What on earth is a botéllon? We could go all anthropological on you, but we won’t.
Simply put, botéllon (“bo-tay-own”) are huge parties that take place in the plazas of cities and villages all throughout Spain. But these aren’t municipally sponsored parties with petting zoos, popcorn machines and a lame band from the community center. These are spontaneous, wine fueled parties for those who know how to spend a weekend. After all, “botéllon” does literally mean “big bottle.”
Instead of blowing money at bars early in the night, young Spanish party people pick a plaza, bring their friends and have a night out: not on the town, but in the town square. Botéllon usually last from 11pm-3am, when it actually becomes time to hit the clubs. (Note: siestas are big over there.)
These once-despised, impromptu public pre-games have become so common that these days cities actually build “botéllodromos” or plazas just for that purpose. Thus, what began as a way to save money on drinks has become a mainstay of the Spanish way- and we’re very down with that.
The gas in the engine of any real botéllon is a Basque invented wine-based drink by the name of Kalimotxo. The great kalimotxo (“cali-mo-cho”) is a crazily pleasant surprisemade of up just two things: wine and Coca-Cola. Before you cross yourselves with corkscrews and pray to Robert Parker for forgiveness– try this out!
You’ll move very quickly from the “what?” phase to the “F*&k yeah!” phase. We promise. Go! Follow the steps below to throw your own botéllon and start off your night by getting the ‘motxo flowing:
1) Find a “plaza” for your botéllon. It’s worth noting that public drinking isn’t illegal in Spain, but it is in the USA. You can take your chances here in the land of the free (not recommended) or find a friend with a backyard (recommended).
2) Gather friends and friends of friends from far and wide- only a big group can truly pull off a party called “big bottle.”
3) Pick up the necessary supplies: a gut string guitar or a boombox, an up all night attitude, tons of Coca-Cola, and even more Spanish red… but not the stuff that we sent you! Err on the blended and “discounted” side…
4) Conquer your unfounded fear of mixing wine with soda. Whip up some (a lot of) KALIMOTXO! The “recipe” calls for one part coca-cola and one part wine. AKA, fill your glass halfway with wine, top it up with coke, and add plenty of ice. It may not literally transport you to Spain, but it may get you close.
5) Keep the kali’ flowing and party ‘til your plaza closes- now it’s time to have a real night out. Hit the bars and clubs and dance. Or, you could just go to bed since siestas aren’t a thing here. The choice is yours, so long as you don’t lose your ‘motxo. Salud!