Regardless of the truth behind its concoction, the michelada has endured and become a Mexican classic
The origins of the michelada are not fully known, and the two main theories behind the name of the Mexican beer cocktail both make sense...so we’ll leave it up to you to decide which to believe.
The cooler version of the story begins in 1910 among the initial turmoil of the Mexican Revolution.
Legend has it that “El General” Don Augusto Michel would frequent a local cantina in San Luis Potosi with his war-weary soldiers. In an effort to lift their spirits after a long day of combat, Michel would order a beer with lime and add hot sauce. Supposedly, the unnamed owner of the cantina named the spicy concoction after Michel, combining “michel” and chelada, or “cold one.”
The other version really isn’t much of a story, just that the michelada became a catch-all for a beer cocktail primarily consisting of light beer, hot sauce, and acid (usually lime).
In this instance, michelada translates to “my cold beer” derived from the following Spanish words: mi (my), chela (slang term for beer), and ada (from helada, a term for cold). It works, but definitely not the spicy origin story worthy of a michelada!
Regardless of the story or translation you choose to go with, the michelada has become a Mexican icon and classic staple of Mexican cuisine.
Widely known as Mexican Bloody Mary, thanks to its typically red hue and spicy flavor, the michelada is so much more than a hangover cure. Like many other cocktails, it’s ideal for experimenting, and every person or establishment loves to put their own personal twist on it.