Excerpt from ¡Viva Tequila!: Cocktails, Cooking, and Other Agave Adventures by Lucinda Hutson (© 1995 and 2013 Lucinda Hutson) used with permission of the University of Texas Press.
¡Compre una michelada. Los mejores están aquí! cry vendors selling drinks from stalls in the outdoor market of Lake Chapala. Especially welcome on hot, dusty afternoons, micheladas are a favorite: a chela (cold beer) flavored with chile, spicy seasonings and tart lime juice. Micheladas are a tasty chaser to accompany a shot of tequila. Some simply pour the tequila shot into the bubbly brew.
Versions of this popular drink abound in Mexican cantinas, beach resorts, and bars north of the border; it seems every cantinero adds a special touch when making one. Budweiser has even put Chelada in a can, but like sangrita, it's better when you make your own!
When mixing a michelada, cold beer is essential (and some ice cubes in the glass, in my opinion), as well as some combination of Worcestershire, soy, and/or Maggi seasoning, and salt and pepper. Some like to add a generous splash of spicy Bloody Mary mix; I prefer adding Sangrita for color and kick. Others add a shot of Clamato, a clam-flavored tomato juice beverage and purported hangover cure.
Chilled glass rimmed with lime and coarse salt or Cantina Classic Spicy Mexican Seasoned Salt
2 or more teaspoons of Salsa Valentina, Tabasco, habanero, or your favorite bottled chile sauce
Sangrita, spicy Bloody Mary mix, or Clamato to taste, optional
Juice of 2 Mexican limes
Generous dash of Worcestershire and/or Maggi seasoning
Pinch of seasoned salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
A big shot of tequila reposado
1 cold Mexican beer, preferably Bohemia or Negra Modelo
Lime as garnish
Rim iced mug with lime and salt. Mix together the chile sauce, lime, Worcestershire, Maggi, salt, and pepper in the mug; add some ice cubes. If you choose to mix in the tequila and the sangrita or spicy Bloody Mary mix, do so now. (Otherwise, serve a shot of tequila separately.) Slowly add beer, stirring gently. Garnish and serve.
Stage a chelada cantina at your next party. Encourage guests to customize their own concoction in this "deconstructed" version. Provide iced glasses and cold Mexican beer, a chilled pitcher of Bloody María or Sangrita, chilled Clamato juice, a variety of bottled hot sauces and condiments, Cantina Classics Spicy Mexican Seasoned Salt, tequila reposado, and lots of fresh-cut limes.