Where perusing the New York Times from my perch in a hot and sweaty office in Fez this weekend I came across something that literally made me drool. The thing in question was a case study into the Michelada. Does anyone even know what that is? If you’re Mexican, a Bloody Mary junkie, or a beer intellectual you might.
Chances are, most of us won’t, but my prediction is that come the end of this summer we’ll be shouting it from the rooftops and it’ll be the drink du jour from Lisbon to London, an updated ‘clara’ if you please. Vol Damm are already halfway there with their lime-scented lager, though personally I prefer to simply pop a wedge of lime in the neck of the bottle.
A Michelada then, is basically a beer cocktail. Sounds weird granted, but it’s surprisingly palatable. So far as I can tell the main ingredients are: beer of any kind (opinions are widely divided on which type of beer is better – for me it’s pale, ideally Mexican – but I would say go with whichever you prefer.) It must be ice-cold, add chilli, salt and lime juice. Tomato juice, Maggi seasoning—I can’t improve on the NY Times writer’s words on the subject of Maggi: “tastes like soy sauce that’s been wrung out of a grilled steak,” so I won’t, you get the idea - Worcester sauce, soy and clam juice are all acceptable additions that call to mind the Bloody Mary. A well-chilled, salt-rimmed glass is key.
I just went for it when I made mine, creating a cocktail fairly randomly based on what was in the cupboard. Nobody was more surprised than me when it turned into a drinkable drink. I tell you, those Mexicans, one day they’ll rule the world. Salud!
Michelada (makes 1 long drink)
· 1 bottle beer, as cold as you can get it
· Handful of ice
· Juice of one lime (reserve the lime shells)
· Splash each of Tabasco or similar chilli sauce, Worcester sauce and Soy sauce
· Splash of tomato juice
· 1 tsp fine sea salt mixed with a pinch of chilli powder
Throw a tall glass in the freezer. When chilled, remove. Rub the reserved lime shells around the rim, then place rim-down on a saucer of salt. Add the ice, lime juice, Tabasco, Worcester, and soy sauce, and Tomato juice. Stir well. Top up with beer. Stir again and serve immediately with the Mexican breakfast classic: huevos rancheros. Believe me: beer will never look the same again.