The michelada is probably my favorite summertime drink, an incredibly refreshing beer cocktail made of a Mexican pilsner-style beer with tomato juice, hot sauce, lime juice and salt. Why not, we wondered, serve it up in frozen form? Sure, it's not as sweet as most ice creams, but what could be better for a summer afternoon than frozen beer?
This ice cream is actually quite savory. There's as much salt in the recipe as sugar. If you'll indulge the food chemist in me for a moment, the salt actually serves the same purpose as the sugar: lowering the freezing point of the sorbet and helping to keep it soft and scoopable.
That said, if you can get past the fact that it's a savory sorbet, it's delicious. The bright acidity from the tomato and lime balance beautifully with the beer's slight malty sweetness, and the hot sauce adds a sharp buzz at the finish. Serve it as a palate cleanser with a rich Mexican mole, or just add a sprinkle of Maldon (or any other high quality, crunchy) sea salt and a little fresh lime zest on top. You'll never eat boring sweet ice creams again.
Note: The quantities of salt and sugar may vary, depending on the amount of salt and sugar in the tomato juice you use. As a general rule, you'll need about equal quantities of salt and sugar, but add them slowly and taste the base often to make sure they're balanced and not overpowering.
Ethan Frisch is the chef and co-mastermind behind Guerrilla Ice Cream. He's traveled around the world (30 countries, 5 continents) and worked as a pastry chef and line cook in some of NYC's great (and not so great) restaurants. He currently lives in London, where he really misses New York City tap water.
Max Falkowitz writes Serious Eats' weekly Spice Hunting column. He's a proud native of Queens, New York, will do just about anything for a good cup of tea, and enjoys long walks down the aisles of Chinese groceries.You can follow his ramblings on Twitter.
- Yield:1 quart
- Active time: 15 minutes
- Total time:45 to 60 minutes
- 2 cups (8 ounces) Mexican pilsner, like Pacifico, Modelo Especial or Tecate
- 1 cup tomato juice
- Approximately 1/4 salt
- Approximately 1/4 sugar (dissolved in a couple tablespoons of hot water)
- Juice of 2 limes
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce (or to taste)
Mix all the ingredients except the salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the salt and sugar little by little, to taste.
Spin in ice cream machine, and enjoy!