Chavela: the best recipe for the popular Mexican beer cocktail

Total time: 5 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 2 people
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If you're a fan of the spicy, tomatoey, boozy taste of Bloody Marys and micheladas, you'll adore chavelas. Similar to the michelada but with fewer ingredients, chavelas are a beer cocktail made with Mexican lager, tomato juice, hot sauce, and an optional shot of tequila, served in a salt-rimmed glass.

They're an incredibly refreshing drink, perfect for hot summer days. Serve chavelas at barbecues, brunch, or the next time you have taco night!


Tips for Making the Best Chavelas

Serve chavelas in pint glasses.

The best beer for making chavelas is Mexican lager. Popular brands include Modelo, Corona, Pacifico, Tecate, and Sol. If you can't find a Mexican lager, use a pilsner-style lager as a substitute.

You can add 1/2 ounce of silver (blanco) tequila to make a stronger cocktail. If you like a richer tequila flavor, use reposado tequila.

Lemons can be used as an alternative to lime.

Use your favorite hot sauce and add as much or as little as you like to your chavela. If you'd like to use Mexican hot sauce, look for brands like Cholula, Tapatio, Valentina, and El Yucateco.

You can combine the hot sauce and tomato juice up to two days in advance.

lime wedge
coarse salt or chile lime salt like tajin
Tomato juice
3 ounces
mexican lager
12 ounces
hot sauce to taste
shot of tequila (optional)

How to Make a Chavela

Run the lime wedge around the rim of your glass.

Pour the salt into a small shallow dish, then gently but firmly dip the rim of the glass into the salt.

Place ice cubes in your glass.

Pour in tomato juice.

Add the hot sauce to taste. Stir to combine.

Top with lager.

Garnish with the lime wedge.

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