The word “Michelada” is a Spanish portmanteau that combines “chela” (slang word for beer,) with “ada” for “helada” meaning cold, and “mi” for mine—my cold beer! Widely known as a Mexican Bloody Mary (red in color, flavorful, and spicy), but with beer subbing in for vodka.
It doesn’t take much to make a Michelada: Open a beer, add a little hot sauce and a squeeze of lime, and that’s about it. And, like many great cocktails, Micheladas are easy to riff on once you’ve got the base. But is this footloose approach actually reflective of the drink’s history? Or do we just not know enough about its past? It seems like there’s no wrong way to make a Michelada, but is there?
The Michelada, pronounced mee-cha-lah-dah—struggles with a murky past. Perhaps it was invented by a revolutionary General named Don Augusto Michel or came about when the Tecate Brewery encouraged drinkers to rub a little lime and sprinkle salt on its newly introduced beer cans to diminish the tinny taste?
The “Michelada” was first created in Mexico during the Mexican Revolution of 1910. As legend has it, the infamous, military leader, El General Don Augusto Michel liked to drink his beer in a very unusual way. In a glass with ice, he poured lime, salt, soy sauce, pepper and hot sauce. This specialty soon turned into a popular drink making the restaurant famous for it. Because of that, the owner decided to baptize this specialty in honor of his creator. El General Don Augusto Michel.
Another brief history as to where or who created the Michelada, goes (not backend up completely) back to a man named Michel Esper, who in the 1960’s began to ask for his beer, with lime, salt, ice and a straw at the famous (Club Deportivo Potosino) in the Mexican city of San Luis Potosí. In addition to that, unsure of its origins, the Michelada does what it can to fit in.
The Michelada is certainly one of the world’s most famous beer cocktails. People like it as a refreshment on a hot day or in the original sense as a “Hangover Cocktail!” It’s flavor initially is really unusual, but definitely refreshing and surprisingly hearty.
How to make your Michelada and Ingredients
But how do we make the perfect Michelada? (Limón Y Sal, will guide your through to perfect your Micheladas at home, Keep Reading) Well it’s tricky to pinpoint the proportions. Usually people don’t measure the ingredients. You have to feel the Michelada—make it by touch. The mix is delicate, so tinkering with even one ingredient alters how the flavors interact. More tabasco and your beer go from picante to downright mean; the amounts of soy sauce and Worcestershire give the drink a savory richness. Make enough of them and you’ll be able to tell if you have the right mix by the color and how the ingredients blend.
Micheladas are simple and forgiving to prepare, so experiment according to your taste. Steer clear of ready-made versions, and instead opt for some quality citrus, your favorite hot sauce, and a few dashes more Worcestershire sauce than most recipes recommend. There’s no right or wrong way of making a Michelada. Here are some Ingredients that you can use to try to perfect your own “Michelada at home.”
• Kosher Salt (to rim glass)
• Cholula, Valentina or Tabasco (to taste)
• Worcestershire Sauce
• Any Latin American lager ( Modelo, Pacifico, Tecate, etc)
Salt on rim of large drinking glass and fill ¾ with ice. Fill just above the halfway mark with Clamato. Add hot sauce to taste, a liberal dash of Worcestershire sauce and the juice from two limes wedges. Stir. Add lager and mix gently. Enjoy! Then, add more lager when you reach the halfway point!
Try it! Play around with your ingredients and perfect your Michelada. BUT, if you just want to enjoy a delicious Michelada with great food and friends or family, come to Limón Y Sal, in Downtown Ventura! We will take care of you!!