Michelada: beer with a kick - FineCooking.com

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Michelada: beer with a kick

On the left, Tylers more savory version. To the right, my extra-refrescante version.

On the left, Tyler's more savory version. To the right, my extra-refrescante version.

By Dabney Gough, contributor

June 29th, 2009

Last Friday was a particularly hectic day at work, and so when I got home I was ready for a drink. The warm weather made beer an obvious choice, but that was too easy. I wanted something a little more interesting. Something extra refreshing. My mind turned to the michelada, a Mexican cocktail that's basically beer gussied up with spicy, salty, and/or savory additions.

I mentioned the idea to my boyfriend Tyler, and as we checked to see if we had the ingredients, it immediately became clear that we had two very different ideas for what goes into a michelada. I learned to make them from friends who were actually from Mexico; they would combine beer, a shot of tequila, the juice of a lime, and a few dashes of Tapatio chili sauce, and serve it in a salt-rimmed glass. Tyler, on the other hand, made his with beer, chili sauce, lime, Worstershire sauce, and soy sauce - no tequila - and served it over ice. (I'm pretty open-minded about trying new things, but I was not convinced that Worstershire sauce and soy sauce belonged with beer - let alone all the other stuff he was adding in.)

A quick internet search revealed that there are just as many ways to make a michelada as there are ways to make minestrone; a lot depends on where you are and who you talk to. (Budweiser even makes a beer-and-clamato product they call "Chelada.") So to really settle the score, we each made our own version and had a taste-off. Tyler seemed content with both results, but I am not too shy to say that I liked my version better. It's lighter tasting, more refreshing, and the tequila really adds another level of flavor.

If you want to give it a try, here's my version...but do feel free to adjust to your own taste.

Michelada (serves 1)

8 oz. Mexican beer (I like Pacifico)
1 oz. good-quality blanco tequila, such as Herradura
Juice of 1/2 a lime
4 dashes Tapatio or other Mexican chili sauce
pinch of kosher salt, more for the glass

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, stir to combine, and pour into a salt-rimmed glass.  Garnish with a wedge or slice of lime, if you like.

I'd love to know what you think of it...or what's in your version of a michelada!

posted in: Blogs, Dabney Gough, beer, cocktail, michelada, cerveza
Comments (5)

Tyler_M writes: I just want to go on record as saying that soy sauce is only added when the more MSG-intensive "salsa maggi" isn't available. Posted: 7:15 pm on July 2nd

dabneyg writes: DM, I did see that! Great minds, you know...
Yesterday a friend was telling me about his favorite beer cocktail, a "brojito." You drink a mojito, and then without rinsing the glass, you re-fill it with beer. I guess the rummy residue adds something to the beer. I love the name...perfect accompaniment to a bromance movie :) Posted: 2:37 pm on July 2nd

DMickelsen writes: Dabs, did you see the dining section of the NYTimes yesterday? A big story about beer cocktails, of which the Michelada is king... stay tuned for FC's Aug/Sept. issue, too. There just might be a similar story inside... : ) Posted: 10:00 am on July 2nd

Pielove writes: Great post...so thirsty...so thirsty...
I heard a great segment on micheladas on KCRW's Good Food. Their version was more like Tylers. They (both versionts) sound deliciously refreshing-- I might have to break out of my gin-and-tonic rut next time it gets hot! Posted: 2:30 pm on July 1st

JackyHayward writes: Great post Dabney! I'm really excited to make this the next hot day chance I get! Posted: 1:44 pm on July 1st

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About the Eat Generation

Follow the foodie adventures of former Fine Cooking recipe tester Dabney Gough as she takes a bite out of life in San Francisco. By day she's the marketing director for a specialty grocery store. By night, she's usually out exploring the city's amazing cocktail scene.