While the Bloody Mary has well-deserved status for brunch top billing, we’d argue that Mexico’s refreshing Michelada is undoubtedly an equally compelling contender for the savory cocktail marquee any time of day. The satisfying cerveza preparada concoction makes for a bright and zippy sipper on hot summer days. And it’s a delightful departure from the expected drinks offered at a Cinco de Mayo celebration (not that we don’t love a good margarita).
for a savory cinco de mayo, we recommend you mix up a michelada.
The distinct culinary regions of Mexico have generated endless iterations of this beer-based beverage. Variations galore call for straight tomato juice or Clamato (a proprietary mix of tomato and clam juices), lime or lemon juice, hot sauces of infinite denomination, fresh or pickled peppers, and regional spice blends. Usually served over ice with a spiced or salted rim, the ABV is sometimes bumped a bit with the addition of a glug of tequila blanco or mezcal.
The recipe below is reminiscent of a Michelada once enjoyed by this booze writer at a beachside bar after a long, challenging, and ultimately productive morning of mackerel fishing off the coast of Cabo San Lucas. The server delivered the fortifying drink in a spice-rimmed goblet with a half-dozen shrimp still steaming from the grill. He tipped an entire mini-bottle of Corona right into the middle of the glass and set down a couple of tequila shot chasers, to boot...
a highly recommended way to catch a second wind.
Michelada (makes one)
- 1 Tbs. Tejín spice
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 2-3 dashes hot sauce
- 2-3 dashes Maggi or soy sauce
- 1/2 cup Clamato juice
- 1 Mexican lager beer of choice
- 4-6 shrimp, cleaned and grilled
- celery stalk with leaves
Method: On a small shallow plate, mix together Tejín spice and salt. Rub rim of goblet (or oversized martini or margarita glass) with lime, and dip into spice mixture to coat. To a mixing glass, add lime juice, hot sauce, Maggi sauce, and Clamato or tomato juice. Stir well to combine. Add a handful of ice to the goblet, the Clamato mixture, and carefully pour beer into the glass to the rim. Give it a little stir to combine. Garnish with grilled shrimp and a celery stalk. On the side: the remaining beer in bottle and a couple of tequila shots. ¡Salud!