Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Why the Michelada Should Be Your New Favorite Brunch Drink

Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Unforgettable brunches are usually determined by bottomless cocktails, good friends, tasty nibbles, and a slight hangover. And when you’ve had too much fun the night before and feel like your head is exploding the next morning from trying out too many cocktail recipes, the Michelada is the savory beer cocktail that will undoubtedly get rid of your hangover without feeling like you’re really having the hair of the dog. It is a recovery drink that will bring you to life and soften the weight of the many cocktails that’s still in your system.

It falls into the savory cocktail category and is similar to the Bloody Mary; but instead of using the spirituous vodka, the Michelada contains spice, acid, and some alcohol—in this case, beer.  We chatted with Alex Valencia, a bartender at La Contenta in New York City, about the Mexican drink.

Related Videos

Related Guides

How to Make the Michelada

Alex Valencia’s Michelada

If you find yourself brunching at home, crafting a few Micheladas is as simple as it gets. Valencia stresses that the salt, lime, and a quality hot sauce (such as Valentin Salsa Picante) are essential for a balanced and revitalizing Michelada. Salt is one of the most daunting ingredients for some drinkers, but Valencia ensures that it balances the mixture and ties together the spice, citrus, and beer perfectly.

To make the Michelada, whether you need it for its hangover-healing properties, or just for its flavor, here is the perfect recipe to try, according to Valencia, who adds a small dose of orange juice for body and balance.


  • 1 ounce hot sauce
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • .5 ounce orange juice
  • 2 bar spoons fine sea salt
  • Beer, to top
  • Tajín rim, for garnish


  1. Rim a pint glass, or mug, with the Tajín.
  2. Add the hot sauce, lime, salt, and orange juice to the glass, then stir the ingredients until most of the salt is dissolved.
  3. Add ice, then top with beer and lightly mix to integrate the ingredients, and enjoy.

History of Michelada

In Mexico, popular tourist-filled cities such as Mexico City, Micheladas can be found everywhere from fashionable cocktail bars to casual street vendors—each version differs from the last as it can be garnished with an array of ingredients from shrimp and bacon, to chilis and other vegetables.

Although grain beer is one of the most consumed beverages in Mexico, the Michelada has only recently risen to popularity within the last 15 years in America due to the commercialization of drinks such as Budweiser’s “Chelada” which is available in a ready-to-drink canned format for imbibers to enjoy on the go without the fuss of mixing, even though the drink is best enjoyed when made fresh. Now, the cocktail has cemented its place as a less-boozy brunch cocktail at many Mexican bars and restaurants, as well as everyday American restaurants.

“[The Michelada] makes an excellent brunch drink because it is light on alcohol, savory, and the spiciness wakes up all of your senses,”

Valencia, who grew up in Mexico, says that the drink has been popular ever since he was a child and dates back to the early-to-mid 20th century.

Ordering a beer sola (on its own) is typically the preference amongst most locals as the domestic and microbrew options are virtually endless with Mexico’s burgeoning beer culture, but cervezas preparadas (beers prepared) have their place as well, especially at Mexican carnivals and celebrations, Valencia notes.

What is a Chelada?

In addition to the well-known Michelada, there is a variety of similar beer cocktails that each have their slight differences and are worth noting as well. First, there is the Chelada made with a beer (typically a lager), lime, and salt; then there is the Michelada, which is one step up from the former by adding hot sauce to the mix and a Tajín rim; the Leon Rojo is an evolution of the Michelada which adds a savory component such as tomato juice, or Clamato (tomato juice with clam broth and spices); and, lastly, there is the Cubana which ditches the tomato juice for Worcestershire sauce (aka salsa Inglesa, or English sauce). Some recipes are more evolved than others, but the Michelada reigns supreme because of its simplicity and quality.

Editors' Recommendations

A major change is coming to In-N-Out, and people have feelings
In-N-Out is expanding, and people are Double-Double excited about it
in n out is expanding east 4362007789 b397b0fce5 k

After years of excited whispers and rumors, it appears it's finally happening. The popular California fast food chain, In-N-Out, will open its first location east of the Mississippi. The catch? Apparently, it won't be happening until 2026. So don't start studying that secret menu just yet.

In-N-Out is celebrated, and sometimes nearly worshiped by what can best be described as a near-religious following. To be sure, the food is delicious, but the conviction of the restaurant's fanbase is intense, to say the least. Perhaps it's due to the refreshingly old-fashioned simple menu. Maybe it's the high standards of freshness the restaurant holds. It may also have something to do with every employee's somehow always authentic smiles and warmth. And there is something to be said about being "in-the-know" on that secret menu. Whatever the reason, the burgers are damned good, and the more people who can enjoy them, the better.

Read more
5 food and drink trends the experts wish would just go away
Food trends can be fun, but these are a few we're totally over
food and drink trends that should die in 2023 molecular gastronomy

We all love food trends. There's something exciting about being in on the fun and chatting knowingly about delicious newcomers like butter boards and cloud bread. Every now and then, it's good to jump on the bandwagon because you may find you love something you might not have otherwise tried if not for TikTok or Instagram. We're all for unique experiences and constantly learning and trying new things. Sometimes, though, these trends outstay their welcome. Sometimes, they just won't take the hint, which means it's time to drop the nice manners and scoot them out the door. We've chatted with some experts in the food world to find out which of these trends they're most eager to see go, and we have to admit — we couldn't agree more.

Molecular gastronomy
Marissa Johnson, professional event planner and founder of Inflatable Blast, says, "This trend has been around for a while, and it's time for it to go. We're all for experimentation in the kitchen, but some of the 'molecular' dishes we've seen look more like science experiments than food."

Read more
The best (and worst) stadium food in the US, ranked analyzed over 100,000 reviews to bring you the best and the worst foods at U.S. sports arenas
Baseball food — chili dog and chili fries.

The beginning of winter is a time for sports highlights. Baseball is in the midst of free agency, the NBA season features marquee matchups throughout the holidays, and the NFL is tilting toward the playoffs. Whether it’s in your hometown or an excursion on the road, heading to a sporting event is an iconic way to experience a locale. Sports stadiums like to show off local culture, and there are few better ways to do this than with stadium food.

M&R Glasgow
The best stadium food

Read more