Michelada Recipe

In Mexico, micheladas are crafted to cure a hangover. I think of the michelada as a thirst-quenching cocktail for a lazy afternoon. Hops and carbonation (in the form of beer) are blended with savory-sweet tomato juice to produce a refreshingly spicy drink that goes down fast. [Editor’s Note: You’ve met your match, Bloody Mary!]

Stateside, Tabasco may be the typical heat, but I like to use a Mexican hot sauce such as Cholula. Leave the bottle out on the table so guests can add as much as they like.–Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan

LC You Say Michelada, I Say Michelada Note

Although there’s more than one way to pronounce “michelada,” we’ve always erred toward “meeeeee chay lah dah.” And although there’s more than one way to mix a michelada, we’re rather partial to this recipe. (Some folks add a drop or three of Worcestershire sauce, others play with the proportion of lime to tomato juice, a few eschew the tomato juice entirely, and at least one person on the planet simply shakes 3 parts beer to 1 part bloody mary mix. Just about all of them caution you to add hot sauce “to taste.”) However you make yours, if it has cerveza, citrus, at least a little tomato juice, and some hot sauce, you can say you’ve made a michelada. Actually, if you follow this recipe, you can say you’ve made two micheladas. Unless you prefer to dump the heady concoction into a single ridiculously tall glass and keep it all to yourself.

Michelada Cocktail Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • Serves 2


  • For the salty spicy rim (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt, fine or coarse
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
  • 1 lime wedge
  • For the michelada
  • 2 tablespoons tomato juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon store-bought or homemade hot sauce
  • Ice cubes
  • One 12-ounce bottle cerveza (that is, a pale Mexican beer, nothing dark like Modelo or Dos Equis), chilled
  • 2 lime wedges


  • Make the salty spicy rim (optional)
  • 1. On a small plate, stir together the salt and ancho chile powder. Moisten the rim of a tall glass with the lime wedge by forcing it onto the rim and running it around the perimeter. Then dip the rim in the salt mixture to coat. Toss the lime wedge to the side and reserve for another use.
  • Make the michelada
  • 2. Pour the tomato juice, lime juice, and hot pepper sauce into a pitcher or very tall glass and stir to mix well. Divide the mixture among 2 glasses. Add enough ice cubes to each glass to fill it about 2/3 full. Gradually pour in the beer and serve with a lime wedge on the side. We think you can take it from here…although be sure to consume your michelada relatively quickly, before the ice has a chance to melt into a puddle and dilute your perfect proportions.
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