The Mixed Drink You Can Make Right in the Beer Can

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Micheladas are not a challenging thing: Pour beer into a glass, shake in some hot sauce or sauces, squeeze in a lime, salt well. Everyone has their own way of doing it, their own set of ratios, their own sauce. I make mine in a can.

Michelada (a.k.a. Bloody Beer)
Michelada (a.k.a. Bloody Beer)

I made these for the first time this past New Year’s Eve, when a friend and I were looking to use up some stray cans of Tecate before heading down to Coney Island to ceremoniously throw strips of paper in the water. It’s a fine beer but not the most flavorful and it was lunchtime and we wanted something that tasted nice. There were some limes on the table. Micheladas, I probably mumbled, grabbing my roommate’s jumbo-sized bottle of Valentina that I use every once in awhile without asking. Using glasses felt frivolous, or useless: It just seemed so much more direct to shake some hot sauce and squeeze some lime juice into the open mouth of a can than to ceremoniously treat this thing like a Cocktail we had to stir around in glasses. Nobody wants to wash dishes on New Year’s Eve. This was a day of reflection and resolution; we’d keep the ceremony for the beach, not the kitchen.


It’s a flawed strategy: Unless you have one of those tiny black stir sticks you find in the coffee section of a convenience store, there’s really no way to stir the hot sauce into your beer, so it sits, at first, at the bottom of the can, nearly forgotten. But each sip turns the beer over and does some mixing for you, and halfway through you think “Ah, yes, this could be a Michelada.”

Photo by James Ransom

So the hot sauce goes in first. Best to take a sip or two before shaking it in there to make some room. Then you squeeze in some lime, a lot of which will inevitably pool near the mouth of the can. Try to guide it in there. The salt is the fun part. If you have one of those salt grinders, even funner. Crank or sprinkle it atop your beer cans from on high, showering a thin layer over the mouth of the can. This will make a mess on your table that’s easy to clean up. It’s one barbaric step past a salt rim, and it feels silly and good. Drink and repeat.

What alcoholic beverages are you getting down with on a Saturday afternoon? Tell us in the comments!

Tags: michelada