What the heck is a Michelada? 

“You’ve never had a michelada?!…” my friend Shirley exclaimed, as we walked toward El Mercado in downtown San Antonio. “We’re gonna get you one now!” Her immediate mission was to fix this lifelong mishap. 

If you’re a beer drinker, this one’s for you. If you like tomato juice, you’re in. I drink beer, however I don’t like tomato juice. Obviously I didn’t let that stop me from trying it. Here, these two punchy flavours team up to make a spicy, yet refreshing beer cocktail. 

The lady behind the counter concocted the mix with a seamless, automatic ease. I’m certain she could do it with her eyes closed. In went beer, lime, clamato (tomato juice, spices and clam broth) and some other spices. When she was done, it was all poured into a large, salt and chilli rimmed plastic cup. As the tangy, spicy mix flooded my taste buds, I pondered whether I liked it or not. 

To answer a yes or no question, my answer would be no, I didn’t like it. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t to my taste. I must mention however that it’s a flavour I could probably get used to, just like I did with beer, which I now love. 

So now San Antonio is punctuated in my memory by the Alamo, the River Walk, the Texas Folklife Festival and the place where I lost my michelada virginity. Thanks, Shirley Shirls! 

If you’re in town, give it a try. Your new favourite drink might be waiting for you.  

Have you had it before? Did you like it? 

~~~The Wandering Pier


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