Michelada Recipe

The Michelada

This Homemade Michelada recipe starts with a light Clamato mix plus a simple chili lime salt rim. A delicious and refreshing cocktail!

It’s is hot and smoky in Denver now and I’m craving cool cocktails that are refreshing and light. This Michelada Recipe is something I crave when the weather is blistering hot and if I’m doing summer right, I always have it on standby in my fridge.

It’s the perfect light drink and goes well with all kinds of meals. Personally, I like it as a happy hour drink especially with some guacamole on the side – like this street corn guacamole or my favorite molcajete guacamole!

What is a Michelada?

A Michelada is essentially a bloody mary but instead of vodka you pour in a light beer that makes it bubbly and fizzy! While you could use a store-bought bloody mary mix, I like to make a Michelada mix that is a bit lighter than my standard Bloody Mary mix.

This is seriously my new favorite drink and while it might sound a bit crazy (especially if you aren’t a Bloody Mary fan), trust me when I say that micheladas are so refreshing. It’s a great example of the sum of two things being way better than their parts.

Use this Michelada recipe and bring a big pitcher of the mix to your next (hopefully soon) outdoor party!

Basic Michelada Ingredients

This Michelada recipe starts with a mix that is very similar to a good bloody mary mix but you want it to be a lot lighter. It doesn’t need all the intense spice (like horseradish) that a good bloody mary needs.

I keep my mix pretty simple, but I do add one slightly weird ingredient that I think gives it some interest: pickle juice! You could leave it out if it sounds weird to you or you don’t like pickles, but it gives the drink a nice sour and salty note.

Instead of normal tomato juice, I like to use Clamato juice for these because it has a lot of spices already in it and is savory and delicious. If you want to use normal tomato juice you definitely can but add some lemon juice, celery salt, salt and pepper, and a bit more hot sauce to the mix.

Also, lots of lime goes in!

Making the michelada mix with clamato juice.
The mix!

Do you have to use Clamato for Michelada recipe?

Clamato juice is a great base though so unless you are making a vegetarian version I recommend starting with it. That said, if you wanted a heavier base, you could use a store-bought bloody mary mix.

If you want to start completely from scratch you could start with tomato juice and add celery salt, salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste.

The pickle juice is kind of my secret ingredient though. It doesn’t take much and you can’t even taste it specifically, but it rounds out all the flavors and gives it some salt and acid flavors without a lot of spice.

As you can see this is a lot thinner compared to my homemade bloody mary mix.

A thinner michelada mix
Thin mix.

I made the recipe just enough for three or four large micheladas, but feel free to make a huge batch of this and keep it in the fridge until needed.

Making the Chili Salt Rim for Micheladas

Who doesn’t love a good salted rim on a cocktail? For this Michelada recipe I like to mix some Old Bay, chili powder, and celery salt in with my kosher salt for a rim salt mix.

Just rub a lime along the rim of your glass and dip it in the salt!

Salted Rim for glasses.
The rim.

Note that you’ll never use all the salt that’s in this recipe but you need enough to cover the bottom of a bowl so you can dip in the glass.

What kind of beer to use for micheladas?

In short, a light Mexican lager is traditional and I’m not sure I would mess with it. Something like Tecate or Modelo is always a hit. You could also use an American lager like coors or Budweiser but I wouldn’t get heavier than that with anything like an amber or IPA.

Making the Michelada from scratch

This is easy stuff. Add some ice to a tall glass and add 1/2 cup of the michelada mix to the glass. Then pour in your beer! You probably won’t be able to fit all the beer in the glass unless you have a really big glass but you can add more beer as you drink it. Most restaurants will serve the extra beer on the side and you can do the same!

I recommend a light Mexican lager for Micheladas. My personal favorite is Tecate, but you do you.

Homemade MIchelada Recipe

These Micheladas are about as refreshing as it gets!

If you’ve never had a michelada cocktail before, go grab the stuff while it’s hot outside and make these.

They crush the heat!

Anybody a Michelada fan? Leave a comment!

Michelada Recipe

My Favorite Basic Michelada Recipe

Michelada Recipe

2 large micheladas
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Michelada Recipe
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This Homemade Michelada recipe starts with a light tomato mix and a special secret ingredient. A delicious drink you have to try!


2 light lager beers
1 cup clamato juice
2 teaspoons pickle juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 lime, juice only

Michelada Salt:

2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon celery salt


1) Stir together all the ingredients except the beer and salt ingredients. Store in the fridge until needed.

2) Stir together three salt ingredients.

3) In tall glasses, rub the rim with limes and dip in salt. Add ice and about 1/2 cup of michelada mix. Then top with beer and serve extra beer on the side!

Stay cool.

Making the Michelada Mix in Advance

The base of these micheladas can easily be made in advance and actually keeps well in the fridge for at least a week. Also the chili lime salt rim keeps for weeks as well in an air-tight container. You could also FREEZE the mix if you wanted to make a bunch of it and have it ready for whenever a party arrives!

Here are a few other favorite Cocktails!

25 Responses to “The Michelada” Leave a comment

  1. I lived in Mexico for the better part of a year and enjoyed many a michelada. They are very common in the summer months down there. Everyone drinks them (Men, women, and some children!). They are kind of an acquired taste, but in general if you like a bloody mary and you like beer, I’d give them a shot!

    This is exactly how they were made for me down there. Good work Nick!

  2. Nick – What kind of pickle juice–sweet, dill, sour, bread & butter??
    (Tucson, AZ)

  3. hmmm…this certainly sounds interesting!! I can see how it might be refreshing! I will have to give it a try sometime!

  4. I have heard about them before but they just sound like a bar accident to me. But then again, I’ve only ever finished one Bloody Mary so I’m not the biggest fan to start with.

    1. Not a bloody mary. Very light. Only please use a good mexican beer, like corona or even a Texas Shiner pale amber ale. I do not like bloody marys. I love love love micheladas. A Texas staple.

  5. Recent native new yorker expat now living in Mexico- Michelada’s are amazing- i’ve never heard of dill juice being used, since finding pickles in mexico is next to impossible. So it’s an interesting take on it, I will have to try this version, i love dill pickles, especially my moms homemade ones. Anyways, Michelada’s are for the people who love bloody mary’s, if you love them you will love these.

  6. I’ve been drinking them all my life (60). Started out just Red Beer, tomato juice and beer. Now the favorite recipe; 3 grinds Himalayan pink salt in the bottom of a 20 oz. refrigerated mug. Juice of one half lime. 2 good dashes of Tabasco. 1 inch of low sodium V-8. Roll in your beer of choice down the side of the mug so it foams real well. It’s the first beer when I get home after the work day. Sometimes the second too! So-o refreshing!

  7. LOVE Micheladas (I live in the Desert Southwest), but I always feel like the ratio of ingredients is off when I get one at a bar. Your recipe looks perfect…including the choice of beer. Can’t wait to try it!

  8. I almost make it exactly the same, but I also use Maggi. And instead of pickle juice I use jalapeno juice. I use tomato paste and beef broth instead clamato. It’s fucking GREAT!

  9. I give you my word, I won’t make a dime promoting this product, but it’s SOOOOO good! Don Robertos Michelada Mix is a liquid mix of lime juice and spices that has a “single-drip top” so you can drip in as little or as much as you want (… go ahead … experiment!) into your beer glass, before pouring in your beer of choice. I prefer a lager or a Pilsner style beer, and I don’t imagine this Michelada mix working with anything heavier (like a stout, f’rinstance). But if you enjoy: A: a Bloody Mary, or B: a cold beer with a bit of a KICK to it, … I’m betting you’ll like Don Robertos Michelada Mix. I’ve purchased it in my home town of San Antonio, Texas (where it’s made!) and I usually tip in 15 drops of this stuff with a 12 oz. beer. You might like less, you might like more … but with this little 8 ounce bottle, you can control the amount of spicy Michelada with each beer! I think it’s a winner. I pay about 6 bucks a bottle for it, and that’s going to spice up at least 25 or more beers for me, when I feel like a spicy beer. Think about it: beer, lime juice, red spicyness (sp?) … it’s a delightful and refreshing alternative to “plain old beer” and it’s a lot less expensive than a Bloody Mary. I’m a professional writer. I usually express myself pretty well in text. But I don’t work for the folks who make Don Robertos MM. I just really like their product, and I recommend it to anyone I know who drinks beer and wants to spice things up a bit. Cheers! Stephen

  10. Great recipe, thanks for sharing! Micheladas take me back to my days growing up in Mexico. For the best michelada recipe that’s closest to home for me, I stick with modelo or corona mixed with Lava bloody mary mix and some limes. That’s it! The Lava bloody is perfect straight out of the bottle and has a subtle kick. Best bloody mary in my opinion. http://www.lavabmm.com

  11. This recipe is fairly close to mine but I use olive juice. If you like the pickle juice (which I’m going to try next time I mix up a batch) you might also enjoy trying olive juice. I have had quite a few micheladas and one day some friends invited us to a bar that we have never gone to and they had a special on micheladas so I was in. the first one was good and a little different than I had previously had and when I got down in the glass I found olives. I ordered another and it wasn’t the same and not as good, no olives, so I asked for some. The waiter took it back to the bar and brought it back with extra olives and juice added. That was the trick! When I went back they didn’t make them the same way and the bartender who had wasn’t there any more. That set me out on a quest to create my own perfect recipe … still working on it. Thanks for the ideas.

    1. Interesting Daniel! I love a good dirty martini so I’ll definitely be trying this next time. Never thought of it. Thanks for the idea!

    2. Not a bloody mary. Very light. Only please use a good mexican beer, like corona or even a Texas Shiner pale amber ale. I do not like bloody marys. I love love love micheladas. A Texas staple. Real micheladas do not have olives.

  12. I Pinned this and the energy balls, but couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do about the bonus. Not a complaint and certainly never expect to win anything, but is it something I should know how to do? I’m old, does that stunt my tech abilities? (= The answer is yes!!!

    1. Hey Susan,
      In the email, there is a link to a form, you just need to fill out the form and include the link to the PIN that you made in the form. :) Thanks!

  13. I’ve been living in Mexico for the past 3 months and I can not stand Micheladas! I don’t like bloody mary’s though so I think that has something to do with it.

  14. Great recipe, thanks for sharing. I’ve been so swamped with work recently that I just haven’t had the time to make these at home. I’ve been ordering mine online from Lava. They have a ton of all natural and vegan options. Highly recommended for all those busy workers out there. Anyway, here’s a link if anyone’s interested: https://drinklava.com/shop/

  15. Hi, I know this is an old post but wanted to say that about 2-3 year’s ago Tecate made a Diablo Michelada in a big can that was an absolute KILLER !!
    Don’t know why they dropped it, we sure miss it.
    I’m going to make your recipe for my husband & I to have during Super Bowl today & will use Modelo Especial beer.

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