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Michelada Recipe for Cinco de Mayo
May 5, 2010, 1:12 pm
Filed under: Drink | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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When I was in Mexico last November for a friend’s wedding, I was introduced to a fantastically refreshing beer cocktail called a michelada. I drank several over the course of the week in various parts of Mexico: Acapulco, Mexico City, and Veracruz. Each one was slightly different from the last, but we did pick up a shortcut from our bartender in Veracruz: Maggi Jugo.

Basically, a michelada is a savory beer cocktail. It is always served in a glass with the mix at the bottom and the beer on the side, and you pour the beer into the glass when you are ready to drink. In some ways, it’s a lot like a bloody mary. It seems to be more of a daytime drink than a dinnertime drink, and some bars serve the mix with Clamato juice.

There’s no single right way to make a michelada, as it varies by region and by establishment, and it all comes down to personal taste. We experimented with different proportions at home, and this is what we came up with:

  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle Mexican beer – it’s a michelada claro if you go with a light beer like Sol or Corona, and it’s a michelada obscura if you choose a dark beer like Negra Modelo or Indio. I prefer the obscura, but it’s all a matter of preference.
  • 3 key limes, juice of – juice of three regular lime wedges will do just fine, too.
  • 1 tablespoon of Clamato or other tomato juice (OPTIONAL – In Veracruz, they didn’t use any tomato juice at all) – my buddy Jason swears by Mr. & Mrs. T’s Bloody Mary Mix.
  • 1 tablespoon Jugo Maggi seasoning – this magical michelada sauce tastes a little bit like soy sauce and worcestershire sauce mixed together, but lighter and more spiced. If you don’t want to go out to the grocery store and pick up a bottle of this stuff in the international foods aisle, you can substitute 1/2 tbsp worcestershire, 1/2 tbsp soy, and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  • Tabasco (or other high vinegar hot sauce) to taste

I like to make my micheladas look pretty by rimming the glass with lime juice and dipping it in Tajin Clasico Seasoning, which is described by the manufacturer as a powdered salsa with salt and lime. It’s a little spicy, it’s tangy, and it’s salty. I like to rim beverages with it, or sprinkle it on fresh fruit or black beans or anything that could use a little zing.


  1. Rim chilled tall glass with lime juice
  2. Dip rim of glass upside down into small dish of Tajin Clasico Seasoning (or celery salt, if you prefer)
  3. Combine all ingredients except beer in bottom of glass and add ice
  4. Garnish glass with a lime wedge and/or a peeled cocktail shrimp, if you’re feeling fancy
  5. Serve glass and bottle of beer separately, allowing guest to add beer as they drink

I understand that Mayahuel in the East Village serves an excellent and spicy michelada, though I haven’t personally checked it out myself. They use a sangrita as the base (spicy drink mix made with tomato juice, orange juice, and spices) plus lime and Negra Modelo. $9. They also serve cheladas, beer cocktails with lime and salt. $7. Cafe El Portal in SoHo also serves micheladas and cheladas for $6 a pop.

Happy Cinco de Drinko!


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[…] know what that means… cervezas all around! One of my favorite summer beer cocktails is the michelada, as some of you might remember. But for those who are too lazy to track down the Maggi Jugo and […]

Pingback by NYC Michelada Roundup « eat. shop. love. nyc.

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