Cheladas are the best non-margarita Cinco de Mayo drink. Without a doubt. They’re super easy, cheap and fun.

What is a chelada? Well, there’s not one answer. At its simplest, a chelada is beer mixed with lime juice, served over ice with a salted rim. But, I’ve asked a few Mexican friends and it seems that the contents of a chelada are very regional. In some places, a chelada also has tomato juice, Worstershire or hot sauce. In other places, the term michelada is reserved for the hot sauce version and chelada refers to the lime-only version. Regardless, in Mexico, cheladas and micheladas are very common. As far as I know, though, they haven’t really caught on in the States (minus the Budwieser michelada-type clamato drink). And they should!

While a light Mexican beer would be the norm for this drink, Alex and I think Trader Joe’s Name Tag beer (formerly Red Oval — what’s the story with the bad name change?) works really well. And Name Tag is only $2.99 a six pack. So, if you’re making cheladas with Name Tag, limes and salt, each drink comes out to about a $1/ea. Can’t beat that. Oh, and they taste fantastic. I bet you’ll be making them all summer long…

Happy Cinco de Mayo!


  • 1 beer
  • 1 lime + 1 extra wedge
  • fine sea salt on a small plate
  • ice

Run the wedge of lime around the rim of a glass. Dip the glass in your salt.

Fill your glass over half full with ice. Add in the juice from both the limes. Add in beer. Stir. Garnish with lime wedge.


6 thoughts on “Cheladas

    • John Daly’s are definitely the best drink for croquet. Rematch? I’ve been working on my game (everyone plays croquet in Oakland). We also need to give that vodka-infused watermelon another try.

  1. I must be honest, I tried the Budweiser clamato crap in a can and couldn’t do it. It tasted and smelled as if it’d already been drank. I have, however had an excellent non-tomato chelada with a fine bunch of guys I had worked with at a vineyard in northern California, which was close to the most refreshing thing I’ve ever drank. Paired with crispy pig skin tacos; made on fresh tortillas, with fresh made pico de gallo, amazing. Excited to give this a try.

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