A michelada is a cocktail that is made by adding a squeeze of lime and a dash of salt to a beer. This refreshing and quenching combo has been served in Mexico for decades and is just about perfect when sipped under a palapa on a smokin’ hot beach.
Traditionally salty and tart, this drink has evolved to include a variety of savoury and spicy ingredients, says Alejandro Sanchez, food and beverage manager at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit. You’ll find versions that feature Tabasco and Worcestershire sauces in addition to lime and salt, and even a cielo rojo, which is a michelada made with Clamato and tastes rather like a Caesar.
Micheladas are popping up on menus in the United States and Canada, especially at Mexican restaurants. “It’s becoming very popular,” says Sanchez. “And it’s an easy drink to make.”
Here are three to try.
Michelada with Mezcal
Add an earthy hit to your beer cocktail at either La Mezcaleria location in Vancouver. This high-octane michelada begins with a Pacifico base and the addition of lime juice and savoury fixings including mild huichol sauce, Clamato and a sprig of slapped cilantro for a fresh bouquet. It’s served with a shot of smoky mezcal on the side to either dump in or enjoy separately.
Yuzu Jalapeno Diablo Pop Michelada
Diablo in Los Angeles infuses its micheladas with spicy, salty or sour popsicles that keep the beer cold while slowly adding their flavours. Try the Yuzu Jalapeno—it’s spicy, with the tart, acidic orange taste of yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit. Sip the beer, then lick the popsicle. “It’s an adult way to play with your food,” says managing partner Summer Stearns.
At the Original Ninfa’s on Navigation, a Houston institution known for its Tex-Mex cuisine, beverage consultant Alba Huerta elevates the michelada by adding Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur and a mix that includes lime and poblano peppers that have been smoked in a wood-fired oven. A salty mole rub on the rim balances this refreshing drink.
Recipe: Traditional michelada
1 bottle Corona beer
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste
Glass: Beer mug rimmed with Tajin (chili salt)
Garnish: Lime wheel
Method: Wet the rim of the glass with a slice of pineapple or a lime wedge, then dip the rim into the Tajin. Add ice, lime juice and salt, and then pour in the beer. Stir and garnish with a lime wheel.
—Recipe courtesy of Alejandro Sanchez, food and beverage manager, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit