Best-Ever Beer Cocktail for a Summer Wedding

Now that I have caught the attention of beer-loving grooms everywhere, let me elaborate. IÍm talking about the Michelada, the Mexican beer cocktail that is made with beer, tomato juice, spices, sauces and such. A good way to describe it is as a Bloody Mary made with beer instead of vodka. And, if you failed high school Spanish and are stumbling over the pronunciation, just say ñmee-che-LAH-dah.î

This "cerveza preparada" is a refreshing and tasty option for your wedding reception or bachelor party. I like a lot of things about the Michelada. In addition to the taste, the drink makes an economical choice for a larger wedding and one that wonÍt get guests overly intoxicated (well less so than drinks made with hard liquor). You can use bottles or cans of beer in the recipe -- or even tap from a keg of beer. The one thing to remember though is to always, always use a Mexican beer like Corona or Dos Eques, for an authentic taste, somehow it just doesnÍt keep the same south-of-the-border flair when using a Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Drinking a Michelada reminds me that variety is the spice of life. There are so many different takes on the casual cocktail; it varies by the region, bartender and personal preference. For example, a ñcheladaî contains simply lime and sea salt, but not any of the tomato juices and spicy sauces. A ñcubanaî is made with Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, chile and salt. And, a ñclamatoî is made with clam and tomato juice. The drink actually started when a Latin American fellow would ask his bartender for what was, for all practical purposes, a beer lemonade. The citrusy concoction caught on with his friends and, over time, was changed to add other ingredients. Spanish-speakers also say that the word Michelada sounds similar to the phrase ñMi chela helada," which loosely translates into saying ñMy cold beer.î Give me a cold beer now!

The Michelada movement has really taken off in the United States and a number major breweries are now bottling their own versions. Homemade batches of the recipe are still the best though, the ingredients are far fresher and itÍs meant to be served in a pleasing-to-hold pint glass, not some cheap aluminum can or bottle. has a nice selection of pint glasses that work perfectly with this cocktail. Our old-fashioned mason jar glasses are also fun with this recipe. There are rumors that a good Michelada in the morning can also help to cure a hangover. We think itÍs based on the ñhair of the dog that bit you theory.î Hope you enjoy our favorite recipe for a Michelada and make sure to hook your buddies up with personalized beer mugs and personalized coasters as fitting groomsmen gifts.

Groomsmen Micheladas

  • coarse salt for rim pint glass
  • ice cubes
  • 1 _ cup Clamato¬ juice (or tomato juice)
  • _ cup salt
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 dash Tabasco¬ (or more to taste)
  • _ teaspoon soy sauce
  • _ cup cold beer
  • Lemon wedges for garnish

Wet rim of pint glass and dip into coarse salt. Turn glass back over and add ice cubes. Fill glass up two-thirds of the way with Clamato juice; add salt, lemon juice, Tabasco and soy sauce. Stir lightly to combine. Pour in beer, stir gently again. Garnish with lemon. Makes just one Michelada so youÍll have to repeat for each groomsmen who is patiently standing in line. Or, you can also multiply the ingredients and make enough for everyone in one big batch.

So, have you ever had a Michelada? If so, what is your favorite version? Let us know in the comments below.