Michelada: A Mexican Classic

If you’re seeking respite from the hot Mexican sun, at most any bar in Cancun you can order a Michelada, which is a Mexican style beer served in a chilled, salt-rimmed pint glass, mixed with tomato juice, lime juice, hot sauce and other spices. It’s an interesting alternative to the classic margarita, and is a tasty companion to the tropical heat.

The popular drink, as with most popular drinks, has murky origins for how it got its name. Some say a man named Michel Esper, patron at a club in San Luis Potosi, MicheladaMexico, asked for his beer with lime, salt, ice and a straw, served in a lemonade glass, or “chabela.” It got popular, and people asked for “Michel’s lemonade,” the name morphing to Michelada over time. Another story says that it’s simply a shortening of mi chela helada, or “my ice cold beer.” Anyway you call it, this drink can be easily replicated back home long after your tan wears off. There are a number of ways to prepare one, here’s an authentic recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit magazine.

Ingredients for eight servings:

1 32-oz. bottle chilled Clamato (about 4 cups)
1 32-oz. bottle or 3 12-oz. bottles chilled Mexican lager
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
1 tsp. Maggi Seasoning (Available on Amazon or at your local mercado.)
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder
Lime wedges (for serving)

Mix Clamato, lager, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and Maggi Seasoning in a large pitcher. Mix salt and chili powder on a small plate. Rub rims of pint glasses with lime wedges and dip in salt mixture. Fill glasses with ice, add Michelada mixture, and garnish with lime wedges. Enjoy on a hot day!

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About the Author

About the Author: Pat Barcas serves as staff writer and photographer for RTX Traveler Magazine, based in Asheville, NC. In his spare time he enjoys photography, astronomy, hiking, hanging out with his family and dog, and of course, traveling! His favorite RTX spots to visit are Orange Beach, Alabama, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, but he's visiting new places all the time. .


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