Michelada the Best Way to Drink Your Beer

The Michelada is a beer cocktail popular in Mexico and my home country of Guatemala. There are also similar versions of Michelada in Colombia and other South American countries. In my opinion, this is the best way to drink your beer, and it’s also great for hangovers.

best Michelada recipe

If you’ve never tried a Guatemalan Michelada (or a Mexican Michelada, for that matter), you are missing out. A michelada is a great way to give your beer a fantastic upgrade! This refreshing alcoholic drink is made with beer, tomato or Clamato juice, and lime seasoned with Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. In my opinion, this Michelada is the best way to have a beer! This Guatemalan recipe is an easy summer drink and is the ultimate thirst quencher on a hot day! 

Guatemalan Micheladas: A Refreshing Summer Beer Cocktail

Turn your basic beer into a flavorful, icy cold drink perfect for summer with just a few ingredients! I like mine spicy, pairing it with my favorite Guatemalan recipes like crunchy guac Tostadas or Ceviche. This Michelada drink is super refreshing any time of the year, whether you’re in the sun on a hot day or chilling by the pool!

Michelada, Mexican beer cocktail

What is Michelada?

Referred to as Mexican Bloody Mary, Clamato Michelada, or Clamato beer, a Michelada is a refreshing, super-cold beer cocktail. It is a slightly spicy drink with tomato juice as its base, with a bit of hot sauce and savory seasonings. It is reminiscent of the classic Bloody Mary, but with beer instead of vodka. 

The beer keeps this summer cocktail light and fresh, perfect for pool parties and BBQs. In Guatemala, the Michelada is not a summer drink but more of a daytime cocktail that goes down smoothly on a hot day. Many Chapines believe it even has invigorating properties for curing hangovers!

Michelada the Best way to have your beer

Much like the bloody marys, micheladas are popular for brunch and during weekends. And also, similar to Bloody Mary’s, they are often rimmed with salt, tajin, or a combination of salt and chili powder and garnished with everything from habanero peppers to shrimp.

What Does Michelada Mean?

The word Michelada (pronounced “me-chay-lah-dah”) is a compound slang term that combines a couple of Spanish words. I’ll break it down, so you can see what it means: 

“mi” (mine) / “chela” (slang for beer) / “ada” which is short for “helada” (ice cold) 

So, in a nutshell, Michelada stands for “my icy cold beer,” a colloquial term used in Mexico and Guatemala as a catch-all for this beer cocktail. As for the origin of the Michelada drink, some say it is Mexican. Others say Guatemalan, depending on who you ask (but no one really knows). But one thing is for sure: this refreshing alcoholic drink has become one of Guatemala’s staple beverages!

What Are the Ingredients for A Michelada Drink?

The traditional Guatemalan Michelada recipe has non-dark beer and tomato juice as its base. Then, you season it with lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, and salt and pepper. Some people use Clamato instead of tomato juice, but I prefer my micheladas with either tomato juice or V8 vegetable juice. 

Lime juice is part of why Micheladas are so refreshing: it adds a fresh flavor, breaking up the heaviness of the beer. The other part? You serve it over ice in a frosty beer mug, perfect for cooling you down on a hot summer day! 

What Is the Best Beer for Michelada?

You typically make Guatemalan Micheladas with a light beer, often a pale lager. It has a smoother taste and is less bitter than dark beers. In Guatemala Micheladas are usually made with cerveza Gallo, Dorada or Monte Carlo. However, since I live in Florida, I love making Micheladas with different Mexican beers that I can easily find in the grocery store.

The best beer for making Micheladas

Light and crisp beers like Corona, Dos Equis, Tecate, or Modelo light are perfect for this refreshing cocktail. But, of course, you can also make it with American beers like Bud Light or other light beers. You can use any beer you like, including non-alcoholic or craft beers! Just try to pick one that is not too complex, so it doesn’t overpower the refreshing taste of the Michelada mix.

What’s The Difference Between a Michelada and Chelada?

Although both contain beer, Chelada is a much simpler variation of Michelada, one that does not use savory sauces. While Michelada has a Bloody Mary base, the Chelada is a Guatemalan beer cocktail made with nothing more than beer, lime, and salt.

Some people put Tajin seasoning on the rim to spice Cheladas up. Although it may seem a little dull, I promise it is highly refreshing. It is a super easy summer drink that you must try for your next fiesta! 

How to Make Micheladas

  1. Mix lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and V8 vegetable juice in a shaker and shake briefly. 
  2. Rim the edges of a 22 oz pilsner glass or beer mugs with a lime wedge, then turn the glass upside down to dip into the salt or salt and Tajin mixture.
  3. Pour a little ice into the rimmed glass. Next, pour the lime mixture over ice. 
  4. Finally, open the beer and slowly pour it into the glass so that it won’t foam up. Mix softly with a long spoon.
  5. Decorate with a lime wedge. Salud!

Tips For Making the Best Micheladas

  • Tomato juice or Clamato? Guatemalan Micheladas commonly use tomato juice. However, you can also use Clamato or V8, just like a classic Bloody Mary mix. Some even add half a shot glass of Tequila to give it a little kick.

Habanero Michelada with Clamato

  • Icy Cold Mug: I love serving these refreshing summer drinks in a frosted beer mug. Popping the jug in the freezer for a couple of minutes helps the Michelada stay cooler. Simply place the beer glass in the freezer for about 30 minutes before pouring the Michelada mix. But you know how I love shortcuts: Put ice cubes and water in the mug, then pop it for a few minutes in the freezer, discard the water, and voila!
  • Rim your glass is a must! Use the lime wedges to moisten the rims of your beer mugs before you pour the Michelada mix. It will help the condiments stick to the edges. Next, place the salt on a wide plate and dip the wet rim, gently rotating the glass. For an extra burst of flavor, you can use a combination of salt and Tajin seasoning or chili powder. 
  • Get creative with your garnish: Much like Bloody Mary’s, you can get creative when garnishing your Michelada. From shrimp and bacon to celery sticks, you can add fun garnishes to your Michelada.

Michelada with shrimp garnish

What To Serve with Guatemalan Michelada?

This refreshing Michelada beer goes with any savory food, from crispy tostadas and snacks to grilled steaks at any summer BBQ. In Guatemala, the beer-seafood combo is almost as traditional as tamales colorados, and pan Francés! The salty, spicy taste of Michelada is a delicious balance to the zestiness of the classic Guatemalan fish ceviche.

Habanero Michelada with Clamato and mango crab salad

Fun Fact: July 12th is National Michelada Day! So mark your calendar and get ready to celebrate with this flavorful beer. Any excuse is good to enjoy this refreshing alcoholic drink!

 

Other Guatemalan Recipes You’ll Love:

  • Enchiladas or Jardineras Recipe: A traditional Guatemalan dish that is a relatively easy recipe. Made with a toasted tortilla topped with a vegetable mixture or escabeche, ground beef, and tomato sauce, it is one of my favorite authentic Guatemalan foods.

best Guatemalan enchiladas recipe

  • Chiles Rellenos: This traditional Guatemalan recipe is somewhat different from the Mexican chiles rellenos. It is made with sweet peppers, filled with a concoction of beef and veggies, and served drizzled with tomato sauce.
  • Tapado: This seafood stew gives you a taste of Guatemala’s Caribbean flavor and Garifuna culture. Its unique taste comes from seafood, green plantains, and coconut milk.
  • Tuna And Avocado Ceviche: This is a twist on the traditional Guatemalan Ceviche recipe, a delicious seafood dish cooked in lime juice and combined with onion and tomato. It is so versatile that you can get creative, adding avocado, which pairs amazingly delicious with tuna. 
Tuna and avocado ceviche
Tuna and avocado ceviche
  • Shucos: It is a Guatemalan-inspired hot dog, but with delicious toppings like guacamole, repollo (sauerkraut-style cabbage), and meats (sausages and chorizo are the most common). It is the perfect dish for pool parties or any summer BBQs!

Guatemalan Micheladas are my go-to easy summer drinks when planning a barbeque with friends and family. The best part about the Michelada beer cocktail is that you can enjoy it any time of day! Plus, this Michelada mix is so easy that you can make it ahead and have it in the fridge to make this beer cocktail in your hand in minutes! So, the next time you are thinking of having a beer, consider trying a Michelada. In my opinion, this is the best way to have your beer! 

Michelada, Mexican beer cocktail

Michelada Beer

Yield: 1 tall glass
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

A refreshing beer cocktail perfect for a hot day!

Ingredients

  • 12 oz of non-dark Corona beer
  • Juice of 2 key limes
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 dashes of Tabasco sauce or other hot sauce
  • 1 pinch of black pepper
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 6 oz of V8 vegetable juice
  • Lime wedges and salt (for the rim)
  • Ice

Instructions

    1. Mix lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and V8 vegetable juice in a shaker and shake briefly.
    2. Rim the edges of a 22 oz pilsner glass or beer mugs with a lime wedge, then turn the glass upside down to dip first into the salt.
    3. Pour a little ice into the rimmed glass. Next, pour the lime mixture over ice.
    4. Finally, open the beer and slowly pour it into the glass so that it won’t foam up. Mix softly with a long spoon.
    5. Decorate with a lime wedge and Salud!

Notes

  • Tomato or Clamato? Guatemalan Micheladas commonly use tomato juice for additional flavor. You can also use Clamato or V8 and add extra seasonings, just like you would with a classic Bloody Mary mix. Some even add half a shot glass of Tequila to give it a little kick!
  • Rim your glass: Use the lime wedges to moisten the rims of your beer mugs before you pour the Michelada mix. It will help the condiments stick to the edges. Next, place the salt on a wide plate and dip the wet rim, gently rotating the glass. For an extra burst of flavor, you can use a combination of salt and Tajin seasoning or chili powder. 
  • Get creative with your garnish: Much like Bloody Mary’s, you can get creative when garnishing your michelada. From shrimp and bacon to celery sticks, you can add fun garnishes to your michelada.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 229Total Fat: 0.3gSaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 561mgCarbohydrates: 35.3gFiber: 5.2gSugar: 8.9gProtein: 3.4g

2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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8 thoughts on “Michelada the Best Way to Drink Your Beer”

    • Jimmy,
      Most people think that when they hear about the ingredients, but trust me it’s great . Try it you will love it!
      Paula

  1. I try to hold my tongue when I see people putting oranges in their White beers, but this is going over-board. Neither Corona nor Dos XX are very good beers though (in my opinion) so maybe this recipe would make them better. Why can’t people just let beer be beer? Go make your cocktails with something else…

    Reply
    • An orange is OK in Blue Moon, and that’s about it. There are a few Belgian beers that one might put an orange or even a lemon in, but not traditionally. And anyway, you wouldn’t really see these at your typical bar.
      Beer takes MANY forms, don’t be so close minded. Go outside the box of Budweiser and similar.
      You’d be surprised, but lagers are actually pretty modern beers in their history. Old Belgian monks and ancient Egyptians might be saying to the Germans “Let beer be beer”, until Lager became the most popular beer style in the world.

    • I drank a lot of Corona when I was younger, and my friends and I always put a lime wedge in the bottle, covered the top with our thumbs and turned the bottle upside down, it really does make it taste better. Dos XX was pretty good without adding anything to it. I’ve never tried a Chilada but I love Bloody Maries so I’ll probably get around to trying them, eventually.

  2. You need to also add Tajin. A mexican chile salt mixture used to put on food. You can find it in the hispanic section at target. Really makes a difference in the micheladas! Soooo good 🙂

    Reply
  3. It is my favorite beer cocktail! don’t mock it until you try it! it is the perfect summer drink!! love, love, love it!

    Reply

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