Our michelada recipe makes the spicy Mexican beer cocktail that has a kick. If you haven’t tried a michelada before, you need to make one now. We sampled our first michelada at Mexico City’s La Lagunilla market and fell in love with this summery thirst-quenching drink for spice lovers.

One of the best things about staying in a holiday rental over a hotel is the ability to entertain. We are suckers for entertaining. When we had a home in Sydney, before we became full-time globetrotters, any excuse and we’d throw a party: cocktail parties, fancy dress parties, dinner parties, you name it. And, even if I do say so myself, we threw a pretty good dinner party, the success of those I attribute to Terence’s fantastic cooking and my potent drinks.

When we partnered with HomeAwayUK this year to undertake our 12-month global grand tour, we planned to do lots of cooking, eating, drinking, and entertaining in our ‘homes away from home’, and we have indeed from the start and our launch parties in Dubai and London.

For groups of friends and families renting holiday houses, entertaining is what happens at every meal. But for us, as a couple, entertaining requires inviting new local friends, neighbours or even our holiday rental owners over for drinks or dinner. As we ended up doing in Ceret, Alberobello, Sardinia, and Austin (twice).

Here in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, I’ve been perfecting the michelada and making some margaritas and authentic guacamole in preparation for some entertaining Mexico-style. Terence will also be making a big pot of chili con carne.

Michelada Recipe – A Spicy Mexican Beer Cocktail with a Kick

We’ve always been the kinds of travellers who bring back local liquor from wherever we go: rum from Cuba, tequila from Mexico, pisco from Chile. When we packed up our apartment in Dubai, we had a whole liquor cabinet full of half-finished bottles to give away. Are you one of those travellers, too?

We’ll also bring back a local cocktail recipe or two. When we returned from Cuba we were making mojitos, after Chile I was mixing pisco sours, and naturally, following our first trip to Mexico many years ago we were serving margaritas.

So what we have really loved about being in holiday rentals this year is the fact that we don’t have to wait until we get ‘home’, that we can buy a bottle of something native to the destination we’re in, learn how to make some local drinks, and over the course of a couple of weeks actually get to drink the stuff. Sometimes with new friends.

On this stay in Mexico, which has lasted one wonderful whole month, I have perfected two things I’ve been making for many years — the margarita and its perfect accompaniment, guacamole — and I learned how to make something new, the michelada. Here’s my michelada recipe, and you can click through for my classic margarita recipe and authentic Guacamole recipe.

We first tried micheladas, Mexico’s spicy beer cocktails, one Saturday at La Lagunilla market in Mexico City where every young hipster there seemed to be nursing a hangover — and a Michelada. It was a fun, fantastic, thirst-quenching drink that I knew I had to make, as refreshing as an icy cold beer is on a warm summer’s day. But it also had some kick to it, which we loved.

I tried many Micheladas afterwards — and experimented with many a Michelada recipe — but none matched the simplicity and zing of that first La Lagunilla market Michelada.

After testing out a number of Michelada recipes, the ones I liked least had a long list of ingredients, including tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, and, as crazy as it sounds, soy sauce.

I also tried the pre-made Michelada Mixers by different brands such as Maggi, which we were able to buy as a whole kit with bottles of tomato juice, Michelada Mix, and Michelada Spice Mix at Mega in San Miguel de Allende. These are a great idea if you’re staying in a holiday rental, however, I found the Michelada Spice Mix the most useful component of the kit.

Also sold separately in small plastic/glass bottles, much as cooking spices are, the Michelada Spice Mix include a tasty mix of coarse and ground chiles, salt, and dried lime. While these are super handy if you’re on holidays, it’s unnecessary if you’re at home, where you can easily mix this yourself.

My Michelada recipe is in the style made by the guys at La Lagunilla market in Mexico City.

Michelada Recipe – A Spicy Mexican Beer Cocktail with a Kick

Michelada Recipe, Authentic Mexican, Mexico City, Mexico. Copyright 2014 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Michelada Recipe

Prep Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 1
Calories: 172kcal
Author: Lara Dunston


  • 1 lime
  • Michelada spice mix or DIY mix of dried chile flakes, chile powder, dried lime powder, coarse salt
  • Ice cubes ½ glass
  • 1/4 cup Tomato juice according to taste
  • 330 ml beer I like lighter beers like Corona or Bohemia, Terence likes beers with more depth like Negra Modelo or Dos Equis; both are fine


  • Halve and squeeze the lime to create juice.
  • Pour enough lime juice to fill a saucer or small side plate to be able to dip the rim of your beer glass into the juice.
  • Sprinkle your michelada mix into a circular shape on another side plate, or just cover the plate if you’re making enough for a group.
  • Turn your glass upside down into the lime juice then into the chile mix so that the rim of the glass is thick with red spice.
  • Throw the ice cubes into the glass, then the tomato juice, then pour in your beer.
  • In Mexico, they don’t pour the beer on an angle but straight from above so that there’s a thick head of foam on the beer.
  • Do experiment – we also saw glasses being dipped into tomato juice instead of lime juice.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 172kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 21mg | Potassium: 297mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 275IU | Vitamin C: 30.6mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 0.7mg


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