Frosty carbonation. Citrus acidity. Lip-smacking heat with a wave of cooling, ice-cold refreshment. The michelada just may be summer‘s most underrated thirst quencher. “It’s a cold drink that makes you sweat,” says Padraic Markle, a co-owner of Seattle’s Red Star Taco Bar, which serves a wildly popular variant.
For years, various iterations of the michelada—a south-of-the-border send-up on the Bloody Mary with cerveza instead of vodka—have cropped up around the country, but recently bartenders have upped their game by introducing local flavors, kicking up ABV with a slug of smoky mezcal, and adding umami richness with ingredients like Maggi liquid seasoning.
Indeed, the classic drink now has a whole new level of sophistication. Here are three can’t-miss versions.