My modern self is defined by an unfortunate mix of fatalism and procrastination that makes it hard to get going on weekend mornings.
Brunch has become a big part of my life.
And brunch to me means red drinks.
Bloody Mary, of course (Cerberus Brewing Co. makes a beautiful one). But this is not the only option.
Pikes Pub reader Daniel O’Brien wrote to me some time ago to share his thoughts and encourage me to do the same, about what is known as red beer, blood beer, Mexican bloody mary or more generally michelada style of beer. drink by mixing beer and tomato paste or juice.
“While not a ‘craft beer’ in and of itself, it may encourage several readers to try one or more and include different recipes and ancestry with regards to who, why, when and how,” O’Brien said, adding that his personal inquiries led to “divergences, opinions, and conflicts” in the backstory of the libation.
He’s actually right about the delicious historical haze of this blended Mexican beer, often served chilled and topped with lime juice, various sauces, spices, and chili peppers. Numerous variations can be found throughout Mexico and around the world in cans (with names like “Chelada”, also known as “my little cold one”) from major brewers including Budweiser.
Wikipedia gives two popular legends about the origin of the drink. One of them is simply a purse or a mixture of the Spanish phrase “mi chela helada”, which roughly translates to “my ice beer”.
Another dates from the 1960s and a sports club in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. A man named Michel Esper “began asking for a beer with lime, salt, ice and a straw in a cup called ‘chabela’ as if it were beer lemonade (lemonade). Members of the club began to ask for beer as “Michel’s Lemonade”, and the name eventually shortened to “Michelade”.
On their website, Los Angeles-based Montoya’s Michelada publishes an alternate, “cooler version” of the legend, set in the same Mexican city in 1910, featuring a completely different “Michel”.
“Legend has it that ‘El General’ Don Augusto Michel frequented the local canteen in San Luis Potosi with his war-weary soldiers. To cheer them up after a long day of fighting, Michel ordered beer with lime and added hot sauce. Supposedly, the unnamed owner of the cantina named the spicy concoction after Michel, combining “michel” and “chelada” or “cold”.
Whatever the drink, it did not remain a local favorite for long.
O’Brien shared a recipe for one of his favorite Michelada variations:
1 – Very clean 16oz glass mug.
1 – 12 oz. Coors Banquet, as cold as possible.
3 (or more) green olives with or without pepper.
(Optional) – A drop or more of olive juice brine.
The rest: fully chilled tomato juice (any brand) topped with hot Louisiana sauce.
“Share and enjoy the game!” he said.
Because it was supposed to be a Super Bowl column, many moons ago.
Obviously fate had other plans.