On a hot day, the michelada is the most refreshing drink ever, though the combination of bitter beer, Clamato, spice, chiles, and lime might strike some as bizarre. To me it is the essence of Mexico: a searing beach, a shady palapa, and an ice- cold michelada in hand, giving one the strength to get through the afternoon. There are, of course, as many michelada variations as there are bartenders—and that’s before they start filling your glass with plump shrimp, encouraging you to down the drink even faster. Be sure to freeze the glass for the full effect.
Yield: Makes 1 drink
Lucas spice or dry pico de gallo spice (see Notes)
2 ounces Clamato juice
5 dashes of Maggi seasoning
5 dashes of Mexican hot sauce such as Cholula
Ice-cold Mexican beer
Place a 12-ounce tumbler in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Rub the rim of the tumbler with a cut lime, and dip it in the Lucas spice. Add the Clamato and seasonings. Squeeze the limes directly into the glass. Top up with the beer.
Omit the Clamato and seasonings and add the juice of 1 more lime.
Perfecta—add several plump, cooked shrimp to the glass. Drink the beer, eat
Beer Diablito—substitute sangrita for the Clamato, add a dash of hot sauce.
Beer Limonada—salt the rim of the glass; mix beer with an equal amount of Fresca or Squirt; top with a squeeze of lime.
Ground spice mixes made with chiles and salt, available at Mexican markets; pico de gallo is spicy, the other mild.