Toasting with Micheladas - The Perfect Beer Cocktail. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Toasting with Micheladas – The Perfect Beer Cocktail. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

Yes, it’s true. The first time I heard about a Michelada I thought: GROSS! A beer cocktail? Blech. Clamato? Ew!!!! But the moment I tried one—a good one, in San Pancho, Mexico—I was hooked. It was like a lighter version of a Bloody Mary, Mexican style. Just enough spice. And you don’t get wasted like you do after you drink a pint of vodka with a little tomato juice and pickled veg added. (Don’t get me wrong, I also really like Bloody Mary’s; in fact, Universal Café has an excellent one made with sake. And the bloody vodka bomb at Zeitgeist can’t be beat, if you are in the right, um, frame of mind.)

Let’s talk about Clamato. First of all, it doesn’t taste like fish, which is what I always thought. But then I tried it. It’s really just salty tomato juice. It’s actually quite good, especially in this concoction. But if you are still freaked out by that ingredient, just use tomato juice.

These are best served on a hot, hot day. Ideally when sitting on the beach.

A note on Maggi Seasoning: This umami flavor enhancer—like a dark brown soy sauce—is the “secret” ingredient in lots of yummy dishes, particularly Asian. It has an impassioned following, but it’s also loaded with sodium and MSG, so some folks might not be overly keen on using it. Maggi is traditional in Micheladas, but if you don’t have it, or don’t want to use it, I’ve given you quite a few alternatives. I used tamari, just because that’s what I had on hand.

Ingredients to make Micheladas. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Ingredients to make Micheladas. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

Recipe: Spicy Micheladas

Makes about 8 beer cocktails


  • 4 cups (32 oz) ice-cold Clamato or tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons your favorite hot sauce, such as Cholula (or as much as you want to amp up the spice!)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Maggi Seasoning, Bragg’s liquid aminos, soy sauce, or tamari
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • Lots of lime wedges (for the glasses and serving)
  • Three 12-ounce bottles ice-cold Mexican lager, such as Pacifico

  1. In a large pitcher, whisk together the Clamato, lime juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire, and Maggi Seasoning.
  2. This slideshow requires JavaScript.


  3. On a small plate, stir together the salt and chili powder. Rub the rims of 8 pint glasses with wedges of lime, then dip each one in the salt mixture.
  4. This slideshow requires JavaScript.


  5. Fill the glasses with some ice, then fill about halfway with the Clamato mixture. Top with beer and a wedge of lime. (Stir the beer and Clamato mixture together before drinking.) Enjoy!
Enjoy a Spicy Michelada! Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Enjoy a Spicy Michelada! Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Make Spicy Micheladas: The Perfect Beer Cocktail for Father’s Day 16 June,2015Kim Laidlaw


Kim Laidlaw

Kim Laidlaw is a cookbook author, editor, food writer, producer, project manager, and baker who has been in the kitchen covered in flour since she was big enough to stir the biscuit dough. She has over 16 years of experience in book and online publishing, and a lifetime of experience in the kitchen.

Her first cookbook, Home Baked Comfort, was published in 2011; her second cookbook, Baby & Toddler On the Go, was published in April 2013; and her third cookbook, Williams-Sonoma Dessert of the Day, was published in October 2013.

She was the first blogger on KQED’s Bay Area Bites blog, which launched in 2005, and previously worked as a professional baker at La Farine French Bakery in Oakland, CA. She lives in Petaluma with her husband and their child, whom she cooks for everyday. Find out more at


Wendy Goodfriend

I am the Senior Interactive Producer for KQED Food. I have designed and produced food-related websites and blogs for KQED including Bay Area Bites; Check, Please! Bay Area;  Taste This; Jacques Pepin’s websites; Weir Cooking in the City and KQED Food. When I am not creating and managing food websites I am taking photos and video of Bay Area Life and designing online navigation systems. My professional education and training includes: clinical psychology, photography, commercial cooking, web design, information architecture and UX. You can find me engaged in social media on Twitter @bayareabites and on Facebook at Bay Area Bites. I can also be found photoblogging at look2remember.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor