Sunday, June 15, 2008

Move over, sangria!

During our stay in Mexico City, our friends introduced us to a pair of refreshing summer beverages, both of which are quick and easy, requiring just two ingredients each—three if you count the ice, and four if you count ice and garnish!

Calimocha is a half-and-half combination of red wine and cola. It’s a tasty blend—and a smart one, as the caffeine from the cola helps stave off the headache that can result from drinking wine on a hot day. Calimocha’s lighter cousin is Tinto de Verano, which means “wine of summer.” It’s a half-and-half combination of red wine and clear soda, such as Sprite or 7-Up.

Half and half or thereabouts, depending on your personal taste. But you get the idea. Both are clever ways to add zing to an inexpensive bottle of red. And a pitcher of each at a summer party is a cool and conversation-starting way to keep guests hydrated and happy. And it’s a nice change from sangria, most of which, truth be told, just isn’t as inspired as it could be.

We stirred up a pitcher of calimocha to share with friends at a cookout this weekend, and those who weren’t intent on sticking to beer or soft drinks were surprised by just how much they enjoyed this decidedly odd combination. I sipped it throughout the late afternoon and into the evening and never developed a headache—nor did I find myself knee-walking drunk at the end of the night.

Heh! That's something to drink to!

I got a charge out of the bilingual labeling in a market in Mexico City's Centro Historico. Both Spanish and Sri Lankan are included on these bottles of Coca-Cola.

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