Beer is great. That fact is unassailable. But beer cocktails combine two wonderful categories into one drink, and that is a union we can all get behind. Take the Michelada: This Mexican classic kicks up the flavor of beer with an assortment of accessories, including lime and hot sauce.
The Michelada’s origins are unclear, with multiple legends surrounding its creation. But it likely dates back to the middle of the 20th century when it became popular in Mexico to serve beer with lime and salt. The word itself is a combination of “chela,” which is slang for a light beer, “helada” (cold), and “mi”—essentially “my cold beer.”
Many Michelada recipes call for tomato juice or Clamato (a mixture of clam and tomato juices) to create a Bloody Mary-style drink made with beer instead of vodka. Others choose to skip the tomato juice entirely. In Mexico City, for example, the Michelada is commonly made without tomato juice and instead relies on citrus, spices and hot sauce to flavor the beer.
This recipe aligns closer to the Mexico City-style version, forgoing tomato in favor of lime juice, hot sauce and seasonings. You can choose your favorite beer as the starting point, but you can’t go wrong with a Mexican lager like Tecate, Sol or Modelo Especial. Rim the glass with a salt-cayenne mixture, and you’ll get a hint of savory spice with each sip.
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- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 lime wedge
- 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
- 2 drops Tabasco sauce
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- 1 pinch celery salt
- Mexican lager beer, chilled
- Garnish: lime wedge
Add equal parts salt and cayenne pepper to a plate or shallow bowl. Rub the lime wedge along half the rim of the pint glass and then dip the rim into the salt-cayenne mixture.
Add the lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, black pepper and celery salt to the glass.
Fill with the beer and garnish with a lime wedge.