How To Make A Michelada Recipes( A Refreshing Cocktail Drink) In 3 Steps

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Michelada is a Mexican drink, you can basically prepare at the comfort of your home in a few minutes. If you live in those hot weather areas across the United States, the like Chavela and Chelada, Michelada is one of the best refreshing cocktail to consider on a sunny day.

People think michelada and Chelada are the same. Not really, they are drinks, but not prepared the same way, and don’t have the same flavors.

In this article, we are going to see what is a Michelada and Chelada drinks, and how to make some at home. We will also learn what’s the difference between a Michelada and chelada Mexican drinks.


what is a Michelada?

Michelada is a quintessential, classic light Mexican drink made with beer (not vodka), organic lime juice, chili made sauce, tomato juice, salt and some spices. Like Chavela drinks, this Michelada needs tomato juice.

It is served chilled or refreshing, in a salt-rimmed glass cup. The cold light beer tomato cocktail is good for drinking in hot weather.

The origin is not clear, but it became popular in the mid-20th century when Mexicans started to serve beer mixed with lime and salt.

The backstory traces back to a young guy called Michel Esper who ordered beer, mix it with lemon, and served it in a chilled, salted-rim glass.  “Chela” is a Mexican slang for beer and Michelada is considered “Michel’s beer”.

But there is another Spanish meaning.

  • The “Chela” means light beer as often known in Mexico,
  • the “helada” refers to cold or chilled
  • “mi” means “my”

Combining these strange sounding words gives Michelada, which means my cold light beer or my cold beer for short.

Michelada is mainly a traditional Mexican drink with a Bloody Mary color and a savory taste. People make this spicy Mexican cocktail in different variation and served refreshing or cold.

That is pretty the best flavorful summer beer drink in people leaving around California and other hot states. When I hear of cold Bloody Mary, I immediately see michelada drink in a glass cup.

classic Mexican cocktail made with lime, tomato,  juice and beer.



How to make a michelada recipes (refreshing cocktail drink)

If you want a really traditional Mexican michelada, use traditional Mexican ingredients and nothing more or less. You can opt, based on your preference, to go with your own variation if it tastes good, but let us check how to make a real michelada drink.


Ingredients for a refreshing Michelada recipe

how to make michelada refreshing drink
Tajín Clásico Chile Lime Seasoning Rimmer 4.23 oz

Here are the ingredients for making a traditional Michelada recipes. If you prefer a certain variation, you can add more or simply keep out some ingredients, but not beer.

  • 10-12 oz Mexican beer (I love the light beer Modelo)
  • 1 lime juice
  • 1 lime wedge to garnish it
  • 2-4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • A hot sauce ( tabasco sauce is better)
  • 3-5ox tomato juice or clamato
  • Tajin for the rim

I have been to the Mexico City and discovered, that you can make Michelada without tomato juice. That means the whole recipe depends on the hot sauce, citrus juice and spices.

But I won’t leave out tomato juice. People do favor to have only the organic lime juice in their Michelada drink preparation. If you want to get a classic Michael with savory spice on each sip you take, let us see how to prepare it.


Preparation steps – how to make a michelada with modelo beer

Step 1: Cut out a slice of lime wedge and rub the rim of your glass cup. Slit down past the lip of the cup. Then, pour some Tajin or salt into a small shallow plate.

Step 2: Dip the lip of the glass cup into the Tajin–a mix of salt and cayenne pepper. Make sure the powder sticks or coats to the rim of the beer glass.

Step 3: Fill the glass with some sprinkles of Tajin salt, and the other ingredients, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco. You can add a lot of tabasco hot sauce to make it extra spicy.

Steps 4: Then add your freshly squeezed lime juice into the mixture in the glass. Drop some cold ice cubes if available.

Step 5: Then pour the chilled, favorite light Mexican beer (I go for Modelo) into the glass. A large glass will take all the beer. If the glass is small, use two glasses and divide the beer between them.

Step 6: Pour in your Clamato juice or tomato juice, but if you want a different variation, you can keep out the tomato juice.

Step 7: Properly stir the mixture. Some people don’t stir it. They just serve with beer at the top. But you should stir to mix it with a proper flavor. Serve the Michelada to customers without mixing. Just top it with beer and let the guest choose to mic or not to mix.

Step 8: Add a lime wedge to garnish. You can probably garnish your Michelada with whatever you like.

Step 9: Take a sip. Go out on a hot sunny day with friends and family, and take a sip! If not, wait till the National Michelada Day which is coming up on July 12th.


Video on how to make a michelada cocktail beer

Here is how to prepare a Michelada drink with a bloody-Mary mix.



how to make a michelada without beer

Wondering how to make a michelada with clamato but no alcohol in the content? We have seen that the refreshing nature of a Michelada cocktail drink is great with the alcohol in the light beer.

But what if you don’t drink alcohol? You can make your Michelada alcohol free (virgin michelada). You can maintain the bloody-Mary mix, but you take out the alcoholic ingredient (the Modelo lager beer) or replace it with something else.

This means you are going to base it on a spicy tomato with bold flavors, hot sauce, and lime. A cold Michelada with no beer is as refreshing as an alcoholic Michelada,  even in the hottest climate.

Ingredients for making a virgin michelada drink

how to make a michelada with modelo and clamato tomato cocktail drink
Clamato Original Tomato Cocktail, 1 L bottles (Pack of 6)

  • 1  lime
  • 4 oz. Clamato or spiced tomato juice
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 dashes habanero pepper sauce
  • 1 bottle (12-oz) nonalcoholic beer
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 lime wheel for garnish
  • Tajin


How to make a non-alcoholic michelada?

How do you prepare a non-alcohol Michelada drink? The secret is to use mainly clamato or tomato juice blended with spices. Here is how to make an alcoholic-free Michelada or virgin Michelada.

You follow the same steps as above, but you replace your lager beer with a non-alcoholic beer. If you don’t like any beer-related liquor, preferentially add more tomato juice and spices for the virgin Michelada.

The Michelada cocktail without the beer can be a nice drink for kids, teenagers. A Michelada prepared without beer can also be good for people with alcohol-damaging health issues like hypertension(high blood pressure).


Video on how to make a Michelada without Modelo (without alcoholic)

if you are serious about learning the recipes, check this video. It explains you can make a Michelada beverage without alcohol.

Read: Precisely, how much yeast is in a packet?



Some considerations when preparing Alcoholic Michelada

How do you feel tasting your cold, classic beer and tomato juice cocktail? Michelada beer with tomato juice and spicy flavor is my favorite. I can’t help but wonder if I would love the spicy Mexican beer cocktail without the tomato.

Some people forgo the tomato juice and favor only hot sauce and lime juice seasoning.

Besides, there are several choices of beer to use. If you want a perfectly made or best-ever Michelada recipe, close to the version in the Mexican city, you won’t regret trying Mexican Lager beer like Modelo. But Tecate, Sol is also better alternative liquor for michelada.

Reduce the hot sauce by half if you want your less spicy but perfect Mexican Michelada drink.

Mango is another kind of ingredient that can go into Michelada recipes. In the place of clamato or tomato juice, you can add but a fresh mango juice in the cocktail for an additional sweet flavor.


Michelada recipe without clamato

I understand that most people love to taste a perfect Michelada beer but not everyone like the taste and flavor of tomato clamato juice.

If you are obsessed Michelada spicy cocktail drink but the flavor of the clamato tomato juice ruins it, no worries. You can make your own personal michelada without clamato.

One thing to note here is that there is absolutely no authentic michelada because there are different variations. Any Michelada mix with or without clamato beer is just a variation of a refreshing summer drink.


The best clamato juice substitute for michelada drink

Clamator is a tomato concentrate that can bed mixed with drinks to add flavor. If you don’t cherish the flavor of the clamato in your next michelada cocktail, try out with some of these clamato substitutes and you will make the best Michelada without clamato.

1. V8 Bloody Mary

V8 Bloody Mary can replace the clamato juice in your michelada recipe. This V8 bloody Mary is also a tomato juice based ingredient mixed with vinegar, pepper, celery extract.

The V8 does not contain clam broth – the ocean taste you often get from clamato. For people looking to enjoy a plant-based vegan alternative to clamato, the V8 bloody Mary is just a perfect replacement for Clamato in your next Michelada recipe.

Although V8 bloody Mary is very high rich in vitamin C, the downside of V8 bloody Mary is it contains more salt than clamato in each 5 fluid ounce serving.

2. Home made tomato juice

Your home made tomato juice can substitute clamato for taste but they all have similar flavors. I would prefer you add something completely different from tomato. To make your own clamato substitute, use 1 cup tomato juice, ¼ clam juice if you like, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 2.5 ml hot sauce and 15mil lemon juice.

3. Pineapple juice

What if you want only a Michelada cocktail recipe without home made clamato juice? For fruit like taste, pineapple juice can take the place of the clamato juice in your Michelada recipe.

A pineapple Michelada is much more of a perfect beer cocktail one can love to sip on a summer day. A Michelada mix with pineapple juice makes a less alcoholic or near-virgin Michelada cocktail, but it is not without beer.

In addition to the savory, spicy, and tart taste, pineapple will add some sweetness to the whole Micheladas recipe. What you will have is a savory, spicy, sweet and tart Michelada without clamato drink in a glass.



Michelada Nutritional Data (1 serving)

How much nutrients are found in one serving of the Michelada cocktail? Let us find how much the Mexican bloody-mary drink can add to your daily diet.

  • Calories : 170
  • Fat : 0
  • Cholesterol : 0
  • Sodium : 35-40% from salts
  • Carbohydrate : 5-10%
  • Protein : less than 10%

Other mineral include vitamin C from citrus fruit juice, and potassium. The amount of dietary fiber is near zero.


Michelada vs Chelada: What’s the difference between a Michelada & Chelada?

What is the difference between a Chelada and a Michelada? There is a slight difference between Michelada and Chelada drinks. Making Michelada is not as easy as doing a Chelada recipes.

A Michelada is a tomato juice made Mexican beer cocktail. The refreshing drink is made with Tajin and other elements like tomato juice, Tabasco sauce and Worcestershire Sauce.

Whereas, a Chelada drink is simple to prepare and has lime and salt. Both drinks, when chilled, are super refreshing, and you’ll love it under the hot sun.

Read : Chelada vs Michelada recipes


how to make a michelada. Is it different from bloody mary?

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Bloody Mary Vs Micheladas – What is the difference?

Both Michelada and Bloody Mary are all savory cocktails with conflicting beginning and also have many recipe variations. They both have history but with different backstories.

Both the Michelada and the Bloody Mary cocktails have sour, salty, spicy and savory tastes. The two beverages would use either lemon or lime for flavors.

They also include similar ingredients like the tomato juice, flavor-enhancing sauce, spices(hot sauce) and some pepper.

Now what is the difference between Michelada and Bloody Mary then?

It is not known precisely, but Bloody Mary is a spicy tomato and garnish-finished drink that has been for the past century. There are varied backstories linking this drinking stable to a famed Parisian bar, a onetime infamous Mary 1 of England, the tale of the lonely Chicago waitress.

Michelada drink has roots, with backstories related to a Youngman named Michel Esper who frequented a sport club in San Luis Potosi (Mexican State). The backstory reports Michel ordered beer and mix it with lemon, and served it in a chilled, salted-rim glass.  “Chela” is a Mexican slang for beer and Michelada is considered “Michel’s beer” according to Huffington

Another major difference is that Bloody Mary is famously made from vodka, while according to our recipe above, Micheladas cocktail is based on a light lager beer.

One excellent addition to Bloody Mary is the celery salt. It would go well with slices of pizza, shrimps, chicken wings and more. Micheladas are best served with stew.


FAQ about Michelada drink


Is there such a thing as a virgin michelada?

Yes. You can make Michelada without beer. You can simply replace the Modelo beer with non-alcoholic drink.


Does Michelada mix have alcohol?

Michelada can be made from Modelo, or any other beer contains alcohol. If you use Modelo in your Michelada recipe, you should not doubt that it contains alcohol.


What is Michelada in English?

“michelada” is a Spanish word from “chela” meaning beer,  “helada,” meaning cold, and “mi” standing for my(mine). So the Michelada in English is “my cold beer“.


Are Micheladas the same as Bloody Mary?

Are Micheladas the same as Bloody Mary? Bloody marys is famously made on vodka, alcoholic michelada drink is based on a light lager. Both the Michelada and the bloody mary cocktails have sour, salty, spicy and savory tastes.


What do you eat with Micheladas?

If you have been to latin America’s, you will notice that michelada goes well with foods like shredded pork stew spiked with smoky chipotle tomato sauce. The effervescence from the Michelada beer is perfect with stew.


What do Micheladas taste like?

What does a Michelada taste like? Micheladas have spicy taste and savory flavors because of the tajin salt, hot sauces and chili peppers and the spiced tomato juice. Michelada is a spicy-savory drink best served cold.


What are Micheladas made of?

The michelada, is a beer-based cocktail. It contains clamato or tomato juice, lime juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire, and Modelo light beer (any beer could go).


Are Micheladas healthy?

Michelada is high in calories, sodium, potassium, Vitamin C with wonderful health benefits. Although the tomato juice is rich in vitamin and mineral salts, alcohol-based beer Michelada is not very good for people with high blood pressure.


What beer makes the best Michelada?

Any beer can go but my best beer for a michelada light and refreshing Modelo. Other Mexican beers, like Sol, Corona Light, or Tecate are all great alternatives to Modelo. There are some lager American beers, like Bud Light which make perfect Michelada. I will try Heineken light beer in my next recipes.


Do Micheladas get you drunk?

Too much drinking of Michelada made of alcoholic beer in one sitting can get you drunk. The addition of lemon, lime, tomato juice and the little spices do not help to lower the alcoholic content. Taking several glasses of Michelada made with beer on one go can make you tipsy.


Do you put vodka in a Michelada?

You want to see Michelada madness? Then add vodka instead of the healthy light Mexican beer. Some people swap vodka for tequila when making Michelada.


Can you add tequila to Michelada?

Yes, you can add the tequila into a glass of Michelada cocktail drink recipe and squeeze the juice from a lime wedge.


How do you serve a michelada?

Michelada is quintessential beer cocktail that is best served chilled, in a salt-rimmed glass. It is the best flavorful cold beer to drink in the summer.

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