Many years ago, during Aron’s first break from residency, we took two weeks and toured around the Yucatan. (Here’s our Yucatan travelogue—with tiny, tiny photos I’m dying to update now.) While in the beautiful city of Campeche, we followed some mariachi music into a small bar where the bartender was eager to share with us some favorite food and drinks; he brought us a selection of squash with aged cheese, a cucumber salad, and a ground meat/meatball-like dish. The margarita he made was like nothing I’d ever tasted—so fresh and simple with tequila and a very generous amount of squeezed lime over ice (I’m not even sure that it had triple sec). And he also recommended we try a chelada (beer with lime juice and salt rim) or a michelada (beer with lime, Worchester and chili with salt rim)–something we continued to order on a regular basis throughout our trip.
Why not try serving micheladas alongside margaritas this Cinco de Mayo? I actually prefer the latter.
Since that trip I’ve learned that, essentially, a michelada has some kind of tomato juice in it and a chelada doesn’t. It’s a bit like making a Bloody Mary with beer and, likewise, the exact ingredients and spice level is up to you. There’s actually a great New York Times explanation of the recipe that I’ve since come back to:
“Cut a small lime wedge and use it to moisten the rim of [a pint] glass, then invert it onto a saucer of kosher salt, or salt mixed with chili powder. Fill the glass with as much or little ice as you wish. Then use whichever of the following ingredients fit your mood, pouring the beer in last. Do experiment with lavish versions compared to more stripped-down ones to see which you like best. [In fact, I'm pretty sure the one in Campeche had three or four ingredients at most: lime, hot sauce, Worcestershire, and beer.] Salud!
— Fresh lime juice, about an ounce, or one lime’s worth. I like to save the squeezed half-hull to cap the drink, to incorporate the aromatics of the oil into it as well.
— Maggi Seasoning
— Salsa picante (bottled hot sauce)
— Worcestershire sauce
— Soy sauce
— 1-3 ounces tomato juice
— Beer, 12 ounces. [Any light beer, preferably Mexican, is my pick. But a dark one is great, too, and often offered when you order a Michelada in Mexico.]”
P.S. Last year, Cinco de Mayo.