Some prefer a Cubana, a salt rimmed concoction of lime juice, hot sauce, a couple shakes of Maggi and ice. Others like a Michelucas, with a tangy Lucas limon-salt rim. Then there’s the michelada rosa or the Clamada, the version made with tomato juice or Clamato, a racier version of the beer and tomato juice drink called the Red Eye.
At Clamatos La 20 in Tijuana, owner Carlos de la Torre has practically made the michelada a meal. He says that the intense heat of Mexicali inspired a bar named V-Tarro to combine beer with Clamato and ice. In 2000, de la Torre improved on the idea, making Clamatos preparadas in Big Gulp-sized paper cups. They coat the rim with a secret sauce that’s tangy and salty. They add pepper, lime juice, carrot and celery sticks, a Sol beer and an equal amount of Clamato before shaking in some brown sauces. None of the sauces are in the right bottles, perhaps to throw off the curious. He throws in a scoop of ice and tops the creation with a skewer of shrimp and olives.
At first sip, my mouth explodes with flavors of tangy citrus and salt which dissolves into the sweet savoriness of tomato and spice. It is one of the most perfect combinations of flavors ever. Whether you’re interested in the sublime sensations of a well-made preparada or drink them for simpler reasons (they’re great for hangovers), be bored no more!
Curious to try one for yourself? Follow the directions below:
1 12 oz beer
1 lemon juice squeezed
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 dash soy sauce
1 dash Tabasco® sauce
1 pinch of black peppers, salt
Mix ingredients in a tall high glass with lots of ice. Add beer, mix, and serve.