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This Mexican michelada is easy to make, and goes down easy, too! It's made with beer, clamato, fresh lime juice, hot sauce, and seasonings, then served in a glass with a spicy rim. It's entirely customizable so add more or less of any ingredient to make this drink your own.
If you go to Mexico, you'll likely see people sipping on micheladas by the pool or on restaurant patios. It might look like a caesar or bloody mary but this popular savory Mexican cocktail uses beer instead of vodka for a lighter taste and lower alcohol content.
There's nothing fancy about a classic michelada. It's a simple recipe that's easy to replicate at home. It requires little effort to make and just a few ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen right now.
In our version, we use a light-tasting Mexican beer, clamato, fresh lime juice, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. It's spicy, tangy, and mucho refreshing.
What is a michelada?
A michelada is a popular Mexican drink of cold beer, clamato juice, lime, salt, and hot sauce. While it's ultra-refreshing in the heat of summer, it can be enjoyed year-round. There are now many variations of this savory beer cocktail, but traditionally it's been a simple way of spicing up beer.
Michelada vs Chelada
The michelada and chelada are two classic Mexican drinks that are often confused for one another. While both are delicious and super refreshing on a hot day, here's what makes them different:
A michelada is a tomato-based beer cocktail that has clamato or tomato juice, sauces, and seasonings. It's red in color and has a spicy tajin rim.
A chelada is more simple. It's a quick mixed drink that pairs Mexican beer with fresh lime juice and a salted rim.
Here's everything you'll need to make this michelada recipe at home:
- Tajin seasoning and a lime wedge – tajin is a widely used, versatile, and hot Mexican spice made of peppers, lime, and salt. Use it, along with a lime wedge, to give your glass a spicy rim!
- Ice – to fill the glass.
- Clamato – this briny drink is a mix of tomato juice, clam juice, and spices.
- Lime juice – freshly squeezed, for an extra bit of zesty flavor.
- Hot sauce – add as much or as little heat as you like with your favorite Mexican hot sauce.
- Worcestershire sauce – this condiment is made from vinegar and flavored with anchovies, molasses, tamarind, onion, garlic, and other seasonings. There are also vegetarian versions available.
- Light Mexican beer – many Mexican beers fall into the light-tasting category so feel free to choose your favorite. Depending on the size of your beer glass you may need more or less beer but in general, one regular-size bottle of beer is the perfect amount for two micheladas.
How to make a michelada
It's easy to make a good michelada at home. Here's how it comes together in just two simple steps:
- Start by rimming a pint glass with a lime wedge. Put the tajin in a small dish, dip the wet rim into it, then fill the glass with ice cubes.
- Add the clamato, lime juice, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce, then pour the beer into the glass. Garnish with a lime wedge. Now sit back and enjoy!
What's the best beer for a michelada?
We've tried making micheladas with Corona, Sol, Tecate, and Modelo and they've all tasted great. Any lighter Mexican beer or Mexican lager will do!
What's the best hot sauce for a michelada?
Some common Mexican hot sauces are Cholula, Valentina, and Tapatìo. You could even use tabasco sauce in a pinch!
Is a michelada suitable for vegetarians?
No, this michelada recipe calls for clamato juice which contains clam juice, and Worcestershire sauce which contains anchovies. To make a vegetarian version, use tomato juice in place of clamato, and a vegetarian Worcestershire sauce (or a splash of soy sauce or coconut aminos mixed with a teaspoon of sugar will work, too).
When to serve a michelada
With so many sweet cocktails out there, this savory drink is a welcome palate cleanser! Enjoy a michelada on a hot summer day, or anytime year-round. It's easy to mix up for game night, backyard barbecues, or special occasions.
It's no secret that we love mexican food. Here are some of our favorite Mexican recipes:
- Tajin + a lime wedge (to rim the glass)
- Ice (to fill the glass)
- 2 ounces Clamato (or tomato juice)
- 1 ounce lime juice
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce (more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
- 6 ounce light Mexican beer (see notes)
- Wet the rim of a beer glass with the lime wedge. Put the tajin in a small dish then dip the wet rim into it then fill the glass with ice.Tajin + a lime wedge, Ice
- Add the clamato, lime juice, hot sauce, and Worchestershire sauce then fill the glass with beer. Garnish with a lime wedge.2 ounces Clamato, 1 ounce lime juice, 2 teaspoons hot sauce, 1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce, 6 ounce light Mexican beer
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.