Spice up your beer, the Mexican way
If you’ve been following this blog a while, you know that I L.O.V.E. beer. It was the first alcoholic beverage I ever had and it may be my favourite till my dying day. So much so, that I stopped rinsing my hair with leftover beer once I was old enough to drink. Because who has “leftover” beer in a bottle? And why would you waste it on your hair when you could just drink it? If you’re female and you’re reading this, then stop judging me because I know you’ve washed your hair with beer too, at least once in your life. It makes your hair all kinds of shiny and pretty.
But coming back to the (alcohol-ic) point and other drinks that I love, I would pick a dry and/or spicy cocktail over a sweet fruity one any day. Move over Pina Coladas and Sex on the Beach. Come on over, Spicy Bloody Mary, Chilli Vodka, G&T and Margaritas. Let’s have a cocktail party. They are totally my jam.
Back to my first Michelada. When my cousin Vinay (I say that a lot on the blog, don’t I? It’s true – he gives me some of my best ideas) visit from NYC last summer, he was obsessed with Micheladas and insisted that we should make them for everybody. And serve them in Mason jars. He gets fixated on an idea sometimes and nothing else will do. I couldn’t wait to find out what this darn Michelada was, considering he’d been plotting and planning to make it a month before he visit. So, on Fathers’ Day last year, we had a little lunch at my house and V & I whipped up the Micheladas. I couldn’t believe how perfectly they fit my definition of a cocktail – refreshing, citrusy, spicy and also a bit of umami. What else could I have asked for? That was definitely a Fathers’ Day well spent or, rather, well drunk. Not to forget that it was complimented by a simple, spicy, homely Chicken Curry and Rice.
To end all the drama and suspense, here it is. A Michelada (pronounced mishell-aada) is a Mexican beer cocktail, made differently across different parts of Mexico, ranging from a simple addition of salt & lime to beer to going the whole shebang with tomato/clamato juice, tobasco, worcestershire, soy/Maggi seasoning, lemon etc. The list goes on. And that’s what I like about it – you can do whatever you want with it. Just make sure you have some beer, lemon juice and salt at hand and wing the rest. What’s really important is the salt (and optionally chilli) rimmed glass, like a Margarita or a Bloody Mary.
Some versions even simply use a ready Bloody Mary Mix and add it to beer, instead of vodka. I haven’t tried that version but it’s on my list.
PS – I didn’t know there was a whole category of cocktails made with beer. I never thought that anyone would want to drink beer in any other form but itself. But, after the Micheladas, I’m game to keep an open mind.
For now, let’s just go on and make some spicy Micheladas. I need respite from this bloody hot summer day!
What I used for 4 servings:
1/2 cup lemon juice (~4 lemons)
2 green chillies
2 tsp Tobasco hot-sauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp brine from a pickled jalapeños jar
2 tbsp tamarind juice, for the rim (you can use lemon juice or a wedge of lemon)
salt & red chilli powder (cayenne pepper) for the rim
4 pints (330 ml each) of lager beer
Lemon wedges and pickled jalapeños for garnish
Here’s how I made it:
Squeezed the lemon juice into a small mixing bowl.
Next, I halved and scored the green chillies (you could use serrano peppers or fresh jalapeños) and dunked them in the lemon juice. This step is important to get all the spice and flavour of the chillies to infuse the lemon juice. You can remove the seeds or avoid the chillies altogether, if you like. And, if you’re smart, you should wear rubber gloves for this step or you may end spice-burning your eyes or your nose later!
I also added in the Tobasco, Worcestershire and Jalapeños brine to the lemon juice and mixed it all up.
Ideally, you should let this sit and soak for a while, say half hour, but I didn’t at this point. I went on to rim the glasses and make the drink.
I put tamarind juice in one plate and salt & red chilli powder in another. Dipped the glass first in the juice an then the salt-chilli mix for a “hot” rim! You can easily substitute the tamarind juice with lemon juice or simply rub a lemon wedge around the rim of the glass before dipping it in the salt-chilli-mix. And, of course, you can omit the red chilli if so much spice isn’t your thing – use plain salt or maybe even chaat masala.
Once the glasses were rimmed, I divided the hot-and-spiced-lemon-juice between 4 glasses (500 ml mason jars, in this case) and added plenty of ice. Since I was using fresh green chillies, I put a half chilli in each glass too.
And poured in the beer, giving it a stir to mix it all up.
Garnish with lemon wedges and pickled jalapeños. Aaaaaaand it’s ready to serve. Drink up and enjoy!
Don’t forget to catch some of the chilli salt from the rim with every sip.
There you have your spicy, tangy Michelada. If you love beer and/or spicy cocktails, I promise there will be no going back from this. Trust me. I know.
Like this post? You might want to check some more cocktails and beverages recipes like:
Amrood Chaat Cocktail (or spicy Guavarita), Mango Mojito, Summery Cucumber & Mint Cooler, Fresh Ginger Lemonade, Mulled Wine
Same time last year:
One year ago: Chilled Spinach & Cucumber Soup
Two years ago: Ruggedly Loaded Brownies
Three years ago: Aam Panna
Four years ago: Raw Mango & Chilli Chutney
[wpanchor id=”michelada”]Michelada Recipe | How to make Spicy Mexican Beer Cocktail
- ½ cup lemon juice (~4 lemons)
- 2 green chillies (use jalapeños or serrano peppers instead, if you like)
- 2 tsp Tobasco hot-sauce
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp brine from a pickled Jalapeños jar
- 2 tbsp tamarind juice, for the rim (you can use lemon juice or a wedge of lemon instead)
- salt & red chilli powder (cayenne pepper) for the rim
- 4 pints (330 ml each) of chilled lager beer
- Lemon wedges and pickled jalapeños for garnish
- 500 ml Mason Jars with Handle
- Cocktail Sticks
- Lemon Squeezer
- In a small mixing bowl, squeeze the lemon juice.
- Halve & score the green chillies. You can remove the seeds if you want less heat. Add these to the lemon juice.
- Add the Worcestershire sauce, Tobasco sauce and brine and mix well. Let this sit for 20-30 minutes to allow the chillies to infuse.
- Put the tamarind juice in a small shallow plate and the salt+chilli powder in another one. Dip the rim of the clean glasses, first in the tamarind juice and then in the salt-chilli mix. If you don't have tamarind juice or don't want to use it, you can rub the rim with a lemon wedge before dipping it in the salt-chilli mix.
- Divide the lemon-chilli juice amidst the 4 glasses and fill with ice.
- Add in the beer and stir.
- Garnish with lemon wedges and pickled jalapeños on a cocktail stick and serve right away.
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