Have you ever had a Corona with lime and thought, “All this beer needs is some hot sauce?” If you’re hot sauced–crazed like I am, you probably have, but for anyone else, this might sound like more of a practical joke than a drink. And yet I'd argue that you should shove aside that gin and tonic or fruity concoction and give this a try as your new summer go-to.
The first thing you need is a good Mexican beer. There are actually several breweries that sell pre-made versions of micheladas. Don’t be lazy and buy them. There’s a good reason smaller breweries haven’t tried to push the pre-made versions: it’s just not as good if it’s not freshly made. Skip these and head to your local store, where you’ll definitely be able to find a selection of good light lagers like Bohemia Pilsener or an amber lager like Negra Modelo.
There are plenty of versions of michelada. The most basic, a chelada, is made by rimming a glass with salt and then combining beer and lime juice. Things heat up when you add chili pepper to the salted rim. For an even bigger kick of pepper, mix in your favorite hot sauce, though we suggest staying away from any extreme pepper sauces, since you’ll want to be able to taste the other ingredients. There you have it — a typical michelada
There is, however, no right or wrong way to serve a michelada. It’s actually served completely differently throughout Mexico and Latin America. Want to get creative? Add some tomato juice, which you should absolutely do since they are in season right now. Other variations include clamato (tomato and clam juice), worcestershire sauce, tamarind sauce (which goes especially well with amber beers) and a variety of different ground chillies. Try mixing a few of these together with the fresh lime juice for your next fiesta or order one at the bar to showcase your extreme beverage knowledge.
Want more help making the michelada your drink of choice this summer? Try these recipes: