Meeting the Michelada
I am a traveler not a tourist. I want to meet the locals and get to know them and their stories. I want to eat and drink with them. I wander guided by how the spirit and the place move me. I’d like to think Confucius would approve. Last year I went with a group of friends to Isla Mujeres, Mexico. It’s a short ferry ride from Cancun but worlds apart. There are spots that cater to tourists but it’s still primarily a sleepy fishing village. I fell in love with the town, the people, the food and the landscape. On the last day of the trip I found myself thinking about when I could get back for a longer stay. Then I moved on to looking at property. I’m not a beach person so that wasn’t the draw. It was something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I can’t wait to go back and discover more.
One day my cousin and I ventured out to El Varadero for lunch. We headed down a sandy path and a few dogs and a friendly wave beckoned us further along to the back of a house. I’m fairly sure the restaurant is an off shoot of the homeowner’s personal kitchen. Score. This was my type of spot. We were seated and this was the view from our table.
As had become our custom after 2 days in we immediately ordered a couple of beers. While I was enjoying it I spied an interesting looking concoction on another table. It was the beer cocktail Michelada. Everyone was drinking them. I asked about the drink and the server told me the ingredients and I was skeptical. Beer, tomato juice and lime?!? Umm, no. But then my sense of why the hell not got the best of me and I ordered one. I can admit when I’m wrong. These seemingly contrasting flavors marry brilliantly. The drink was tart, refreshing and spicy. I don’t like tomato juice and loved it. I was needing a bit of Mexico in my life this past weekend and this Michelada recipe from Saveur magazine took me there for a little while. You only need a few ingredients to make this delicious drink. You may need to go to Compare for the Tajin seasoning. Please don’t skip it. Use the leftover Tajin seasoning to provide a spicy counter to fruit’s sweetness. It’s a seasoning you never knew you needed but once you try it you’ll be hooked.