rainstorming for holiday drink ideas I started thinking about mulled or spiced wine, at least the flavors, its always been my go to punch whenever I have to pull something together at short notice, couple of bottles of plonk, some cinnamon sticks, cloves, orange peel and maybe brandy, throw it all together in a saucepan zap it with some gentle heat on the stove and you’re done! So as usual one thing always leads to another, my plan to turn it into a chilled sangria style highball was enhanced by no other ingredient than Mexican coke ( shapely bottle, red label version not the one you find in a baggie down a dark Tijuana alley) Back to the mix, my original plan was to add a dry ginger beer
until a friend at work suggested coca cola, he told me it was a popular drink in Europe, the drink invented in Spain by a couple of kids at a 1972 garage party was a quick hit, a cheap sweet buzz and now is a favorite amongst Spanish Punks, in fact several songs have been penned about this sipper named the Calimocho .
I tried it and needless to say was blown away by the combination of flavors, somehow the caramel and spice of the cola blend perfectly with the berry flavors from a light red wine,choosing originally a dry Gamay not wanting my cocktail too sweet, I then toyed with fortified wine, Lillet Rouge to be exact and added Bourbon in homage to the classic 19th century cocktail. Rye and Punt e mes another great combination, the possibilities could be endless , try it with port or sherry, add some lemon or ginger, my particular winter cocktail addition however is allspice or pimento dram.
the classic Calimocho ratio is 1:1 or half and half, here’s my recipe for a fun holiday inspired version:
1 1/2 oz of rye whiskey
1 1/2 oz lillet rouge
3/4 oz lemon juice (has to be fresh squeezed)
3/4 oz ginger syrup ( wazz a cup of ginger with a cup of hot water in a blender, strain and add a cup of cane sugar)
3/4 oz all spice dram
3 dashes angostura bitters
Throw everything into a boston shaker w/ice, shake and strain into a highball glass filled with fresh ice and top with 2 oz of mexican coke. Garnish w/ orange twist or orange slice
Happy Holiday Sipping!