(Bloomberg) -- Whether you’re a super-fan or a reluctant plus-one, when it comes to sports, beer is what you’re drinking when you’re watching—be it at home or in the arena. But what do you do if you find plain beer a bit … boring? Enter the Michelada, a simple but infinitely riff-able Mexican concoction of beer, hot sauce, and lime.
Micheladas are great for sporting events for a few reasons. First, they’re dead simple and rely on easy-to-find ingredients that transport well or could be easily “borrowed” (such as limes and hot sauce) from a concession stand. Second, their measurements are very forgiving; you can eyeball this one just fine. Third, on a hot summer’s day, that hit of salt provides some needed electrolytes. And last, since they’re essentially flavored beer, there’s less risk of having a few too many and forgetting about the game you came to watch in the first place.
The origin of this drink, as with most cocktails, is a bit murky. But no matter, authenticity isn’t really the goal here. Flavor is.
“I have yet to see a definitive version of a Michelada, and I don’t think I’d ever take anyone seriously if they claimed to have the ultimate recipe, because tastes vary so widely,” says Pasha Morshedi, owner/bartender at Rosewater in Houston. For example, he became enamored of ones made with Negra Modelo, a darker beer, after astronaut Jose Hernandez (the first to tweet from space in Spanish) made him one.
Without much deference to an “official” recipe, you’re free to play around with beer types, different hot sauces, and spice blends on the rim of the glass such as shichimi togarashi, pimenton, or garam marsala, to name a few.
Our variation uses a light beer to allow the heat and tangy complexity of the Korean-style chili sauce to shine though. Both Tajin and Momofuku’s Ssam Sauce (now distributed by Kraft Heinz Co.) are available online, if not at your local grocery, and serve as useful pantry staples beyond drink-making.
Spicy Ssam Sauce Michelada
.75 oz. lime juice, plus wedge.5 oz. Momofuku Spicy Ssam Sauce (or regular, if spicy isn’t your thing)Tajín spice blend12 oz. light beer
Wet the rim of a chilled pint glass with a lime wedge and dip in the spice blend to coat. Combine lime juice and Ssam Sauce in a separate glass and stir to combine. Fill prepared pint glass with beer, add the lime-sauce mixture, and stir gently.
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