Since I just returned from a trip to the southwest, I figured that now was the perfect time to write an article about the
Mexican drink michelada. This drink consists of a beer base, something like sol or pacifico or dos equis would work, spicy tomato juice or hot sauce, lime juice, spices and peppers. Similarly to a margarita, it is served in a chilled, salt rimmed glass. If you aren’t into all that fanciness, you can ditch the salt rim and drink it as is.
There are many stories about the origin of this drink. Most believe that the michelada came to be at Club Deportivo Potosino in the city of San Luis Potosi in the Mexican state of the same name in north-central Mexico. This sports club is famous for its high level of competitiveness in swimming and tennis as well as being the origin of the michelada. It was supposedly created by member Michel Esper who would commonly ask for his beer with salt and lemon juice and it eventually became known as the michelada in his honor. Clearly, it has changed a lot since then, but that was the start of the drink that is now not only popular in Mexico, but all over the United States as well.
The michelada is so popular that two major American beer companies decided to get in on the action and released their own versions a few years ago. They decided to take a step down, though and released their take on the michelada’s distant cousin the chelada. The chelada is similar, but it lacks some of the kick. It is a stripped down version that drops the Worcestershire sauce, pepper and hot sauce. It’s usually just beer with lime and salt added. Actually, very much like Michel Esper’s original michelada.
Miller produces Miller Chill, a chelada style beer with lime and salt. They decided to forego the spice and pepper for a smoother beverage. I’ve had it a few times and it really just tastes like kind of like lime soda. The lime flavor is a bit cloying and it doesn’t have enough saltiness. You also completely forget that you are drinking a beer after a few sips. It isn’t terrible, but if you are a fan of Smirnoff ice or hard lemonade you might like it.
Budweiser chelada is also on the market and, frankly, this drink kind of frightens me. This combination of lager, clamato juice (clam and tomato juice), lime juice and salt got a “D-“ from beer advocate and should probably be avoided unless you are feeling extremely adventurous. I also don’t know why they call it a chelada when the addition of tomato juice most likely pushes it into the realm of michelada.
It would probably just be easier to make your own michelada or chelada at home than settle for mass-produced imitations. That way, you can decide what ingredients to add and what to leave out (clamato juice). All you need is a 12 ounce beer, fresh lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabaasco sauce, black pepper and salt. Use two dashes of Worcestershire sauce, but one of everything else. Add more Tabasco if you like it muy caliente. Fact: michelada’s taste better in chilled glasses. So throw that mug in the freezer for a little while before making your own michelada.
Chris Osburn’s super awesome (and spicy) michelada recipe:
-One 12 oz. beer of your choosing (Sol, pacifico, corona, tecate or any lighter beer you want)
-¼ cup of fresh lime juice
-Two dashes of Worcestershire sauce
-Two-four dashes of your favorite hot sauce. Get crazy and use a really hot one
-One pinch of black pepper
-One pinch of salt
*This article originally appeared on drinkingmadeeasy.com