We’re surprised, since a michelada (the name is thought to come from mi chela helada, or “my cold beer”) is a hard sell for most American palates: this is no lime down the neck of a Corona, folks. Americans have famously unadventurous taste in beer—preferring wan, pale lagers– and a true michelada is cold beer adulterated with some (or all) of the following: Worcestershire sauce, Maggi sauce (a liquid beef extract like Bovril), lime juice, hot sauce, salt or pepper. It’s a challenging brew, but kind of delicious, too. Our only analog is the Indian beverage, chaas—where tangy buttermilk or yogurt is fizzed up with cold club soda, chili, cilantro, cumin seeds, mint and loads of salt. It’s cool, briny, spicy and strangely addictive—we’ve downed scores at London’s Masala Zone.
If you’re looking for a strange brew, skip the Pledge-y notes of canned lime found the wan Miller and Bud versions. Go for a real michelada at Sunset Grille in White Plains. Fresh lime, Worcestershire sauce and real Mexican beer: odd, but strangely delicious.