I’ve never been a big red wine drinker, instead preferring to sip on a crisp rosé or fruity riesling. But on a recent Saturday afternoon I was in want of a drink, and an open bottle of Petit Syrah sat on my kitchen counter. I mixed it with a little bit of Sprite, some lime juice and some bitters and had myself a nice little red wine spritzer. At this point I was surprised (and a little embarrassed) by how much I liked this concoction, so I went on a quick Google search to investigate the world of summery red wine drinks.
And that’s what lead me to the kalimotxo. Perhaps you’ve travelled to Basque country and had more than one of these red-wine-and-cola cocktails at a botellón, or perhaps, like me, you’d never heard of the combo. I was instantly intrigued, so the next day I went to my neighborhood bodega, bought me some Coke and finished off that bottle of Petite Syrah.
The simple combination was surprisingly delicious and refreshing, but I couldn’t help but thinking it would be fun to tinker a bit with the recipe. I wondered what the kalimotxo would taste like with my very favorite cola, the Texan girl’s one true beverage love: Dr. Pepper. And that lead me to adding a bit of blackberry simple syrup to highlight the dark fruit flavors in the wine and the Dr. Pepper. Oh yes, we’re talking about the flavor profile of Dr. Pepper now, don’t you worry about it.
And so my new favorite summertime drink was born. It may seem a bit lowbrow at first, but if anyone looks down their nose at you, tell them they drink kalimotxos in Spain, so it’s totally chic. And then take a sip.
• a fruity red wine like a Petit Syrah or Malbec—no need to break the bank here
• Dr. Pepper
• blackberry simple syrup (recipe below)
1. Start with a glass of ice then fill halfway with red wine.
2. Add a spoonful of blackberry simple syrup and stir.
3. Top with Dr. Pepper (and adjust the proportions to taste if you like).
Blackberry Simple Syrup
makes about 3 oz
• handful of blackberries
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1/3 cup water
1. Add blackberries, sugar and water to a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to ensure the sugar dissolves.
2. Turn the heat down and simmer for about 20 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to mash up the blackberries a bit as they’re cooking.
3. If you want a smooth syrup, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve, or you can do what I did and simply use the syrup as is, chunks of blackberry and all.
4. Let cool and use immediately or store it in the refrigerator until you need it.