Michelada cocktail

Michelada - A Mexican Beer Cocktail

By Timo Torner / Last updated on October 1, 2022 

First published on June 11, 2022 

A well-made Michelada is a perfect beverage for summer. It is a light cocktail made with ice-cold beer, lime juice, and some hot sauce.

If you've ever been to Mexico, chances are you came across a Michelada. What looks and sounds a bit weird is actually just the lighter Mexican version of a Bloody Mary.

You're into brunch drinks or beer cocktails, like your beer cold, and aren't afraid of a bit of spice? Then you have to try this cocktail.

The beauty of a Michelada is it is extremely refreshing and spicy. At the same time, it's low in ABV, making it an excellent drink for daytime.

What is a Michelada

A Michelada is a Mexican beer cocktail made from beer, fresh lime juice, spices, clamato juice, chili peppers, and a variety of sauces. It's served in a pint glass with a spicy salt rim and garnished with a lime wedge.

The exact sauces depend on the recipe, but usually, spicy ones are part of the mix. Some common choices are hot sauces, Maggi sauce, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.

The drink is served in a tall glass rimmed with Tajín spice. Tajín is a Mexican condiment mainly consisting of lime, salt, and chili. This spicy and salty mix makes a perfect salt rim for a Michelada.

It's not exactly clear when and where the Michelada was invented. But the name of the drink is thought to be a mix of the words mi chela helada. These words literally translate to my ice-cold beer

Michelada cocktails with garnish

Ingredients in a Michelada

A Michelada can have many different ingredients. The main items you need to make are:

  • Mexican Lager, like Dos Equis
  • Lime
  • salt
  • chile slices
  • Hot sauce
  • Tajín

But in most cases, a Michelada is served with more than just these ingredients. Clamato juice is probably the most popular among those additional ingredients.

Others include seasoning sauces like Maggi and Worcestershire sauce, chamoy powder, soy sauce, and chili peppers.

Use Clamato juice or tomato juice?

Some people mistake Clamato juice for tomato juice and then are unsure which one to use in a proper Michelada. The answer is that you could use both, but Clamato juice is the better and more traditional way. I'll explain why.

Tomato juice is, well, juice made from tomatoes. The taste is quite delicate and won't add much to the drink.

Clamato juice is made from tomato juice concentrate, sugar, spices, and even flavored with clam broth. The additional flavors and spices in Clamato make for a great and more complex taste of your Michelada.

Best beer for making a Michelada

The best beers to make a Michelada are light Mexican beers like Dos Equis, Sol, Corona, or Modelo. My preferred choices are Dos Equis or Sol.

However, saying that you can also use beers from other countries. Just make sure to use light, Lager-style types to keep the taste similar.

What is Worcestershire sauce?

Worcestershire sauce on plate

Worcestershire sauce is a fermented liquid condiment most popular in England. This sauce has a slightly sweet taste with a complex flavor profile.

In England, Worcestershire sauce is used to add flavor to almost everything. It's the go-to sauce when it comes to seasoning food.

Which hot sauce in a Michelada?

Tabasco sauce in bottle

Most recipes will use Tabasco sauce as it's super easy to get and works a treat in Micheladas - our recipe is no different in that respect.

The reason is simple: the taste and spice level of hot sauces vary significantly. Therefore it's super hard to adjust the rest of the ingredients to the hot component.

When using Tabasco, you know what you get. Even if products from different brands vary a bit, the general taste and spice level are similar.

Still, if you have a personal favorite when it comes to hot sauces, don't be afraid to experiment with it.

How to make a Michelada

The preparation of a Michelada is a bit tricky as it includes many ingredients and quite a few steps to make it right.

First, rim your glass with the Tajín spice mix. For that, you can put a bit of the spice mixture into a shallow bowl. Rub the rim of the glass with lime juice and then dip it into the Tajín spice.

Next, add the sauces, lime juice, and a pinch of salt. Stir until combined, then add ice cubes into the glass.

Add ice cubes and also ice-cold beer until the glass is 3/4 full. Gently stir the mix so that the beer blends well.

Finally, top up the glass with more beer and garnish the drink with a lime wedge.

The best Michelada recipe

The best Michelada recipe for me includes the use of Clamato juice. I'm aware of the discussion about whether this tomato-based juice should be used or not. 

As I prefer to keep things traditional, I like to go with Clamato juice. So, here are the ingredients for my perfect Michelada:

  • 6oz Ice-cold Mexican Lager
  • 6oz Clamato juice
  • 1oz Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 0.25oz Worcestershire sauce
  • 0.25oz Soy sauce
  • 3 dashes of Hot sauce
  • Tajín spice mix

Serve the drink in a Pint glass filled with ice cubes and garnished with a lime wedge. 

Michelada cocktail

Michelada

A Mexican beer cocktail flavored with Clamato juice and hot sauce.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Beer, spicy
Servings: 1
Calories: 111kcal
Cost: $2.40

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 6 oz Mexican beer like Dos Equis or Sol
  • 6 oz Clamato juice
  • 1 oz Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 0.25 oz Worcestershire sauce
  • 0.25 oz Soy sauce
  • 3 dash Hot sauce
  • Tajín spice for rim
  • Salt for rim

Instructions

  • Mix salt and Tajín mix in a small shallow dish or bowl.
  • Use a lime wedge to rub the rim of your glass and dip it into the salt and Tajín mix.
  • Add the sauces, lime juice, and Clamato juice into the glass and stir well.
  • Add ice cubes and add chilled beer until the glass is 3/4 full.
  • Stir again gently, and then fill up with more chilled beer.
  • Garnish your Michelada with a lime wedge.

Nutrition

Serving: 14oz | Calories: 111kcal | Carbohydrates: 60.7g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 0.7g | Sodium: 552mg | Sugar: 29.5g | Vitamin C: 144.5mg | Calcium: 127.5mg | Iron: 5.15mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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