Micheladas are light, refreshing, tomato juice-based beer cocktails served in tall glasses with salted rims. The red color of the popular drink also gave them their nickname, Mexican bloody marys.
A really good michelada is loaded with spicy flavors, and swaps in beer for vodka so it's similar to a bloody mary but they are a little lighter. Sip poolside on hot days, mix up at brunch, are great drinks for football season game days, happy hours, and Cinco de Mayo...
Mexican Michelada Recipe
Micheladas con clamato are classic Mexican cocktails known as a type of mixed drink, also called a cerveza preparada - meaning prepared beer. Many people sip these savory cocktails as a morning-after staple following a wild night for a hangover cure!
They are popular in Mexican restaurants in the United States, often they dip the rim of the glass of a michelada beer cocktails into Tajin seasoning or seasoned salt.
A great way to cool down on a hot day, you can mix up your own michelada to relax on the weekend.
I first heard about Micheladas many years ago from my good friends from Mexico. This is a popular Southern California party drink served at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, and very popular on hot days while people watch baseball or in local pubs and bars. They even sell canned bud light chelada, a canned michelada product at stores now. These are the main ingredients you will need to make them at home...
- Mexican Beers; Estrella Jalisco, Corona, Dos Equis Light, Bohemia
- Clamato Juice
- Fresh Lime Juice
- Tajin Chile Seasoning
- Cholula Hot Sauce
- Maggi seasoning or soy sauce
- Worcestershire Sauce
- black pepper
- coarse sea salt
Mixing Mexican Cerveza Preparadas
- In a tall glass or beer mug, run a cut lime around the rim, pour Tagin on a small plate, and salt the rim of the glass.
- In each glass, add a cup of Clamato, Cholula Hot Sauce, Maggin Seasoning, Worcestershire Sauce, a dash of salt, and pepper.
- Mix well, add ice, tilt the glass slightly, and slowly pour from a bottle of beer into a glass, stir gently to prevent fizzing.
- Adjust seasonings as you prefer, more hot sauce, etc.
- Garnish with limes, celery, chiles, or cooked shrimp.
People at a resort in Mexico started mixing beer with hot sauce or salsa, and they became popular with their refreshing flavor back in the 1960s. These are sometimes called clamato micheladas or a clamato beer.
A classic Michelada's flavor reflects the true Mexican origins of its name, mi chela helada is a Spanish word meaning "my cold, light beer”.
Michelada Top Tips
If you like Bloody Marys then you will like this refreshing spicy-savory drink and light beer cocktail. And the good news is, all the michelada ingredients are easy to find at local grocery stores. The basic ingredients are beer, tomato juice, lime, hot sauce, and seasonings in this simple michelada recipe, but you can make it your own way...
Best Beers For Micheladas - To keep it authentic, use your favorite Mexican lager; Estrella, Modelo Especial, Jalisco, Tecate, Corona Extra, Dos Equis Light, or Bohemia. In a pinch, you can use a light favorite beer from America or other countries, but popular beers from Mexico are much better options and my personal preferences! You don't have to use an expensive craft beer either.
Clamato Juice - Is made with clam broth or clam juice, if that is not your personal favorite, you can swap in good tomato juice or a V8 juice and add some more seasonings to your michelada mix.
Fresh Lime Juice - About 1 medium juicy lime or swap in lemon juice in a pinch but lime juice is a great addition and is so much better, you will taste a real difference!
Savory Seasoning - Make a salt rim of a beer glass or pint glass with celery salt or a chili powder seasoning blend of chili peppers. I used Tajín Mexican chile powder lime seasoning. It is terrific on fruit, cucumbers, jicama, popcorn, and on the salted rim of a beer cocktail glass!
Mexican Hot Sauce - You can also use Cholula, Tapatio, Valentina, Huichol Hot Sauce El Yucateco Hot Sauce, or a good American brand like Tabasco sauce. Add the kick of heat and spice level as you prefer.
Maggi Seasoning - Adding Maggi is the traditional way and makes it truly authentic. And you can find it in any store these days. But you can swap in various sauces like soy sauce, and tamari sauce, or a good option is to add more Worcestershire sauce. Maggi packs an umami punch similar to soy sauce, though its flavors are quite unique and makes a great michelada.
Worcestershire Sauce - adds lots of savory notes and more umami flavor.
Spices - Black Pepper and a pinch of course sea salt add seasoning to the tomato juice.
Garnishes - Use cocktail picks with a lime wedge or chiles, cooked shrimp, cucumber slices, or celery stalks. Some people also prefer straws. I dipped a cut lime wedge into the Tajin, with a chili on a cocktail stick.
Tall Glass With Lots of Ice: Use lots of ice cubes to keep the beer cold.
Micheladas vs Bloody Mary Cocktails
These cocktails share a few ingredients in common and similar alcohol content. Both recipes include tomato juice of some kind, but the main difference between these famous hangover cures is the alcohol used.
- clamato juice - (clam broth in tomato juice)
- simple beer-based cocktail
- alcohol is ice-cold beer
- salted rim
- lime, cooked shrimp, or celery garnish
Traditional Bloody Marys
- spicy tomato juice or v8 vegetable juice
- alcohol is vodka (popular cousin bloody maria has tequila)
- celery salt, horseradish, and other seasonings are added
- lots of extra garnishes
Fresh Lime juice
Tajin Salt on the rim
Maggi Sauce - Found in the Latino section of your grocery store
Clamato Juice (or tomato juice)
There are two different theories or origin stories:
1. The first origin story credits Club Deportivo Potosino a sports club located in the city of San Luis Potosí, Mexico. It is commonly referenced as the birthplace of the Michelada, with claims stating that a member called Michel Ésper used to order his daily beer with salt and lemon juice, and the drink became popular.
2. The other explanation claims that it was christened in honor of a Mexican general, Augusto Michelwho reportedly liked to spike his lager with chiles and lime juice.
Estrella Jalisco, Corona, Dos Equis Light, or Bohemia.
Ojo Rojo is a michelada made with beer, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, Maggi seasoning, fresh lime juice, and a salt rim, but has tomato juice instead of a clam-based juice like Clamato. So it's sorta like a “Beer Bloody Mary” but skips the clams!
A Chamochela is a beer-based drink prepared with lemon, salt, chili powder, and chamoy. It is served with ice and garnished with tamarind candy. It was popularized in the 2000s in Mexico.
The Negro y Marron is a mix of beer, ice, Clamato, lemon or lime juice, and tequila. It is seasoned with hot sauce and served in a chilled beer mug rimmed with salt.
A Red Beer is a super simple beer cocktail with a spicy kick. It is made with beer, V8 juice, Worcestershire sauce, and a dash or two of hot sauce so you can really taste the flavor of the beer.
More Cocktail Recipes
Or try a Mojito with all the tips from my trip to Cuba. Mix up CoronaRita Margaritas for a super fun party and a favorite way to celebrate on big game days or Cinco de Mayo, they are classic margaritas with upside-down beers!
On hot summer days, serve one of these cool, refreshing perfect cocktails. Try an Aperol Spritz, a popular Italian sipper. A Cuba Libre is a classic cocktail also known as a "rum and coke", but this recipe comes from Cuba and is the national drink of Cuba!
Michelada Mexican Beer Cocktails Recipe
Spicy Michelda Ingredients
- 1 cup Mexican Beers Estrella Jalisco, Corona, Dos Equis Light, Bohemia
- 1 cup Clamato Juice
- 1 Fresh Lime Juice from about 1 medium juicy lime
- Tajin Chile Seasoning Tajin is terrific on fruit, cucumbers, jicama and popcorn
- dash Cholula Hot Sauce
- 2 dashes Maggi seasoning or soy sauce
- 2 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
- pinch black pepper
- pinch course sea salt
- In a tall glass or beer mug, run a cut lime around the rim.
- Pour Tagin chile seasoning on a small plate, and salt the rim of the glasses.
Make Spicy Micheladas
- In each glass, add a cup of Clamato, Cholula Hot Sauce, Maggin Seasoning, Worcestershire Sauce, a dash salt and pepper.
- Mix well, add ice and leave plenty of room to tilt the glass slightly and slowly pour beer in, and stir gently to prevent fizzing.
- Adjust seasonings as you prefer, more hot sauce etc.
- Garnish with limes, celery, or chiles.
What Makes An Authentic Michelada?
- salt on rim like Tajin!
- Maggi sauce* - I found Maggi sauce in the Latino section of my regular grocery store.