In June, we visited our good friends the Begerts down in Austin, TX...the heat was unreal, with every day of our long weekend a sweltering 105 degrees...the hottest summer on record! We spent as much time as we could indoors or in the local swimming hole...but while outside, the most cooling drink by far were the micheladas. Every bar in town served them: a savory, refreshing concoction of limey, spicy tomato juice with a cold, fizzy beer poured on top. There are many variations throughout Latin America (and Austin!), but this recipe is a great start. A nice change from the usual sugary-sweet summer cocktails, you can drink these all night long. And best of all, if booze is off-limits, just swap in a non-alc brew and join the party. —TheFlyingFoodie
Test Kitchen Notes
The recipe that inspired the Beer Cocktail contest theme, this Michelada is great if you're in the mood for something savory and refreshing that won't put you under the table. It's got some of the classic flavors of a Bloody Mary (tomato, citrus, Worcestershire sauce), but because you use beer in place of vodka, the general effect is gentler—better suited to a lazy afternoon than a pick-me-up brunch. TheFlyingFoodie has you coat the rim of the glass with celery salt, which is also in the drink; it's a little different than the traditional coarse salt or Tajín, but it's an old school touch that we love. —A&M
Refreshing and sessionable, micheladas are the ultimate summer drink, best enjoyed poolside, in the park, or posted up under an umbrella and floppy hat at the beach. It all starts with crispest beer you can find, preferably Mexican-style lager—think: Corona, Modelo, Pacifico, Tecate, Victoria, and the like—but any mild-ish beer you want to drink will suit. Next, we'll turn to velvety tomato juice, or better yet, Clamato (tomato juice mixed with mouth-puckering MSG and briny dried clam powder). To gild the lily, a few more flavor-packed components come into play, like umami-rich Worcestershire, vinegary hot sauce like Tabasco, and a healthy dose of lime to add some brightness that only fresh citrus can bring. Celery salt is great for an added herbal note, but feel free to skip it or use spicy-salty Tajín instead. Whatever you do, though, don't skip the salt (or celery salt, or Tajín) rim on the outside of the glass, plus plenty of ice—that mineraly burst of spice that hits your tongue before the first fizzy, savory sip is incomparable. —The Editors
- Prep time 15 minutes
- Serves 4
lime wedges, for garnish
to 2 pinches celery salt, coarse salt, or Tajín, for garnish; plus 1/4 teaspoon celery salt for drinks
(6 oz.) can tomato juice or Clamato
fresh lime juice (from about 2 limes)
to 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco or preferred hot sauce
(12 oz.) bottles or cans light lager (Modelo is ideal)
(or more) ice cubes
- Prepare the glasses: rub the rims of four tall glasses with the lime wedges, then coat the rims with either celery or plain salt.
- In a bowl or measuring cup, combine the tomato juice, lime juice, celery salt, Worcestershire, and Tabasco and mix well. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Add a handful of ice to each of the prepared glasses, then divide the tomato juice mixture between them (each should have approximately 4 tablespoons/60ml of juice). Top up the glasses with half a bottle of beer each, then garnish with a lime wedge.