The Best Michelada Recipe

Add as much (or as little) lime and hot sauce to this light, savory beer drink as you want.

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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.

A michelada, when made well, is one of the most refreshing and bracingly flavorful summer beer drinks out there. It's made from a mixture of cold light beer, fresh lime juice, hot sauce, and a savory ingredient like Worcestershire sauce, and the secret is all in striking the right balance. This version goes for a bold acidity and noticeable heat, but you can play with the ratios to get it just the way you like it. Some recipes also call for tomato juice, which can sometimes be good, but we've found the most solid basic renditions omit it.

Recipe Facts

3.5

(10)

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

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Ingredients

  • Tajín or other chili-salt blend (optional; see note)
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 2 ounces (60ml) fresh juice from 2 limes (see note), half a juiced lime reserved for the rim
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) hot sauce, preferably a Mexican-style brand like Tapatío (our favorite); see note
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (12-ounce; 355ml) can or bottle light Mexican beer, such as Modelo, Pacífico, Tecate, Victoria, or Corona, well chilled

Directions

  1. Pour Tajín (or other chili-salt mixture) or 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, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. 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 or pilsner glass

Notes

You can either do a classic salt rim for this drink or rim the drink with a chili-salt mix, using a brand like Tajín. 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. You can also make a less spicy version by reducing the hot sauce from 2 teaspoons to 1.

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