Last Modified On:
July 13, 2023

Cheers to Chelada: Easy Authentic Mexican Beer Recipe

Quench your thirst with a delicious chelada beer. Our step-by-step recipe will guide you through making this classic Mexican drink in the comfort of your own home.

3 minutes

Are you a fan of Mexican beer? Are you looking for a new and exciting way to enjoy it? Look no further than the chelada! But wait, what is a chelada, you ask? It's a refreshing and tangy beer cocktail that's perfect for a hot summer day and spicy Mexican food. In this blog post, we'll teach you everything you need to know about making an authentic chelada at home. We'll cover the differences between a chelada and a michelada, give you our tried-and-true recipe, and even provide some tips for making the perfect drink. Plus, we'll answer all your burning questions about this delicious beverage. So grab your favorite Mexican beer and let's get started on some chelados!

What is a Chelada?

A Chelada, a cerveza preparada, is a beer cocktail made with lime juice, hot sauce, and salt, often served over ice in a salt-rimmed glass. Variations may include tomato or clamato juice. Popular in Mexico and the US, it's a refreshing low-alcohol drink perfect for summertime or hangover relief.

What is Chelada vs michelada?

The distinction between Chelada vs Michelada is in the ingredients, like Worcestershire sauce and tomato juice. Both are served over ice in a salt-rimmed glass. A Chelada is lighter and can be made with soy sauce or tomato juice, while a Michelada has an amber beer and tajín rim.

Ingredients You Need to Make Chelados

To make a traditional mexican beer cocktail chelada, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 Mexican beer or any light Mexican lager (such as Corona, Modelo Especial, Pilsner, or Tecate)
  • 1 lime (plus extra wedges for garnish)
  • 1 cup tomato juice or Clamato
  • Hot sauce (such as Tabasco or Valentina)
  • Worcestershire sauce, to taste
  • Sea Salt, for rimming the glass (optional)
  • Ice cubes

How to Make a Chelada: Authentic Cocktail Recipe

  1. Begin by preparing your glassware. If desired, rim the rim of a tall glass with salt. To do this, take a lime wedge and run it along the outer rim of the glass. Dip the rim into a shallow dish with salt, coating it evenly.
  2. Squeeze the juice of one lime into the glass.
  3. Add tomato juice or Clamato to the glass. Adjust the amount to your taste preference. If you prefer a more tomato-forward flavor, use more tomato juice. If you enjoy the brininess of Clamato, use that instead.
  4. Add a few dashes of hot sauce to the glass, adjusting the amount based on your desired level of spiciness.
  5. Optionally, add a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce to the glass.
  6. Stir the mixture in the glass gently to combine the ingredients.
  7. Fill the glass with ice cubes.
  8. Open a Mexican beer of your choice, and slowly pour it into the glass. The cold beer will mix with the other ingredients as it's poured.
  9. Give the cocktail a gentle stir to ensure all the flavors are well incorporated.
  10. Garnish with a lime wedge and enjoy your chelada beer cocktail!

Tips for Making the Perfect Chelada

Here are some tips to help you make the perfect chelada beer cocktail:

  1. Choose the Right Beer: Choose a Mexican beer that complements the flavors. Light lager or pilsner work best because of their crisp and clean base. Avoid overpowering flavors that may clash with other ingredients.
  2. Fresh Lime Juice: Squeeze fresh lime juice for the best flavor. Bottled lime juice may lack the vibrant taste of freshly squeezed citrus. Use a citrus juicer or handheld reamer to extract the juice efficiently.
  3. Balance the Flavors: Adjust the amount of lime juice, tomato juice or Clamato, and other ingredients to achieve your desired taste. Start with recommended measurements and experiment until you find the perfect balance of tanginess, spiciness, and savory notes.
  4. Play with Hot Sauce: To add some heat to your chelada beer cocktail, add hot sauce gradually. Keep in mind that different hot sauces have varying levels of spiciness. Taste as you go and adjust the amount to your liking.
  5. Worcestershire Sauce: Worcestershire sauce adds depth and umami flavors to the chelada beer cocktail. Start with a small amount and adjust according to your taste. Be cautious not to overpower the other ingredients.

How to Serve with Tacos and Margaritas

Create a festive Mexican-inspired cuisine by serving chelada/margarita, tacos, and more Start with authentic chelados, rim the glasses with a salt rim. For tacos, choose your filling and add toppings like onions, cilantro, lettuce, cheese, and salsa. Prepare classic margaritas with tequila, lime juice, and triple sec.

Variations of Chelada Recipes

1. Spicy Michelada:

  • Follow the traditional chelada recipe.
  • Add a splash of soy sauce for an umami kick.
  • Increase the amount of hot sauce for extra heat.
  • Garnish with a spicy pepper, such as a jalapeño or serrano pepper.

2. Cucumber Chelada:

  • Muddle a few slices of cucumber in the bottom of the glass before adding lime juice and other ingredients.
  • Use a cucumber-flavored Mexican beer drink or add a splash of cucumber juice for a refreshing twist.
  • Garnish with a cucumber spear or cucumber slices.

3. Tropical Chelada:

  • Substitute the traditional tomato juice with pineapple juice or mango nectar.
  • Add a splash of lime juice and a pinch of Tajin seasoning for a tangy and tropical overall flavor.
  • Garnish with a pineapple wedge or mango slice.

4. Clamato and Shrimp Chelada:

  • Instead of tomato juice, use Clamato for a briny flavor.
  • Add cooked shrimp as a garnish.
  • Consider adding a splash of seafood cocktail sauce for an extra kick.
  • Rim the glass with spices like Old Bay seasoning or a blend of salt and chili powder.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Chelada stand for?

Chelada is a Spanish word that translates to "chilled beer" in English. It refers to a Mexican cocktail made with beer, lime juice, and salt served in a chilled glass with a salted rim. The word "chelada" comes from the verb "chelar," which means to chill or cool down.

What does Chelada beer taste like?

Chelada beer is a refreshing and tangy beer cocktail. It has a slightly salty taste due to the salt-rimmed glass and lime juice. The beer flavor is still prominent, but the citrusy twist adds a zing to the overall taste. Different variations may have different tastes depending on the ingredients.

Related Recipes

  • Looking for a new twist on a classic cocktail? Try an Espresso Martini! This caffeinated cocktail packs a punch and is perfect for those looking for a pick-me-up.
  • Make the perfect party shot with the Lemon Drop Shot. Combine equal parts vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into shot glasses for a sweet and tart taste. Add some sugar on the rim for an extra kick.


In conclusion, Chelados are the perfect drink for any fiesta or siesta. With simple ingredients and easy preparation, anyone can make an authentic Mexican beer recipe that will impress their amigos. So go ahead, mix up a batch of Chelados, serve them with some tacos and margaritas, and let the good times roll! And for more delicious recipes like this, check out our related recipes section to quench your thirst. Salud!