Michelada: Salty Nicaraguan Refreshment

A few years ago, my friend Brooke moved to Nicaragua with her now husband, Jordan. Upon a visit back to the states, she brought me a bottle of Lizano salsa and our five-year (and ongoing) love affair began. The “salsa” is true salsa — a sauce. Not the salsa that first comes to mind when you hear the word.

It looks, smells — and tastes — a bit like A1 Steak Sauce to me. My favorite thing to put it on area potatoes, other veggies and especially when I make a breakfast tofu hash type of thing. On our recent trip to visit B & J in Nicaragua, I was introduced to a whole new use for it: the Michelada.

Some quick research tells me the Michelada is nothing specific to Nicaragua, nor does it usually involve Lizano salsa — normally just hot sauces of any kind. But here’s how you make the Nica version:

Ice
Salt
Lizano Salsa
Beer
Limes
Hot Sauce
Garlic (optional)

1. Start by salting the rim of your glass. An easy way to do this is to cut into one of the limes, make a slit, slide it around the rim of the glass, then turn the glass on a plate of Margarita or kosher salt. (Normal iodized table salt will work, but it’s just not the same…)

2. Load up your glass with ice and add the juice of 1-2 limes.

3. Add a dash or two of Lizano salsa. I add what probably amounts to about a teaspoon or two.

4. Add any other hot sauce you might want to spice it up a bit. Brooke says minced garlic can be pretty good in there, though Jordan disagrees.

5. Add beer. Since stores around here don’t carry the two beers of Nicaragua (Victoria and Toña), I grabbed Dos Equis and La Caguama, a Central American beer I never had heard of, but I figured, close enough! Since a whole 12-oz. beer doesn’t usually fit in the glass with all that other stuff in there, I take the rest of it and add after I’ve had about half of one. A lot of the spices, etc., have fallen to the bottom anyway, so it all balances out.

When I first tasted a Nica Michelada, I thought I would never need to drink anything else ever again. They reminded me of a bloody mary or a red eye, in a really distant way, but were totally refreshing when sitting in 90-degree temps in Central America.

Totally unique and flavorful, I’m glad I’ve added this to my cocktail repertoire, but really can only handle one at a time. The salted rim + the salty Lizano salsa means by the end of the pint you’ve long surpassed your daily sodium quota.

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One response to “Michelada: Salty Nicaraguan Refreshment

  1. Pingback: Vegan and Vegetarian Baked Jalapeno Poppers « I Eat Veg

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