Let’s Drinking: Michelada

July 21st, 2006 by: cheyenne

We discovered the Michelada in a small bar in Guatemala City. The bartender added what appeared to be Bloody Mary mixings to a large bulbous stemmed goblet and then topped off with beer and ice instead of tomato juice. We ordered one and watched carefully as he mixed and then we wrote down all the ingredients on a napkin. Then we lost the napkin. Luckily the Michelada is not uncommon, it’s from Mexico, and we have since been able to order them at a Mexican restaurant in Masaya, Nicaragua. Everyone seems to make this drink differently.

Salt the rim of a tall glass. I always forget to do this and add all the other ingredients, then realize the only reasonable way to salt a glass is to turn it upside down, etc. In the end I usually try to mold the salt with my fingers to the rim of an upright glass and it just goes all over the place. Do this step first if have any sense in you whatsoever.
Juice of 1.5 large limes (US style Persian limes) or 2-3 small Mexican limes (key limes).
15 dashes Worcestershire Sauce. This depends upon how generous your bottle of WS dashes out the goods. My “salsa inglesa” generic brand WS is somewhat anemic with the dashes so I go heavy.
3 dashes Tabasco sauce. I read actually that the original Michelada recipe does not call for hot sauce at all, nor does it call for pepper. Shocking I know. (My highly reliable source is The World Wide Internet.) I like that hot sauce though and will boldly go with 5 or 6 dashes if so inclined. Also, I’ve been using Marie Sharp’s (hot) Habanera sauce, because I seem to have a lot of that these days.
1 dash soy sauce. This ingredient is in many online recipes, but the one we had did not use it. I usually put this in since I have some. Incidentally, my internet source did not mention the historical authenticity of this ingredient; I would wager it is not an original ingredient.
3 dashes Maggi Sauce. I had to look this up since I’d never heard of it; it’s a sort of asian seasoning from Switzerland with the following ingredients: water, salt, wheat gluten, wheat, sugar, wheat bran, acetic acid, caramel color, artificial flavor (??), disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, dextrose monohydrate, and yeast. Obviously I don’t add this and I don’t know if our Guatemala City guy did either. Most online recipes are very specific about this ingredient though. One internet guy said the taste can be approximated by mixing Worcestershire Sauce and soy sauce so there you go.
1 pinch black pepper.
12-oz beer. I noticed that many recipes call for Negro Modelo but that seems a waste when there are so many boring light lager-style beers that are pretty much created for just such a drink.

The method: rub rim of glass with lime and coat with salt. Then add all ingredients except the beer, ice, and finally the beer. Stir. If you are tricky and neurotic like me (mostly neurotic, not so tricky), you will add the ingredients, then the ice, then carefully pour in the beer but not stir. Yet. Most likely your preferred beer glass is just not large enough for all the additives, ice, and beer and so you will be able to pour out maybe three-quarters of your beer only. This leaves you with the dilemma of a non-uniform Michelada. This can be dealt with in two ways. 1) Stir gently but thoroughly, drink down and add the remaining beer, again stirring. This gives your two Michelada tastes: one strong and one less so. 2) After adding the initial amount of beer, gently poke the ice around to mix in some of the ingredients, but leaving the greater concentration at the bottom. When you have drunk down a little, add the remaining beer and mix again, this time more thoroughly. This gives you a more uniform Michelada. I generally go with method number two (the more neurotic) but have been known to go with the first.

One Comment on “Let’s Drinking: Michelada”

  1. Guatemalan says:

    As a Guatemalan, I can asure you that Maggi is used. It is used in many foods, including the Michelada.

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Cheyenne Weil, Joshua Coxwell