To the uninitiated, a Michelada looks like a cross between a Margarita and a Bloody Mary with beer as an added bonus. But in reality, a Michelada is so much more than a Bloody Mary with a beer chaser (or vice versa). And while it may be debatable whether a Michelada can cure a hangover, this refreshing drink is ideal for quenching your thirst.
What Is a Michelada?
A Michelada is the Mexican version of American “red beer.” The Mexican drink is a mixture of beer, lime juice, assorted sauces, spices and peppers. It is served chilled in a salt-rimmed glass. Variations of the Michelada can be found across Mexico and throughout Latin America.
The Origin(s) of the Michelada
The Michelada has two different origin stories. One version credits Michel Ésper, who was a frequent patron of Club Deportivo Potosino in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Supposedly, Ésper routinely requested his beer to be prepared with lime, salt and ice. He asked for the drink to be served with a straw in a special cup called a “chabela” and named the drink after the glass. Other patrons began asking for the same drink, calling it “Michel’s Lemonade.” Over time, the name shortened to Michelada, and sauces were added to the concoction. Today’s Michelada contains the same ingredients as a chelada, but with added ice and chili powder on the rim of the glass.
The second version claims that the name Michelada is a portmanteau of the phrase “mi chela helada.” In Mexico, the word chela is a slang term for beer. Helada means cold, and mi means mine. Therefore, the entire phrase “mi chela helada” translates into “my cold beer.”
The Basic Michelada Recipe and Its Variations
The basic Michelada recipe is pretty simple: beer, seasonings, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice and a picante sauce such as Cholula®. The drink is served over ice in a glass with a salted rim. However, variations of the Michelada exist across Latin America. Popular Michelada variations substitute tomato juice, Clamato® (a commercial mixture of clam broth and tomato concentrate and spices) or other juices such as mango or tamarind, but all versions of the drink include beer and are served chilled in a glass rimmed with salt.
If you have a thirst for beer with a twist, come to 210 Ceviche. We can serve up your favorite beer as a Michelada with a snack or just as a refreshing change of pace.