Oftentimes when we are out at farmer’s markets or visiting restaurants that serve Momo’s, we are asked the ultimate question… “where does the michelada come from?” The origins of the michelada are not fully known, but we have done some research over the years and there are three main theories behind the creation of the Mexican beer cocktail. As for which explanation to believe, we'll leave that up to you.
In a cooler version, the story begins during the earliest days of the Mexican Revolution in 1910.
There is legend that Don Augusto Michel, "El General" of San Luis Potosi would frequent a cantina with his war-weary soldiers. Michel would order a beer with lime and hot sauce after a hard day of combat to keep their spirits up. This spicy drink was named after Michel by the owner of the cantina, who merged “michel” and “chelada,” or “cold one.”
A Different Michel Walks into a Bar
There is another alternative story that states that in the 1960s a man named Michel Esper frequently visited the Club Deportivo Potosino in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. In order to cool off, he ordered an ice cold beer with lime, salt, and a straw. Eventually, other clubgoers started asking for "Michel's Lemonade" due to its delicious taste, and it came to be known as Michelada. Each Central American country added its own twist to the recipe, and the Michelada became a cultural landmark.
It’s all in the name
There are parts of Mexico, generally those farther south, that simply mix a beer with lime juice and refer to that beverage as a “chelada”. Authentic micheladas are fundamentally different drinks. Because of the inclusion of additional ingredients like vegetables, chiles and spices, micheladas are much more layered than simply beer and lime. The final theory on the origin on the name “michelada” is that it is simply a reflection of the translation. The word michelada roughly translates to “my cold brewsky"--the “mi” meaning “my,” and “chelada,” which sounds similar to “helado,” the Spanish word for Popsicle, referring to a frosty beverage.
Whichever theory you believe (we personally like #2) there is no disputing the fact that a michelada is a distinct and delicious drink that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Order a bottle of Momo’s Michelada Mix today to savor the historical flavor of a truly authentic michelada.