Michelada Recipe

This classic michelada recipe is the perfect Mexican cocktail to serve at parties or to enjoy in summer days. Made with cold beer, Clamato juice, hot sauce, and lime juice, this drink is a game changer!

Michelada served on a cold glass garnished with lime slices.

What is a Michelada?

Michelada is a Mexican cocktail made by mixing beer with various types of salsas, tomato juice, lime juice, and salt. Sometimes it might include ice and sometimes it won’t. Is served on a beer mug with salt and chili powder on the rim for an extra special kick.

DID YOU KNOW? In Mexico, when you ask a Michelada at some restaurants or bars, they will serve it in a large beer mug. The serving is about 1 beer of 11-oz, so they will also bring to the table the leftover beer, so you can pour it yourself as you drink it from the mug.

A man pouring Mexican beer into a mug with seasonings and ice.

About the name

Chela is the Mexican slang for Cerveza and Helada means iced. The contraction of both words results in chelada, and actually, before michelada was so popular, people will just ask for a chelada, where the recipe was just adding a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lime right into the bottle or can.

So, the most popular story about the name, is that Michelada is a fun combination of words for saying “mi chela helada”, that will translate in something like my iced beer.

Closeup on the cold and sweaty, mug with michelada.

How it taste this beer cocktail?

Michelada has a salty, spicy, and umami flavor. Think of a Bloody Mary where the addition of cold, crispy beer, substitutes the vodka. A truly refreshing drink with less alcohol than the mentioned cocktail.

Michelada beer on a mug.

What type of beer is used

Traditional Michelada recipe is made with light Mexican beer, such as Corona, Carta Blanca, Tecate, Sol, Modelo, etc. For this recipe, don’t use a strong dark beer as the taste won’t combine well with the rest of ingredients. If you can’t find any Mexican beer where you live, any light beer can do the trick.

A collage made with various Mexican beer brands.

Michelada Mix

This beer cocktail has become so popular even outside Mexico, that to this days you can find the spicy mixture bottled and ready to serve over ice and just pour your favorite beer. But guess what? No bottled michelada mix will ever be as good as making your own at home. It only takes a few ingredients and less than 10 minutes to make a few of this delicious Mexican cocktail. Try it and see how easy it is!

The ingredients

For this Michelada recipe ingredients can have numerous variations and some of them depends on personal taste. Take a look below and adjust those you don’t have or make your own personalized recipe for you and your friends.

  • LIGHT BEER: Choose your favorite Mexican brand beer or any other light beer you prefer.
  • TOMATO JUICE: From homemade Clamato juice, to store-bought, to V8 juice, and even plain tomato juice. All those are good options for making this recipe.
  • SALTY SAUCES: There’s always at least two kinds of sauces when making a Michelada recipe, one is Worcestershire sauce and the other is Jugo Maggi. Other sauces such as soy or teriyaki are also good subs. All those adds a nice, umami and salty touch to the cocktail. Believe me, you really don’t want to miss this flavor.
  • SPICY SAUCE: There are lots of options for spicy sauce, Valentina salsa is still a favorite, but many recipes includes other types, such as Tapatío, Tamazula, Tabasco, and even Chamoy!
  • OTHER SEASONINGS: Salt, chili powder, and lime juice. You gonna need those for the rim and for some seasoning. Lately I’ve tried adding Tajín powder and let me tell you that it adds a nice touch! Also, if you using plain tomato juice, I strongly recommend to add a pinch of pepper too.
A man pouring Clamato juice into a mug with Michelada.

How To Make It

In a small plate combine salt and chili powder. In a small bowl, squeeze the juice of half a lime and add a splash of hot sauce, mix to combine and set aside.

Seasonings for mug rims.

Now take your glass and dip the rim into the lime juice mixture.

Dipping the mug rim into salsa and juice lime mixture.

Next, dip it into the salt and chili mixture making sure it will coat well all the rims. Do those two steps with all glasses so you have them ready to make the drink.

Coating the rims with salt and chili powder mixture.

Add a few cubes of ice to the glasses.

Adding ice to the beer mug.

Now is where the fun begins. Add a few splash of Jugo Maggi and Worcestershire sauce, the amount is really up to you, but I’d start with just a dash of each sauce then adjust later if needed.

Adding a splash of jugo Maggi over the ice.

Then add hot sauce, again, this is all about personal taste, I love mine very spicy (I am Mexican!) so I like to put a lot of salsa, just add a few drops then you can adjust later.

Adding a splash of hot salsa.

Next, add a good squeeze of lime juice (about half a lime).

Squeezing lime juice into the mug.

Then pour in the beer, but don’t fill completely the glass, we still have the last ingredient to add.

Pouring beer into mug, from above.

Pour in Clamato juice (or any tomato juice) filling the glass completely. Give it a quick mix and garnish with lime wedges. Now you can say: ¡Salud raza!

Pouring Clamato juice.

Useful Notes

  • If you using beer mugs or other sturdy type of glass, place them in the freezer about 1 hour before starting to make your Mexican michelada recipe. This will help to keep the drink cold for longer.
  • If you prepare your drink without Clamato, add a pinch of ground pepper to the mix to spice things up!
  • The recipe can be easily customized by adding more or less sauces, seasonings and even beer or Clamato juice. You gonna need a few tries to adjust the amounts to your personal taste. The ingredients on this Michelada recipe is how we like our cocktail, a bit spicy for instance.

A super fun beer cocktail for parties

This beer cocktail is perfect to serve at parties, specially if you allow your guests to make their own. They can have fun trying different combinations with the ingredients until they perfect their own michelada recipe. This is something I do often at home when I have summer parties and my friends and family enjoy it so much.

A man holding a mug with Clamato michelada.

The variations

  • CLASSIC: The most classic michelada recipe is without tomato juice. It has a light, still tasty, flavor.
  • MANGO: Add a part of mango juice or mango puree to the mix, enjoy the slightly sweet touch.
  • CAMARONES: This variation is one of the most popular right now in Mexico. Grilled shrimps (camarones) are added for decoration, and a splash of shrimp stock to the mix. It looks and taste amazing and makes this recipe perfect to impress your guests!
Michelada recipe.

Michelada Recipe

Michelada has a salty, spicy, and umami flavor. Think of a Bloody Mary where the addition of cold, crispy beer, substitutes the vodka.
PREP 5 minutes
TOTAL 5 minutes
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 1 cocktail

Equipment

  • 1 large (500ml) beer mug or glass.

Ingredients 

  • 11 fl oz Mexican light beer (or any other light beer)
  • 3.5 fl oz Clamato juice (or plain tomato juice)
  • ½ lime (juice)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Jugo Maggi (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tsp Valentina salsa (or any Mexican hot salsa)

For the rim & garnish

  • chili powder
  • salt
  • limes

Instructions

Rim

  • In a small plate combine salt and chili powder.
  • In a small bowl, squeeze combine the juice of half a lime and a good splash of hot sauce.
  • Dip the rim of a glass or beer mug into the lime juice mixture.
  • Next, dip it into the salt and chili mixture to coat well.

Make michelada

  • Add a few cubes of ice to the glass.
  • Add Jugo Maggi, Worcestershire sauce, hot salsa and lime juice.
  • Pour in the beer and finish with Clamato juice.
  • Give it a quick mix and garnish with lime wedges.

notes

  • The recipe can be easily customized by adding more or less sauces, seasonings and even beer or Clamato juice. You gonna need a few tries to adjust the amounts to your personal taste. The ingredients on this Michelada recipe is how we like our cocktail, a bit spicy for instance.
  • If you using beer mugs or other sturdy type of glass, place them in the freezer about 1 hour before starting to make your Mexican michelada recipe. This will help to keep the drink cold for longer.
  • If you prepare your drink without Clamato, add a pinch of ground pepper to the mix to spice things up!
Nutrition
Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 630mg | Potassium: 418mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 513IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg
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