Why Michelada Is All The Spanish You Need To Know

If you love spices, assorted sauces, and beer, then you’ll love Micheladas.

PHOTO Nicole Young

A michelada is like the Latin bestie of the Bloody Mary. Lucky for us, Mexico has created a delicious beverage that tastes like a healthy dose of beer and hot sauce. Sounds weird, but trust me, it’s so good.

Michelada details:

There are two popular versions of the origin of the michelada.

The first being that the michelada was first created in Mexico during the Mexican Revolution of 1910. Legend has it that the infamous military leader El General, Don Augusto Michel would treat his soldiers to a ‘happy hour,’ if you will, after a long day on the battle field. The General would always order the same drink, a cold Mexican beer with lime and added hot sauce. This drink later became known as the “Michelada” (Michel combined with chelada, or “cold one”).

Another version states that michelada is a blend of words: mi chela helada. The word chela is a popular slang term for beer in Mexico and helada means “ice cold”; therefore, the phrase mi chela helada means “my ice cold beer.”

PHOTO Nicole Young

Types of Micheladas:

If you are traveling to Mexico, there’s one thing you should never be…and that’s thirsty. When traveling to different regions in Mexico, the preparation of the michelada will vary. I suggest asking the locals how micheladas are prepared before ordering. In case you’re super indecisive, here’s a brief rundown of my fave micheladas.

Basic Michelada:

Tomato juice with beer and the juice of half a lime in an ice-cold, salt-rimmed glass.


A beer-based drink prepared with lemon, salt, chili powder and chamoy. It is served with ice and garnished with tamarind candy.

Negro y Marron:

Fill a beer mug with ice. Coat the rim with salt. Mix one or one-and-a-half parts of Clamato and the juice of half a lemon or lime. Add four parts of beer and 1/3 part of tequila. Season with hot sauce, to taste.

Photo: Nicole Young

Health benefits of a Michelada:

Are you on a diet but craving for something with flavor? Of course you are. The michelada contains tomato juice which is a good source of vitamin C, but a version of this drink is prepared with beer. Luckily, you can opt for a light beer instead to go with the benefits of the juice and cut down on calories. Did I mention micheladas are great for hangovers? Like seriously.

So make sure you do Mexico right. This drink is a gem to society, and it makes you feel relaxed just saying the word. As the Dos Equis man says, “Stay thirsty, my friends.” Except don’t if you’re traveling down south.

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