Michelada: A Mexican Beer Cocktail

Michelada

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Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
190 Calories
0g Fat
25g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 190
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 15229mg 662%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 38mg 191%
Calcium 63mg 5%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 263mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

What is a Michelada?

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 Maggi sauce or a combination of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce.

Some micheladas are made with tomato juice or Clamato. This is optional and gives the michelada a flavor akin to a bloody Mary. No matter what ingredients you add, feel free to tweak the amounts to your own taste. For example, if you like it spicy, you'll probably want to add more hot sauce. Or you can add chile powder to the salt for the rim, or use Tajin for the rim instead of salt.

You can also rim the glass with Chamoy, a sweet, salty, spicy, and sour condiment with an appealing deep red color.

The Difference Between a Michelada and a Chelada

Micheladas differ from cheladas in that they are made with more ingredients. A chelada is simply a beer with lime juice and salt added.

What is the Best Beer for a Michelada?

Use a light Mexican beer to mix up your michelada. Tecate, Corona, and Modelo are all good options. In general you want to use a light, refreshing beer with a relatively low ABV (in other words, avoid high-gravity beers for this one) and without too much hoppiness. Because you are adding flavorful ingredients like soy sauce and lime juice to the beer, you want to stay away from beers with strong or distinctive flavors. Think refreshing and ultra-quaffable here.

“The Michelada is a beer cocktail made with Mexican beer, a generous amount of lime juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and a dash of umami-rich soy sauce. Served over ice, this cocktail is a perfect accompaniment to Mexican food.” —Joan Velush

Michelada served over ice in a pint glass with a salted rim and a lime wedge
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coarse salt, for the rim

  • 1 cup ice cubes, or coarsely crushed ice

  • 1/4 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1 to 2 dashes bottled hot sauce, such as Valentina, Tapatio, or Cholula

  • 1 to 2 dashes soy sauce

  • 1 to 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 bottle cold beer, preferably a light Mexican beer

  • 1 lime wedge, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. 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.

  2. Fill the glass about halfway with ice, then add the lime juice, chili sauce, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine all of the ingredients.

  3. Slowly pour the beer into the glass. Balance the lime wedge on the edge of the glass and serve the beer cocktail immediately.

Variations

  • Substitute the soy and Worcestershire sauces for a few shakes of the traditional Maggi liquid seasoning.
  • Add some Clamato juice (clam broth and tomato juice with spices) 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.
  • Instead of rimming the glass with salt, use Tajin.
  • 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 and flavor your beer with just lime juice and salt. This variation is called a chelada in some parts of Mexico.

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