Cheladas y Micheladas, Spice Up Your Next Cantina Visit

Tacos may very well be the perfect food, but let's face it, the standard Meximerican fare can get a bit stale after a while. Taco the Town is here to highlight some of the more unusual Mexican finds in the valley.

This week: Micheladas y Cheladas served at Todos las Cantinas

¿Como se dice?: Micheladas and cheladas are a sure fire way remedy to any hangover, or just a refreshing way to beat the oppressive heat. Although there are many ways to make a michelada or chelada, you can think of them as a salty, lime-spiked brew, or a bloody mary made with beer instead of vodka.

The next time you're enjoying fresh mariscos or just a run of the mill combo platter, set aside that tired Cornona and try a bloody beer instead. Avoid the Miller and Bud varieties though. They might end up turning you off of cheladas y micheladas permanently.

(sink your teeth into all the spicy details after the jump)

[jump] La Comida y El Sabor: You might recognize cheladas and micheladas from Miller Chill, a lime and salt infused brew, or Budweiser spiked with spicy clamato juice. Those will do in a pinch, but the taste is nowhere near as good as a freshly made beer mixture.

Regional variations abound with these drinks, so don't be afraid to ask what your cantina puts in their version of a chelada or michelada. In general, a chelada refers to a salt-crusted glass filled with beer that's been spiked with fresh lime (and maybe a splash of Tabasco). It's kind of like a non-sweet, beer-heavy margarita. Micheladas contain all of the ingredients of a chelada, with the addition of clamato and Worchester or tobacco, with a chile-lime salted rim around the glass. Think Mexican bloody mary.

Bring a bit of México to your kitchen: You can certainly take the easy way out and purchase the Miller or Bud Light varieties, but those taste pretty grody compared to the homemade version. Instead, grab a 12 pack of Pacifico or Negra Modelo (depending on whether you like light or dark beer), some fresh limes, Clamato or V8, and salt to line the rim of your glass. Now that you've got the basics, mix up a standard chelada or michelada, then craft your own variation with hot sauce, Worchester sauce, tamarind or mango syrup, or some chile-lime sprinkles to line your glass with a bit of extra kick. Perfect for relaxing around the pool.

Know of any Mexican gems in the Valley? Reveal your family secrets in the comment section.

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Erica O'Neil