There is no more accurate measure of a food’s popularity than the race to modify or reinterpret it. Through that lens, michelada regulates. It is the king of daytime drinking in Southern California and is part of the general buzz of a perfect LA summer.
The origin of michelada remains unresolved, but most agree that the original beer drink contained only lime and salt – this is what is now largely known as a chelada. Michelada preparada or michelada cubana is what comes out when salsas and sauces are added.
Restaurants that serve Michelada often invent catchy, exotic names for their in-house drink variations. Let them be, but don’t keep them as the standard. Here, in general terms, are the five basic food groups, if you will, in the michelada universe.
Salt, lime, ice, lime. Best served in a cup frosted with rim salt.
Chelada with salt and chili powder, usually Tajín seasoning, and any combination of umami flavoring agents, such as Clamato, salsa inglesa (Worcestershire sauce), Maggi salsa, Tabasco or Valentina sauce. Also known as michechelada prepada or michelada cubana.
A sweeter michelada with tamarindo and chamoy, instead of salt and pepper. Usually served with skewers of sour marshmallows (hence “gomi”), saladitos or spicy watermelon marshmallows. In some preparations, the rim is covered with a lightly toasted sesame layer. Is it possible to end it with a salty lollipop?
Michelada doesn’t have beer, using a mix and preparation of the beer mic to complement agua freshca, usually agua de mango or agua de piña y espinaca (pineapple and spinach), or cucumber and lemon. Can be decorated with a cherry or other fruit skewer, a chamoy straw, a piece of pineapple, etc.
Here’s the michelada with seafood on top – plenty, if you like. Start with skewers of cooked shrimp and mango or cucumber; or shrimp or pieces of cucumber seasoned in the rim. In more lavish variations, an all-plastic platter of a mariscos cocktail, consisting of flour, scallops, even oysters, is placed on a michelada glass, with incisions in the container to let the juices of mariscos can drip onto beer. These are mics that turn into meals.
https://www.latimes.com/food/story/2022-08-11/michelada-primer-botana-gomichela-michelagua How well do you know your michelada? The five basic types