What is a Raton Colorao?

The Raton Colorao in his natural habitat - a Sherry Bodega
The Raton Colorao in its natural habitat - The Gonzalez Byass Sherry Bodega

El Raton Colorao is a name given to me by an old woman in Spain on my first visit there over 15 years ago. I suppose she felt I seemed a little too comfortable in her country with all the food, wine, and customs. I had no idea of the significance, but as the years have gone on, it has become my alter ego. And whenever something sneaky is happening, it must be at the hands of “El Raton.”

What is a Raton Colorao? It literally means “Red Mouse,” and it comes from an Andalusian (Spanish) saying employed to cite wiseness: “Tú sabes más que los ratones colorados” or “you know more than the red mice.” It can also be used as a term for “a sneaky one who knows all.”

This is a term only the people of Andalusia would know as “rojo” is the word for red in Spanish – but in Andalusia, red is called “Colorado” – but then shortened to “Colorao.”

The term is actually derived from the mice in the Sherry Bodegas who sip on the sherry – since they are obviously intelligent creatures to imbibe on such a sublime beverage…I like to think of myself as a combination of the two – a wise one and a sneaky one!