What is michelada called in Mexico?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

In Mexico, the popular beer cocktail known as michelada goes by various names depending on the region. While it is commonly referred to as michelada throughout the country, there are also regional variations and alternative names used. Let’s delve into the different names you might come across when ordering this refreshing drink in Mexico.

1. Michelada: This is the most widely recognized name for the beer cocktail in Mexico. The term “michelada” is derived from the Spanish phrase “mi chela helada,” which translates to “my cold beer.” It perfectly captures the essence of this beverage, as it is made by mixing beer with a variety of flavorings and served over ice.

2. Chelada: Another term commonly used, especially in northern Mexico, is “chelada.” This word is a colloquial abbreviation of “chela helada,” which has the same meaning as “michelada.” The usage of “chelada” is more common in regions like Baja California and Sonora, but you may still hear it in other parts of the country.

3. Cubana: In some regions, particularly in the Yucatan Peninsula, michelada is referred to as “cubana.” The reason behind this name is not entirely clear, but it might be because the combination of ingredients used in the Yucatan version is reminiscent of the flavors found in Cuban cuisine.

4. Cerveza Preparada: This term translates to “prepared beer” and is a generic name used to describe any beer cocktail in Mexico. While michelada falls under this category, it is worth mentioning that there are other variations of cerveza preparada, such as the popular “clamato preparado” which includes clamato juice, lime, and spices.

5. Michelada con camarón: This name specifically refers to a variation of michelada that includes shrimp. It is a popular choice in coastal regions of Mexico, where seafood is abundant. The addition of shrimp adds a unique twist to the traditional michelada, providing a delicious combination of flavors.

It’s important to note that these names might vary depending on the specific location within Mexico. Regional dialects and local preferences can influence the terminology used. Additionally, individual establishments may have their own unique names or variations of michelada, adding to the richness and diversity of this beloved drink.

When in Mexico, I had the pleasure of trying different variations of michelada, and it was fascinating to see how the names and ingredients varied from place to place. In Baja California, I enjoyed a refreshing chelada made with lime juice, salt, and a dash of hot sauce. On the Yucatan Peninsula, I savored a cubana, which had a citrusy flavor with a hint of Worcestershire sauce. And in a coastal town, I indulged in a michelada con camarón, relishing the combination of beer, spices, and succulent shrimp.

The name for michelada in Mexico can vary depending on the region and local preferences. The most commonly used terms include michelada and chelada, but you might also come across cubana, cerveza preparada, or michelada con camarón. Exploring the different names and variations of this popular beer cocktail is a delightful way to immerse yourself in the vibrant Mexican drinking culture.