Classic Clamato Michelada Recipe

The michelada, some say, dates back to the early 20th century, while others claim it only goes back as far as the 1960s. No matter its provenance, this simple beer cocktail is still pretty popular in both its native Mexico and the U.S. While developer Julianne De Witt admits that "there are a few different versions of this recipe," including variations made with tomato juice, bloody Mary mix, or simply beer, lime juice, and hot sauce, she likes to make hers with the slightly briny Clamato.

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"This drink," she says of her creation, "is refreshing, thirst-quenching, and customizable to taste," adding that you can play with the ingredients as you wish to achieve what she calls "that perfect personal blend of salty and spicy." All of the ingredients — the seasonings, juices, hot sauce, and yes, even the beer — can be changed up to fit your mood, the occasion, or what you have in the refrigerator.

Collect the ingredients for this classic Clamato michelada

De Witt makes these micheladas from Clamato, lime juice, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, and a Mexican lager beer. She also uses ice cubes to chill the drinks and pours them into glasses rimmed with Tajin.

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Step 1: Prepare the limes

Juice one lime and cut the other lime into wedges.

Step 2: Sprinkle the Tajin on a plate

Place Tajin on a small plate, covering the bottom.

Step 3: Moisten the glass rims with a lime wedge

Rim two glasses with a lime wedge.

Step 4: Rim the glasses with Tajin

Dip the rims into the Tajin.

Step 5: Drop the ice into the glasses

Fill the glasses with ice.

Step 6: Pour the lime juice, Tabasco, and Worcestershire into the glasses

Divide the lime juice between glasses, then add a couple of shakes of Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce, or more to taste.

Step 7: Add the Clamato

Divide the Clamato juice between glasses.

Step 8: Pour in the beer

Top with beer and stir.

What are some ingredient swaps that could work in this classic Clamato michelada?

Possible change-ups in this recipe start with rimming the glass. De Witt suggests that "salt and chili powder can be used in place of Tajin," and you could also go with lemon juice instead of lime. Tabasco isn't the only hot sauce you could use, either, since you could also opt for a Mexican-style sauce like Tapatio or Cholula or a Louisiana one like Frank's RedHot or Crystal. As far as De Witt is concerned, "Any hot sauce will do," so even a fruity habanero one could work if you want some sweet heat.

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While De Witt likes to use Mexican beer here, listing off Corona, Dos Equis, Modelo, or Pacifico as possible options, you can also go with a domestic lager — after all, both Bud Light and Bud Heavy sell their own canned Clamato cheladas. You could also opt for a non-alcoholic beer to make micheladas that are guaranteed to be hangover-free.

What foods go well with this classic Clamato michelada?

If you're looking for a little nibble to go with your Clamato michelada, De Witt suggests that it "pairs well with your favorite Mexican dish" and lists ceviche, chips and guacamole, and tacos as possible partners. She also mentions that she thinks it tastes great with "any dish with smoky chipotles."

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We do have a chiles rellenos recipe that might work well with these micheladas if you want to stick with the Mexican food theme, but this isn't the only option for a food pairing. Cheladas are essentially the same thing as beery Mary's which means they can also be used as brunch drinks and served alongside eggs, bacon, and pancakes. These spicy, beery concoctions are a natural fit with bar foods, too, and we love them with classic Buffalo wings, but they also go great with Scotch eggs, fried cheese curds, and sliders.

Classic Clamato Michelada Recipe

5 (29 ratings)

Micheladas can be made with tomato juice, bloody Mary mix, or simply beer, lime juice, and hot sauce, but this recipe features the slightly briny Clamato.

Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
0
minutes
servings
2
Drinks
micheladas with lime wedges
Total time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon Tajin seasoning
  • Ice cubes
  • Tabasco, to taste
  • Worcestershire sauce, to taste
  • 1 cup Clamato juice
  • 1 bottle of Mexican lager

Directions

  1. Juice one lime and cut the other lime into wedges.
  2. Place Tajin on a small plate, covering the bottom.
  3. Rim two glasses with a lime wedge.
  4. Dip the rims into the Tajin.
  5. Fill the glasses with ice.
  6. Divide the lime juice between glasses, then add a couple of shakes of tabasco and Worcestershire sauce, or more to taste.
  7. Divide the Clamato juice between glasses.
  8. Top with beer and stir.
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