There is a time and place for a good beer cocktail. That time is anytime and that place is wherever. Because beer drinking, like everything in life, requires balance. We get so wrapped up in good craft beer that I think it’s important to, every now and again, throw some macro brew over ice and accept that it’s too hot out to care.
So I endorse the michelada – a Mexican amber lager with lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and salt. Negra Modelo or Dos Equis Amber are good choices, but any amber will do the trick. I had some Rush River lying around it worked just fine, though I’ve found lagers balance the drink better than ales.
The sticking point on this cocktail (and must there always be a sticking point with cocktails?) is the addition of the red stuff. Tomato juice, V8, or clamato juice can be added to the drink depending on how closely you want it to resemble a beer Bloody Mary.
There are those purists who swear that a true Mexican michelada has no juice. Others claim that clamato juice is the way to go, even as much as half-and-half with the beer. I feel like the right drink is somewhere in the middle. Especially if you’re using Tabasco as your hot sauce, a little tomato juice helps smooth out the piercing vinegar flavor. It may also help stretch two cocktails out of one beer, perfect for an afternoon of session cocktailing.
My preferences are Cholula for the hot sauce along and chili powder on the rim of the glass. But it should be noted, many a michelada has been made with a shot of vodka or tequila. So, experiment as the classiness of your weekend plans allows.
-Prepare a pint glass by rubbing a quartered lime around the rim, then dipping it in a mix of equal parts kosher salt and chili powder.
-Add 2-3 oz. tomato juice, a few dashes each Worcestershire and hot sauce, and the juice of half a lime. Stir lightly to combine.
-Add ice, fill with beer, top with another squeeze of lime.