pobre (Poor Man’s Cuba Libre). The youth of Spain would buy wine at super cheap prices, pour coke (at super cheap prices) and get good and drunk. The coke then covers up the taste of the bad wine, so you can get a good drunk on, quickly, and without wanting to wretch.

Another theory is that a host was hosting a party and the wine was going bad, but he didn’t want to through it away. Rather he served it to everyone with coke and they loved it, because the coke masked the souring of the wine.


Half Wine

Half Coke

  • Pour the wine and coke in a glass over ice.
  • Enjoy!


Regardless of whether you’re trying to get a cheap buzz on or use a bottle of wine going South, you can’t do much worse than this. It’s tasty; it’s cheap. You could do a lot worse than $10 for a liter and a half of a drink.


Cheap Bottle of Wine: $2 – $7

1 L bottle of Coke: $2 -3.

Total $3 – $10

As always, happy, and safe, drinking.