Mixing the Michelada

Style isn’t just about the clothes we wear or how we wear them. Style is what we do, how we do it, what we eat, where we go, and so much more. Today I want to focus on something we drink. Specifically, I want to focus on one drink, and that’s the michelada.

Though the drink is gaining in popularity in the United States, it has been a staple of Latin American bars for years. Micheladas come in many different varieties and no two restaurants are likely to prepare them the same way. Most will have salt and lime at a minimum but numerous variations can dramatically change the flavor of the drink.

I just got back from Cancun where I got to sample many styles of micheladas and I wanted to share my variation on this Latin American classic. We will need Dos Equis Amber beer, Clamato, Valentina, salt, and a lime.

miche start

I cut the lime into sixths because beers are sold in sixes.

miche limes

Then I use the lime to wet the rim of my glass before salting it.

miche salt

Next, I add a few dashes of Valentina. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a hot sauce from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico with a unique flavor that pairs well with just about anything. It’s not unheard of for other hot sauces like Tabasco to be used instead.

miche valentina

Next, add the Clamato, a mixture of clam juice and tomato juice. Don’t use too much Clamato. (I use a few ounces: just enough to add color and flavor.) At this point you also may want to add a few dashes of soy sauce, Maggi sauce, or Worcester sauce. Tomato juice or bloody mary mix are frequently used instead of Clamato.

miche clamato

Finally, add the beer. I go with a darker Dos Equis Amber; most traditional micheladas are made with lighter beer like Tecates or Coronas, but this is entirely a personal choice.

miche done

Sometimes I add a few cubes of ice to finish it off, but a cooked shrimp is often added as a garnish — or even a liberal sprinkling of Tajin, a powdered spice commonly used to season fruits and vegetables.

That’s it! There are a ton of michelada recipes out there and I recommend you try one next time you’re out for Mexican cuisine.

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