Michelada in a salt-rimmed glass
|Primary alcohol by volume|
|Served||In a chilled, salt-rimmed glass|
|Standard drinkware||Pint glass|
A Michelada (Spanish pronunciation: [mitʃeˈlaða]) is a cerveza preparada made with beer, lime juice, assorted sauces (often chile-based), spices, tomato juice, and chile peppers. It is served in a chilled, salt-rimmed glass. There are numerous variations of this beverage throughout Mexico.
In Mexico City, the most common form is prepared with beer, lime, salt, and particular hot sauces or chile slices. There are several other optional ingredients, such as Maggi sauce, soy sauce, Tajín, Worcestershire sauce, chamoy powder, serrano peppers, Camaronazo (a shrimp-based tomato juice), Clamato, or slices of orange.
There are two popular versions of the origin and etymology of the michelada.
One concerns a Michel Ésper at Club Deportivo Potosino in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. In the 1960s, Ésper began to ask for his beer with lime, salt, ice, and a straw, in a special cup called "chabela", as if it were a beer lemonade (limonada). The members of the club started asking for beer as "Michel's lemonade", with the name shortening over time to Michelada. As time went by, other sauces were added to the original recipe. Today, it contains the same ingredients as a chelada but contains ice and chile powder on the rim.
Another etymology states that michelada is a portmanteau of mi chela helada. The word chela is a popular term for a beer in Mexico. When you ask for a chela, you are asking for a cold beer; therefore the phrase mi chela helada means "my ice cold beer".
In the 2010s, major U.S. beer producers began marketing cervezas preparadas, illustrating the wide variety of recipes in the chelada/michelada category and acknowledging its popularity among the country's Latin American population along with the increasing popularity of the drink outside of the Latin American population. For example, Miller Brewing Company produces Miller Chill, a "Chelada-style light lager with a hint of salt and lime". Anheuser-Busch makes Budweiser Chelada and Bud Light Chelada, a combination of lager, clamato, lime juice, and salt. As of 2012, Tecate now offers a michelada flavored with lime and spices. In 2015, Cervecería Centro Americana, a Guatemalan Brewery, released a Michelada under the trade name Dorada Draft Michelada Chiltepe. The beverage is spiced with chipotle peppers, the most widely used peppers in the region.
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