If the weather where you live is cooperating in any way this holiday weekend, chances are probably good you'll find yourself in proximity to a grill at some point with family and friends. At such occasions, you have several choices of where to go in the drinks department.
You can simply set everybody up with a cold beer, which is always a good choice. You can get fancy and mix up some cocktails or pitcher drinks. Or you can aim for somewhere in the middle and equip your guests with drinks that are easy to prepare either individually or en masse, and that can be as simple or as complicated as each person prefers. In other words, you can serve Micheladas.
Low in alcohol but big in flavor, a Michelada is immensely refreshing and an easy way to goose up your drink offerings without spending a lot of time, effort or money in the process. Like the Bloody Mary, the Michelada also has a very flexible recipe, and there are as many versions of this drink as there are people drinking them.
Fresh lime juice, salt, and a Mexican beer are constants in the equation, and everything ranging from Worcestershire sauce to Maggi seasoning to tomato juice and Clamato wind up in different versions of the drink. Pick a combination you prefer or, better yet, have the assorted ingredients on hand and try several styles. Or, if you'd rather go simple, just take your favorite recipe, combine enough lime-and-seasoning base in a pitcher to cover the number of drinks you plan to serve, and distribute it into iced glasses and top each serving with chilled beer as the party proceeds.
Here's the recipe I'll be using. If you have a favorite version of a Michelada, please share it here.
About the author: Paul Clarke blogs about cocktails at The Cocktail Chronicles and writes regularly on spirits and cocktails for Imbibe magazine. He lives in Seattle, where he works as a writer and magazine editor.
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice (about 1 medium-size lime)
- 3 dashes hot sauce, to taste
- 3 dashes Maggi seasoning, to taste (substitute soy sauce)
- 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
- Chilled Mexican beer, such as Negra Modelo or Pacifico
Run the cut edge of a lime around the rim of a highball glass and dip the rim into a saucer filled with a mixture of kosher salt and ancho chile powder (optional). Fill glass with ice and add the lime juice and seasonings; slowly fill with beer (watch out for the foam!), stir gently and serve.