Fresh and Tart Chelada (Mexican Lime and Beer Cocktail) Recipe

A chelada is a more basic version of the michelada, the chili-spiked Mexican beer cocktail—just fresh lime juice, beer, and a little salt, with none of its cousin's spicy intensity.

Photograph: Vicky Wasik

Why It Works

  • The right amount of lime juice keeps the drink bracingly tart and fresh.
  • A pinch of salt in the drink itself ensures every sip is perfect.

Related to the michelada, the chili-spiked Mexican beer cocktail, a chelada is a more basic version of the drink, with just fresh lime juice, beer, and enough salt to keep things refreshingly savory. It's perfect when you're in the mood for something cold and light, without the spicy intensity of a michelada.

Recipe Facts

Active: 5 mins
Total: 5 mins
Makes: 1 drink

Rate & Comment


  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 2 ounces (60ml) fresh juice from 2 limes (see note), half a juiced lime reserved for the rim
  • 1 (12-ounce; 355ml) can or bottle light Mexican beer, such as Modelo, Pacífico, Tecate, Victoria, or Corona, well chilled


  1. Pour kosher or sea salt into a small, shallow dish in an even layer. Rub a pint or pilsner glass's rim with the cut side of the reserved juiced lime half, then dip glass into the dish to create a salt rim.

  2. Set glass right side up and fill with lime juice. Add a pinch or two of salt, fill glass with ice, and top with beer. Stir gently if you want to mix it up a bit. Serve with remaining beer, topping up as you drink.

Special equipment

Pint glass or pilsner glass


If you want a less tart version of the drink, experiment with using less lime juice—1 or 1 1/2 ounces can work, too.

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