Michelada

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Cocktail History

The Michelada is a classic cocktail of unknown origin that is believed to have been created in Mexico sometime in the mid-1900s. It is based on the iconic hangover cure, the Bloody Mary, and its recipe is similar because it still calls for tomato juice and citrus. What makes it unique is its use of Mexican beer as the base, hot sauce that lends spiciness, and a salt and pepper rim that adds a pleasant savoriness.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Mexican Beer: This is the base spirit. It’s a type of liquor made from barley, corn, hops, yeast, antioxidants, and a few other ingredients depending on the brand. We went with Coronita Light because it’s crisp and refreshing and lower in calories than some other beers. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Corona Cero in place of the beer.

Tomato Juice: This thickens the drink and adds tomato flavor. We used tomato juice from our local grocery store.

Lime Juice: This adds sour citrus flavors for balance. We prefer to use fresh lime juice because it’s less bitter than the bottled stuff and tastes better.

Hot Sauce: This is a condiment made from peppers, spices, and vinegar. We used El Yucateco Chile Habanero Hot Sauce because it lends heat and pepper flavor to the drink without too much burn.

Salt: This is another seasoning that adds savoriness. We used Maldon Sea Salt Flakes.

Black Pepper: This is a seasoning that adds more spice and savoriness. We used Simply Organic Black Pepper.

Lime Slice: This is the garnish. It adds more fresh lime aroma.

Tasting Notes

The Michelada features tangy scents of pepper, lime, and tomato and has a savory taste that combines tomato and lime’s acid with Corona’s body and malty flavor; the hot pepper then shows up in the aftertaste, the spiciness of which will vary significantly based on what kind you use.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We both really liked this drink! Kendall couldn’t drink very much of it because tomato juice causes heartburn for her, and the hot sauce only would’ve made that worse. But overall, we both agreed this recipe is a deliciously light alternative that gives you the Bloody Mary experience with significant Mexican flair and flavor. 

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Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“The Michelada is one of my mother’s favorite drinks, and I’ve tried them once or twice before but not in a setting where I was sitting down to think about and appreciate it. Having tried it for our tasting now, I really appreciated it for its light-bodied qualities, its savoriness, and its fairly low ABV. The drink is great as a morning libation since it’s definitely got some alcohol taste and content, but it would take more than a few to really get you to any level of intoxication.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“I suffer from occasional heartburn, so I have to watch my intake of tomato-heavy foods and drinks. And since this cocktail also calls for hot sauce, I unfortunately knew I wouldn’t be able to have more than a couple of sips of this type of drink without needing to pop a Pepcid. What I did try was pretty tasty though! Although similar, this is much lighter and even more refreshing than a Bloody Mary, in my opinion. If you like those and enjoy beer, this one’s worth trying.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks by the editors of PUNCH and Megan Krigbaum.

AuthorThe Essential Cocktail BookPrep Time5 minsRating

Ingredients
 5 oz Mexican Beer
 3 oz Tomato Juice
 1 oz Lime Juice
 5 dashes Hot Sauce
 2 tsp Salt
 2 tsp Black Pepper
 1 Lime Slice

Method
1

Mix salt and black pepper on a plate, rub outer rim of a beer glass with lime rind, and roll glass in salt and pepper mixture until rim is coated.

2

Fill salt and pepper-rimmed beer glass with ice.

3

Add tomato juice, lime juice, and hot sauce to glass.

4

Stir gently for 3-5 seconds.

5

Top with beer.

6

Garnish with lime slice.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 5 oz Mexican Beer
 3 oz Tomato Juice
 1 oz Lime Juice
 5 dashes Hot Sauce
 2 tsp Salt
 2 tsp Black Pepper
 1 Lime Slice

Directions

Method
1

Mix salt and black pepper on a plate, rub outer rim of a beer glass with lime rind, and roll glass in salt and pepper mixture until rim is coated.

2

Fill salt and pepper-rimmed beer glass with ice.

3

Add tomato juice, lime juice, and hot sauce to glass.

4

Stir gently for 3-5 seconds.

5

Top with beer.

6

Garnish with lime slice.

Michelada

Make It a Mocktail: Use Corona Cero in place of the the alcoholic Mexican beer to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Tools & Glassware We Recommend

More Mexican Cocktails

If you like this Mexico-inspired cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Mexican Firing Squad Cocktail Recipe

Mexican Firing Squad: A tequila cocktail made with lime juice, grenadine, Angostura aromatic bitters, and a lime slice

Agua Caliente Cocktail Recipe

Agua Caliente: A tequila cocktail made with lime juice, simple syrup, crème de cassis, grenadine, soda water, and a lime wheel

Classic Lime Margarita Cocktail Recipe

Classic Lime Margarita: A tequila cocktail made with triple sec, lemon juice, lime juice, agave syrup, salt, and a lime slice

Vampiro Cocktail Recipe

Vampiro: A tequila cocktail made with tomato juice, orange juice, lime juice, grenadine, hot sauce, salt, black pepper, and a lime slice

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