December 11, 2023

If beer has begun to bore your taste buds, reach for a michelada the next time you’re out. This spicy, beer cocktail is turning into the hottest drink out of Mexico since the margarita. The michelada, is an icy beer prepped with lime juice, salt, hot sauce and seasoning sauces, and is famous in Mexico City and bars along the border from Tijuana to Tucson.

“You drink them on a very hot day,” said Marcela Valladolid, a cooking instructor and host of the show
Relatos con Sabor” on Discovery en Español. “It’s super cold and you have it with ceviche and it complements the flavor fantastically.” The drink is so popular that Miller Brewing Co. created Miller Chill, a lager style beer flavored with lime and salt. And most recently, Budweiser started selling Bud and Bud Light Clamato Michelada.

There’s a long history in Mexico of cervezas preparadas, beers that are dressed with various seasonings. But no one knows who first dubbed it a michelada, a combination of “mi chela helada” (my cold beer). One popular tale recalls that in the 1940’s, General Augusto Michel was known for ordering beers with spices and lime at his favorite cantina in San Luis Potosi. By now, there are so many variations of it that trying to figure out the real michelada recipe is like trying to follow the plot from a telenovela.

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