The michelada grew naturally out of the common Mexican practice of adding fresh-squeezed lime juice and a dash of salt to a beer; this basic approach to a beer cocktail expanded over the years to include a variety of savory ingredients, such as traditional Maggi sauce or a combination of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce.
Nowadays you can find nearly as many michelada beer cocktail recipes as bartenders. Start with this simple recipe to perfect your own version.
- 1/4 cup coarse salt (for the rim)
- Lime wedge
- 1 cup ice cubes (or coarsely crushed ice)
- 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 1 to 2 dashes bottled hot chili sauce (such as Tabasco, Tapatio, or Cholula)
- 1 to 2 dashes soy sauce
- 1 to 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
- 1 bottle beer (cold, preferable a dark Mexican one)
- Garnish: 1 lime wedge
Spread a layer of salt on a saucer. Wet the rim of a chilled beer mug or large glass by running a lime wedge around it. Dip the rim of the glass in the salt, rolling it around to cover the entire circumference.
Fill the glass about half way with ice, then add the lime juice, chili sauce, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine all of the ingredients.
Slowly pour the beer into the glass. Balance the lime wedge on the edge of the glass and serve the beer cocktail immediately.
Variations on the Michelada
Play around with ingredients and quantities to develop your signature version of the michelada. These suggestions for variations on the classic preparation should get your creative juices flowing:
Substitute the soy and Worcestershire sauces for a few shakes of the traditional Maggi liquid seasoning.
Add some Clamato juice (clam and tomato juice with condiments) to the mix.
Add a pinch or two of black pepper, celery salt, chicken bouillon powder, or all-purpose meat seasoning.
Eliminate the salted glass rim. Instead, mix a little salt into the cocktail itself.
Replace bottled hot sauce with some powdered chili (such as pure chili piquín or powdered chipotle—not the “chili powder” used to make chili) in your cocktail. Either mix it in with the rim salt, stir it in with the sauce(s), or sprinkle it on top.
Go purist for a while and prepare your beer with just lime juice and salt. This variation is called a chelada in some parts of Mexico.
Edited by Robin Grose