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5 Ways to Up Your Michelada Game

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Long Island, here we come. We partnered with Blue Point Brewing Company to celebrate all things on the island just east of New York City, from 5 takes on Micheladas, to how to grill oysters, and more—just don't forget the beer!

It doesn't take much to make a Michelada: Open a beer, add a little hot sauce and a squeeze of lime, and that's about it. And, like many great cocktails, Micheladas are easy to riff on once you've got the base. But is this footloose approach actually reflective of the drink's history? Or do we just not know enough about its past? It seems like there's no wrong way to make a Michelada, but is there?

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As Colman Andrews writes in Gourmet, the origins of the drink are a bit cloudy, as is the name:

Most sources date the invention of the Michelada to the 1940s or early '50s; this makes sense, because ice cubes are unlikely to have been common in Mexico much before then. There are two widely disseminated stories about the origin of the name. One has it that the Michelada was invented by a man named Michel Esper at the Club Deportivo Potosino in the town of San Luís Potosí, in east-central Mexico; the other claims that it was christened in honor of a Mexican general, Augusto Michel, also of San Luís Potosí who reportedly liked to spike his lager with chiles and lime juice.

Photo by James Ransom, Graphic by Tim McSweeney

So I tinkered with the classic formula and came up with a few variations based on how people make their Micheladas. Some folks like to add Clamato, others a few shakes of Worchestershire sauce. Some people are Tabasco purists, others Cholula. But crisp, clean lagers—which don't overpower your chile and lime—make for the perfect base. Speaking of lime, all these recipes need lime juice, because if you ask me, it's not really a Michelada without it.

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Here are the results, and tell me what you love in your Michelada in the comments below. I'll be taking notes!

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Smoky Michelada

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Makes 1
  • ground chipotle pepper, for rim
  • sea salt, for rim
  • 1/2 tablespoon Chipotle Tabasco sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, plus spent lime wedges for rim
  • 1 12-ounce bottle lager
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Key ingredients: Chipotle hot sauce, chile powder

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Extra Spicy Michelada

7c06bfa6 dcc3 4ae2 b256 5c89e09648ca  2017 0309 samantha james ransom 242 1 Samantha Weiss Hills
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Makes 1
  • coarse sea salt, for garnish (optional)
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoons habanero hot sauce, like Melinda's
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 12-ounce bottle lager
  • pickled jalapeños and/or lime wedges, for garnish (optional)
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Key ingredients: Habanero hot sauce, pickled jalapeño garnish

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Pickled Michelada

7c06bfa6 dcc3 4ae2 b256 5c89e09648ca  2017 0309 samantha james ransom 242 1 Samantha Weiss Hills
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Makes 1
  • Coarse sea salt, for rim (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons Cholula hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dill pickle brine
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 or so splashes vinegar pepper sauce, like Trappy's or Texas Pete
  • 1 12-ounce bottle lager
  • Cornichons and pickled pearl onions, for garnish
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Key ingredients: Pickle brine, vinegary pepper sauce

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Seafaring Michelada

7c06bfa6 dcc3 4ae2 b256 5c89e09648ca  2017 0309 samantha james ransom 242 1 Samantha Weiss Hills
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Makes 1
  • Coarse sea salt, for garnish (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons Clamato
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 or so splashes Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar pepper sauce, like Trappy's or Texas Pete
  • 1 12-ounce bottle lager
  • Smoked oyster and pepperocini, for garnish
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Key ingredients: Clamato, Worcestershire sauce, smoked oyster

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Farmstand Michelada

7c06bfa6 dcc3 4ae2 b256 5c89e09648ca  2017 0309 samantha james ransom 242 1 Samantha Weiss Hills
1 Save Go To Recipe
Makes 1
  • 1 tablespoon tomato juice
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoons cucumber juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 pinch celery salt
  • 2 teaspoons habanero hot sauce, like Melinda's
  • 1 12-ounce bottle lager
  • Pretty, seasonal market vegetables, for garnish
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Key ingredients: Tomato juice, cucumber juice, celery seeds, market vegetable garnish

It's beachside or bust for us. We partnered with Blue Point Brewing Company for doing what's just right and good when it's hot: Having a beer, slurping an oyster, and sticking feet in sand or ocean. So, cheers to summer! Read all about Blue Point's Toasted Lager here.

Tags: blue point, micheladas