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Michelada Ingredients, Origin, and Variations

  • Joel CZ 
  • 6 min read
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The michelada ingredients are pretty straightforward; however, there have been numerous variations over the years, making it confusing to some people. Today, I’ll stick to the original versions and share my knowledge with you (as a Mexican and former bartender, I think I qualify).

As we all know, beer is ideal to accompany any afternoon, evening, party, meeting, a day off, or stay at the beach. It is one of the most beloved drinks in Mexico.

It is ideal for the saddest or happiest moments, the sorrows of love, or celebrating a union. That is why this beverage, whose brewery was founded 20 years after the fall of Tenochtitlan and since 1542, when Charles V granted permission to establish a brewery with the only condition that the Crown would receive a third of the profits, beer has been part of our identity.

It took more than four centuries for someone to experiment with beer combinations.

In restaurants, you could not find any combination that rewarded the inclusion of other sauces, salt, and lemon.

Michelada history

michelada
Source: Julia Mikhaylova / shutterstock.com

It is believed that it all started in San Luis Potosi when in the 1970s, a man named Michel Esper arrived at a sports club with a hangover and asked for a beer, prepared it with salt, lemon, and hot sauce, and continued drinking his preparation for consecutive days. Hence, the drink took its name to be called Michelada.

Although this drink that includes salt, lemon, sauce, and obviously the beer, is known in some regions of the country, in other states, the typical michelada varies in preparation.

In Mexico City and the neighboring states, it is prepared with lemon and salt. South of the country is known as michelada to a mixture of lemon, Maggi juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce.

North of the country, it has a “clamato” cocktail and shrimp broth (in northern coastal areas) with a mixture of seasoning sauces.

Now, I will present a selection of “micheladas” prepared for any occasion. Their names change and mutate, but their flavor stands out for the delight of all of them (these are the most popular in Mexico).

Cuban Michelada

  • Light or dark beer (355 ml)
  • Juice of 2 limes (if small)
  • Salt and chili powder to taste
  • About 10 drops of Worcestershire sauce
  • About 8 drops of Maggi juice
  • Ice
  • 3 drops of Tabasco sauce

Rim a glass (you can do it with tajin or simply with salt), add lime juice and ice cubes. Add the sauces and finally pour the beer.

Keep in mind that these michelada ingredients are standard. You can always add more or less of something.

Michelada ingredients with clamato

michelada
Michelada with clamato – Source: Sergio Ortiz / shutterstock.com
  • Dark beer – Negra Modelo works best with this recipe (355 ml)
  • Juice of 2 limes (if small)
  • Salt and chili powder to taste
  • About 10 drops of Worcestershire sauce
  • About 8 drops of Maggi juice
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Lemon and salt to rim the glass
  • Clamato

Cover the rim of the glass with lemon and frost with salt. Add lemon juice and sauces. Add the clamato to cover one-third of the glass and serve the beer.

Chelada

  • 355 ml beer (preferably Corona)
  • Lime juice
  • Salt
  • Ice
  • Frost a glass, add the lemon juice, the ice cubes and pour the beer.

Chamochela

  • 355 ml of beer
  • 3 tablespoons liquid chamoy
  • 1 glass of pineapple juice
  • 5 tablespoons of coconut cream

It is typical of Acapulco. Add the chamoy and coconut cream to a jar and mix until a thick pink liquid is formed.

Add some pineapple juice and mix again; when the mixture is homogeneous, add the rest of the juice up to half of the glass and then the beer. Be careful not to make too much foam when adding the beer.

Mariner Michelada

what is a michelada
Michelada with shrimp – Source: Marcos Castillo / shutterstock.com
  • 4 blonde beers
  • ¼ cup piquín or chiltepin pepper
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • 16 shrimp, cooked and peeled
  • 4 skewer sticks
  • 2 ¼ cups Clamato
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 serrano chile, cleaned and seeded

Frost four jars with the piquín chile. Dredge shrimp in lime and breading with chile, spear on a skewer. Mix the Clamato with lime juice, orange juice, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, salt, garlic, chili, and a beer.

Split the mixture among the four frosted jars, fill the remaining one with beer, and top it off with the shrimp skewer.

Michelada Diabla

  • 1.5 ounces of tequila
  • Tabasco sauce, to taste
  • 1 1/2 lime juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 beer
  • Ice

*Some like to add Clamato to this recipe.

Frost the rim of the glass with salt. Pour in the ice cubes, add the tequila and Tabasco sauce. Add the lime and a pinch of salt. Fill the glass with beer and enjoy.

Macholada

  • 355 ml of dark beer
  • 1.5 ounces of reposado mezcal
  • ½ jalapeño bell pepper cut into small pieces
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce

Frost the glass with chili powder, lime, and salt. Mix mezcal, chile, and sauces well with an ice cube pour into a glass; pour in the beer.

Gomichela

  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 drops Maggie juice
  • 1 dark beer
  • Lemon and salt, to frost the glass
  • 3 tablespoons liquid chamoy
  • 2 tablespoons liquid tamarind
  • Gummies and tamarinds of your choice
  • Piquín chili bell pepper

Frost the jar with the help of a flat plate covered with chamoy and a plate of chile piquín. Dip the gummies in the chamoy and then in the chile.

Insert them in a wooden stick. Pour two tablespoons of tamarind inside the jar, repeat with the chamoy. Add the sauces and lime, and pour in the beer.

Enjoy! If you know additional michelada ingredients and recipes, please share them with us! Your comments and feedback are greatly appreciated.

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