The Flavorful Ingredient Swap You Can Make For Your Next Michelada

As peculiar as the phrase "beer cocktail" might sound at first, Michelada fans know exactly what we're talking about. And we're showcasing one simple ingredient swap to make this tangy, savory, and refreshing drink even more multi-dimensional. 

The classic Michelada recipe is a spicy, citrusy combination of beer, tomato juice, Cholula hot sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire, lime juice, sea salt, and whatever other spices and toppings you prefer. Similar to a bloody Mary, Micheladas can come loaded with garnishes like shrimp skewers, pineapple wheels, jalapeno slices, lime wedges, celery stalks, and even fried chicken tenders. The world is your oyster — or, rather, your clam. You heard us right – in your next Michelada, swap the tomato juice for Clamato.

If you've never tried it before, Clamato is a blend of tomato juice, clam broth, and spices. While we wouldn't necessarily recommend drinking a tall glass of it straight up (although, zero judgment here), Clamato is the secret ingredient your bevy has been missing. It'll add saltiness and a kick of umami flavor, and it's been canonized as a common Michelada ingredient for a reason.

Do you sea what we sea?

Swapping tomato juice for Clamato in a Michelada is kind of like making a seafood bloody Mary instead of a regular one — it gives the beverage an umami facelift. You could even garnish both drinks with a lobster claw. In addition to the original flavor, Clamato also makes spicy Picante and citrusy Limón flavored juices, which could also work well here. You could even add a dash of liquid smoke for more depth. Just be sure to use the right beer in your Michelada (light Mexican varieties work best), and add a lime-Tajin rim. Feeling bold? Drive the nautical flavor profile home and rim your pint glass with a mixture of Tajin and Old Bay seasoning instead.

The Clamato Michelada is, dare we say, the ultimate summer sipper. It's a savory drink for pool parties and backyard barbecues — and incidentally, Micheladas' spicy, citrusy, umami flavor pairs beautifully with a seafood boil or grilled corn on the cob. It has a minimal ingredient lineup and is easy prep, making it an ideal drink to batch for large gatherings, potlucks, and beach days. Plus, as a cocktail without the liquor, its lower ABV makes the Michelada a great choice for enjoying on a hot day without getting too dehydrated or woozy under the bright sun.