Best Michelada Recipe – How to Make This Spicy Mexican Beer and Tomato Juice Cocktail

Are you ready to try something new for happy hour? Looking for a refreshing and spicy cocktail option? Look no further than the Michelada!

This beer cocktail made with tomato juice, hot sauce, and Mexican beer is the perfect drink for those who like their drinks on the savory and spicy side.

Let’s go over what a michelada is, michelada ingredients, how to make a basic michelada, michelada variations, and of course; I’ll share the best michelada recipe. Let’s get started!

What is a Michelada?

The Michelada is a Mexican cocktail with beer and tomato juice (or clamato juice), hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and lime juice. It is traditionally served in a glass rimmed with salt or a spice mix like tajin.

The drink is believed to have originated in Mexico, and its popularity has spread across Latin America and the United States. The Michelada is often enjoyed during brunch, outdoor gatherings, or as a refreshing drink after a long day.

How to Make a Michelada?

Michelada Recipe

Course: Beer
Cuisine: Beer Cocktails
Keyword: Michelada Recipe
Calories: 295kcal


  • 1 Tall Glass A tall glass, such as a pint glass or Collins glass, is typically used for serving Micheladas. It should have enough capacity to accommodate the cocktail along with ice and garnishes.
  • 3 Small Plates You'll need a couple of small plates to rim the glass with salt and Tajín or chili powder. These plates should be wide enough to fit the rim of the glass.
  • 1 Knife and Cutting Board You'll need a knife and cutting board to cut the lime into wedges for juicing and for any optional garnishes like cucumber slices.
  • 1 Pitcher or Mixing Glass A pitcher or a large mixing glass will be useful for combining the tomato juice, lime juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and other seasonings. This will allow you to easily mix the ingredients before pouring them into the serving glass.
  • 1 Stirring Spoon A long stirring spoon or a bar spoon will help you mix the ingredients thoroughly in the pitcher or mixing glass.
  • 1 Ice Cube Tray If you prefer your Michelada chilled, an ice cube tray will be needed to freeze ice cubes. Alternatively, you can use pre-made ice cubes from your freezer.


  • 1 Lime
  • Salt (for rimming the glass)
  • Tajín or chili powder (optional, for rimming the glass)
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 Mexican lager beer (such as Modelo Especial or Dos Equis)
  • 1 cup Tomato juice
  • 2 tbsp Lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Maggi seasoning (optional)
  • 1/ tsp Celery salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Lime wedges, celery stalk, pickled jalapeños, cucumber slices (optional garnishes)


Michelada Prepping

  • Begin by rimming a tall glass with salt.
  • Squeeze the juice of the lime onto a small plate.
  • In another plate, spread out some Tajín or chili powder.
  • Dip the rim of the glass into the lime juice and then into the Tajín or chili powder, coating the rim evenly. Set aside.
  • Fill the glass with ice cubes, leaving some room at the top for the beer.

Michelada Seasoning

  • In a separate pitcher, combine the tomato juice, freshly squeezed lime juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, Maggi seasoning (if using), celery salt, and a pinch of black pepper.
  • Stir well to combine and adjust the seasonings according to your taste preferences.
  • You can add more hot sauce for extra spiciness or adjust the acidity with lime juice.

Making the Michelada Cocktail

  • Pour the tomato juice mixture over the ice in the prepared glass, filling it about halfway.
  • Slowly pour the Mexican lager beer into the glass, allowing it to mix with the tomato juice. You can pour it in all at once or gradually, depending on how much foam you prefer.
  • Give the cocktail a gentle stir to combine the flavors.
  • Optionally, garnish the glass with a lime wedge, a celery stalk, pickled jalapeños, or cucumber slices.
  • Serve the Michelada immediately and enjoy!



  • Lime Juice: Freshly squeezed lime juice is key to achieving a bright and tangy flavor in the Michelada. It’s best to use fresh limes rather than bottled lime juice for the best taste.
  • Rimming the Glass: Rimming the glass with salt and Tajín or chili powder adds an extra layer of flavor and enhances the presentation. If you can’t find Tajín, you can use any chili powder of your choice.
  • Adjusting Seasonings: The recipe provides general measurements for hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and other seasonings. Feel free to adjust these according to your personal taste preferences. Add more hot sauce for extra spiciness or increase the acidity with additional lime juice.
  • Choosing the Beer: Traditional Mexican lager beers like Modelo Especial, Dos Equis, or Corona work well in a Michelada. However, you can experiment with other light beers or even try craft beers to customize the flavor to your liking.
  • Maggi Seasoning: Maggi seasoning is an optional ingredient that adds depth of flavor to the Michelada. It has a savory and slightly sweet taste. If you don’t have Maggi seasoning, you can omit it or replace it with a dash of soy sauce or extra Worcestershire sauce.
  • Garnishes: While not necessary, garnishes can add extra visual appeal and flavor to your Michelada. Lime wedges, celery stalks, pickled jalapeños, or cucumber slices are standard garnish options. Feel free to get creative and use your favorite toppings.
  • Experiment and Customize: Micheladas are a versatile cocktail, and you can adjust the ingredients and ratios to suit your preferences. Some variations include adding Clamato juice (a blend of tomato juice and clam broth), using different hot sauces or spices, or incorporating additional ingredients like clam juice or Mexican seasoning blends.
  • Serve Fresh: Micheladas are best enjoyed fresh. As the beer can lose its carbonation over time, it’s ideal to prepare and serve the cocktail right away for the best taste and experience.

Michelada vs. Bloody Mary

Although they have similar ingredients, the Michelada and the bloody mary are unique cocktails. The main difference is that the bloody mary is a vodka-based cocktail, while the Michelada is made with beer.

While bloody marys are often garnished with celery and olives, micheladas are garnished with lime wedges and can be rimmed with various spices.

Benefits of Drinking Micheladas

Aside from being a tasty, refreshing drink, the Michelada has potential health benefits.

Tomato juice, one of the main ingredients in a michelada, is a good source of vitamins C and K and has been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, moderate beer consumption may also lower the risk of heart disease.

Making Your Michelada Spicier

If you like your Michelada spicy, there are several ways to amp up the heat.

  1. Use a more spicy hot sauce or add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  2. Rim the glass with chili powder and cayenne pepper.
  3. Consider using a spicy Mexican beer or adding a bit of habanero powder to the mix for a truly spicy Michelada.

How to Rim the Glass

Rimming the glass with a spice mix is essential in making a michelada. To do this, run a lime wedge around the rim of the glass and then dip it into a shallow dish of chili lime seasoning or tajin seasoning mix. Alternatively, you can use a combination of salt and chili powder. Be sure to rim the glass before adding ice and the rest of the ingredients.

Tomato Juice or Clamato Juice

Tomato juice and clamato juice are essential to a good michelada. They add a savory, slightly sweet flavor to balance the spiciness of the hot sauce. Clamato juice, made from tomato and clam juice, can add a somewhat brine flavor.

Hot Sauce

There are countless hot sauce options to choose from when making a michelada. Some popular options include Tabasco, Cholula, and Valentina. Choose a hot sauce that suits your taste preferences–some are milder, while some have a real kick.

Michelada Variations

Clamato Michelada

The clamato michelada is a popular variation of the traditional Michelada. To make it, replace the tomato juice with clamato juice, and this adds a slightly salty flavor to the drink that pairs well with the hot sauce and lime juice.

Lime Michelada

A lime michelada is a refreshing and citrusy twist on the basic recipe. To make it, add a little extra lime juice to the mix and garnish with extra lime wedges.

Mexican Beer Michelada

A Mexican beer michelada is an excellent option for those who want a more straightforward recipe. To make it, add some lime juice and a dash of hot sauce to your Mexican beer of choice. It’s a simple and refreshing drink that’s perfect for summer.


Are there different variations of Micheladas?

Yes, there are many variations of micheladas, some call for tomato juice, others use clamato juice, and some are made without tomato juice altogether.

What are the classic Michelada ingredients?

The classic Michelada ingredients include Mexican beer, lime juice, hot sauce, and Maggi seasoning.

Can any beer be used to make a Michelada?

Mexican lagers are the best to make a Michelada, but any cold beer can be used.

What is the difference between a Michelada and a bloody mary?

The significant difference between a michelada and a bloody mary is that a michelada is made with beer. In contrast, a bloody mary is made with vodka and tomato juice or a spicy bloody mary mix.

How do I make a refreshing Michelada?

To make a refreshing Michelada recipe, you’ll need to dip the rim of a beer mug in salt and tajin, then mix a beer with tomato juice or clamato, lime juice, hot sauce, and Maggi seasoning.

Is it necessary to use tomato or clamato juice when making a Michelada?

Most Michelada recipes, including this one, call for you to use tomato juice or clamato juice, but some variations can be made without tomato juice. But you have to ask yourself then – is it a Michelada you are making? Probably not.

What is the best beer to use when making a Michelada?

Mexican lagers such as Corona, Pacifico, or Modelo are preferred for making a Michelada, but any cold beer can be used.

What is Maggi seasoning, and why is it essential for a Michelada?

Maggi seasoning is a savory sauce in many Mexican and Latin American dishes. It’s the perfect addition to a Michelada recipe, giving the cocktail a spicy and salty flavor.

Final Thoughts on Making A Michelada

Rim a glass with chili lime seasoning or tajin spice mix. Fill the glass with ice. Add clamato juice, hot sauce, fresh lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, and a pinch of salt. Stir gently. Top with beer, then garnish with a lime wedge.

Now that you know what a michelada is and how to make one, it’s time to get mixing! Try one of the variations or stick with the classic Michelada recipe. No matter your choice, we guarantee it will be the perfect refreshing drink for your next sunny day.

Dan Smullen Beer is my life profile

Hi, I'm Dan, founder of BeerIsMyLife. I've been an avid homebrewer for over ten years, and beer is my true passion. I've traveled all over the world, visiting breweries, tasting beer, as well as making my own batches. I set up this blog to share that experience with you.