Seems the drink du jour in the media these days is the michelada. Aside from the beauty shot in this month’s GQ, there’s equally mouthwatering references on pretty much all my favorite boozy blogs:

  • MattBites finds it the only way to enjoy his cerveza;
  • Sloshed! sampled three different beers just to be thorough;
  • The Spirit World eyes a couple alternative preparations;
  • Anita at Married …with Dinner delved into its history last Turkey Day; and
  • Camper was way ahead of the curve, calling this drink’s rising star fully two years ago, and is now on a campaign to bring it back as a brunch favorite.

The timing was good. With an upcoming visit to the in-laws in Kentucky (where we are now) this struck me as the perfect beverage to ply on less-than-experimental palates. With an ingredient list of un-scary and familiar ingredients — Mexican beer, lime, Worcestershire and Tabasco, basically — it promised nothing less than refreshing goodness for the inevitable hot, muggy days.

Alas, my cool micheladas were met with a tepid response. No one — including DPaul — liked the flavor the Worcestershire sauce imparted. To which I say, ¡más micheladas para mí! Personally, I thought the balance of sour-salty-hot was perfectly delicious, and certainly slapped a hearty coat of red lipstick on the Corona pig. It’s a quaffable, refreshing brew that I could happily kick back more than a couple of on a sultry afternoon. Still, I will admit it pays to have a light hand with the Worcestershire.

I look forward to trying this again with Negro Modelo, my preferred Mexican beer. I would have used it this time, but our options out here in the wilds of Kentucky are … limited. And for DPaul, I’ll just pull back on the Worcestershire and Tabasco for the classic chelada. (Actually, he rather liked the Tabasco. So does that make it a semichelada?)

1 bottle Mexican beer (Corona, Pacifico, Bohemia or Negro Modelo, for example)
juice of 1-2 limes
1 scant dash Worcestershire sauce
2-3 dashes Tabasco
Coarse salt
Plenty of ice

Salt the rim of a highball or beer mug. Fill halfway with ice, and add the lime juice, Worcestershire and Tabasco. Pour the beer over; it will foam copiously at first. Give a quick stir to combine. For a chelada, simply omit the Tabasco and Worcestershire.

You’ll notice I didn’t salt the rim of the glass. Given the fine crystal we were using, I’m sure you’ll understand why.

One year ago today …
Damn, those Le Creuset pans are heavy!

  • I’m going to have to try that– it’s got all my favorite ingredients. Maybe with Tecate, my personal “go to” beer. (They’ve been advertising Tecate Light like crazy lately, but I can’t seem to find it in stores yet. I can’t get enough of the stuff when I’m in Mexico. But then again, I’m a total beer sissy. I like mine light with a LOT of lime.)

  • Whatever beer you use I’m sure will be fine — but don’t forget that Worcestershire sauce is not vegetarian!

  • Funny my friend made this drink for me (with tecate) the other weekend and I didn’t even know it had a name. Pretty tasty though.

  • I’m glad you agree!

  • I also go light on the Worcestershire and heavy on the Tabasco, and always inlude a nice salty rim on the glass. Nothing beats a Michelada on a steamy, summer day!

  • That picture looks so inviting. I want to make myself a cooling drink, right now!

  • Makes me sad that I’m flying out tomorrow to return to chilly San Francisco summer!

  • That sounds spectacular, but I think I want a splash of tequila in there too. I know what I am doing after work tonight.

  • Ive

    I’m mexican, and here the micheladas are a drink for the day after, like we say “para curar la cruda” (the cure for the hang over).
    Tecate is the best mexican beer, at least for me!!

  • i’m sorry but i must inform you that it’s not a michelada if it is without clamato. thems the rules. next time i give you a beer infraction.

  • I think I’ll have to try a shot of the chipotle vodka in lieu of tequila … hmmm … But Clamato? Thanks but no thanks. Remember, I don’t do the Bloody Mary thing, even with clam juice.

  • Obscura

    Of course, there is always the Shandy. Beer and lemonade. Quite quaffable on a hot day.

  • Indeed. I remember drinking Shandies on hot days in Spain, a habit no doubt brought by English expats. The combination of beer and juice certainly makes for a refreshing – and not too boozy – midday cocktail.

  • pablo

    okay first of all to really make a michelada you must add a couple of things missing. what you do is mix lime juice (half lime ) w/sea salt and pepper. and tapatio or cholula souce not tabasco. add half a cup clamato or tomato juice. this is clearly not a bloody mary. what i do is keep a couple of glasses in the freezer for after work and omit the ice cubes. than add one tall corona. on a hot summer day this will refresh. recipe straight from the korita in el jebel colorado. plenty of mexicans will vouch for this drink.

  • Mantonat

    “That’s not tu chelada, that’s mi chelada!”
    I have made a point of ordering cheladas/micheladas in many bars and restaurants throughout Mexico, in small towns as well as tourist areas and the DF. There seemed to be regional differences between what you get when you order a chelada vs. a michelada, but it generally seemed that if I ordered a michelada it was just beer, lime juice, ice and salt. If I ordered a chelada, it came with a few dashes of Maggi seasoning (which is similar to Worcesteshire but spicier AND vegetarian-safe). In some places the difference between the chelada and michelada were reversed. The perfect michelada can only be made if you use the tiny limes common throughout Mexico and which can be purchased at most Mexican grocery stores in the US (such as Avanza). Key limes from Florida are the next best bet. I never encountered the use of tomato juice, Clamato, tequila, or other spicy sauces. Maggi has just a touch of peppery kick to offset the sweet and sour of the lime. Too much messing with this drink just turns it into a faux bloody Mary or Margarita.

  • Wow — I never realized there was so much diversity in michelada-ism. I’ll have to keep an eye out for Maggi here, maybe in the Mission district. We do get the Mexican key limes here, luckily.

  • madison

    From all you Michelada Fans I would really like to know the Michelada that is the most popular. Is it with tomato juice or not? Most of the recipes that I found seem without the tomato juice or clamato
    Can you help me make the most popular drink or could you tell me a place in the LA area that would have a super drink/
    Please help!