Mexico Parte Uno: Michelada

Oh Mexico. I recently took a trip there and the vistas are unbelievable.

The drinks on the other hand... well.

If you're an American tourist in Mexico you will be treated to a lot of fruity, sweet drinks. Now whether this is because of economic reasons (it's cheaper to use a flavored syrup rather than a pulverized fruit) or tourist demand (are our palates shot by too much high fructose corn syrup?) is unclear, but either way it's a shame.

Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of great drinks to be had in Mexico but the onus in finding them is on you.

I offer one alternative.

The Michelada (pronounced Mi CHEE lada)
6-12oz light beer like Dos Equis
1-1/2 oz lime juice
1-1/2 oz "pepper" sauce (a mixture of Tabasco, Worcestershire and Soy Sauce)

Salt and black pepper the rim of a pint glass or imperial mug. Add ice then beer and top with lime juice and pepper sauce.

Notes: This is a drink as variable as the Bloody Mary. 1-3 oz of tomato juice or Clamato (tomato with a bit of clam juice) is traditional in some areas and not in others (it wasn't where I was on the Yucatán peninsula). You can also substitute lemon juice for the lime and experiment with different hot sauces.

Bottom line: this is a great drink for a hot climate and perfect for day drinking because of the low-alcohol. In Mexico it seemed like a primarily male-ordered drink and one bartender called it the Red Bull of Mexico. Hmm, I guess it has some balls.


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3 Responses to Mexico Parte Uno: Michelada

  1. True, this is a commonly imbibed drink. The pronunciation is mi-che-LA-da (che as in Ché Guevara). "Chela" is slang for beer, and "helada" means frozen or iced. I wasn't able to verify this etymology. Anyway, they are known to be good for hangovers. They serve a version at Big Star, of course.

    Other drinks my Mexican friends treated as go-to's while I was there included tequila & Squirt (pronounced "eh-squeert") and tequila & Clamato... not my thing. Mostly we drank caguamas of Sol. With all of those key limes floating around, though, it's hard to go wrong.

    One of the more interesting ones was non-alcoholic, also known to be a hangover cure though: the tejuino. Ice-cold, slushy, limey and salty and nourishing. Couldn't hurt to add some tequila!

  2. Hey what happened to my comment?

  3. Not sure, we never censor... at least not yet:)


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