If you go back a bit to the post where we asked ‘What’s Your Favorite Summer Beer‘, you see in the comments that a lot of people love this thing called a Chelada.
As it turns out, Melissa, The Brew Club’s traveling and beer-bringing-back person, likes the Chilada as well! Melissa thought it would be a cool idea to bring in all the stuff one needs to make one for our latest beer exchange. Sounds good to me, because its not something I’d normally make on my own.
So, what do we need to make a Chilada? Its pretty easy, but if Melissa didn’t bring it to me I would never bother putting in the effort. There’s only a few ingredients that you need to make this refreshing drink.
- Coarse salt like the type you would use to salt a glass on a Margarita. I’m not sure exactly what Melissa gave me, but it looks OK.
- Ice – mine are cubes, but spheres are likely fine as well.
- Big Lime – something you can really squeeze the hell out of.
- Bottle of Lager – Melissa brought in Dos XX, but I bet any lager would do – as you will see.
- Big enough glass to hold it all.
That’s about it! So, what I did was grab a knife and slice off a wedge of the lime and use it to wet the rim of the glass.
Next, stick the lime-moistened rim of the glass into your salt. The salt sticks to the wet glass.
Turn that glass over and fill it up with ice. I went to the top, but I noticed that as I clanked ice cubes into my glass, a lot of my salt fell off. You might want to be more gentle, or more violent with your ice insertion depending on how you feel about salt.
Edited to add… Now go ahead and squeeze that lime so you get some fresh lime juice in there. I squeezed the whole lime which seemed to work, but you can squeeze more or less per your own taste. (In retrospect, I think I should have started with half, and then I would have had more lime for the second Chelada.)
Crack open that bottle of lager, and slowly fill the glass. My glass was big enough for all the ice and the whole bottle of beer. Lesser glasses may require refilling as you proceed, so get a real glass.
Drink up! Melissa suggested drinking it straight away before the ice melts and starts to water things down. That’s a good suggestion I think – this is a drink to be enjoyed cold!
So, what did I think of my first Chelada? It was OK! I’m not a mixed drink type of guy, and salt in my beer isn’t something I’d normally seek out, but it seems to work here. Dos XX, which is really kind of “eh” on its own, is camouflaged enough by the lime juice and salt to make it more of an ingredient – a supporting part of the whole. Overall, I’d say it IS a good drink for a hot summer day, and I’m sorry that I secretly made fun of all the commenters who recommended it in the ‘Favorite Summer Beer’ post.
That said, I do not think I’d like to have more than two of these things in a row. But, considering I just happen to have a bottle of Scrimshaw Pilsner from North Coast Brewing Company on hand, I thought I’d try another Chelada with a decent craft beer instead of Dos XX and see if there was a difference in the quality.
Granted, I wasn’t able to re-salt the glass, and I had to squeeze the lime carcass with all my might to get any juice for the second round (thanks Melissa for only one lime), but I managed to put together something resembling the first Chelada.
Right off the top, I’d say the Scrimshaw Chelada was better than the Dos XX Chelada. It really tasted like better beer was in the mix, and it was. So, you don’t necessarily need to listen to The Man when it comes to your Chelada. Go out and try it with a nice craft lager if you can, like the Brooklyn Pilsner or something similar.
What do you think of my chelada? Can you make a better one, or make suggestions for my next one?