Saturday, May 5, 2012

Enjoy Cinco de Mayo with a Michelada Michigana

When the New York Times starts writing about micheladas you know that one of Mexico's favorite breakfast drinks is catching on North of the Border...or at least in the East Village. What's that you say? We're not supposed to be drinking micheladas for breakfast. How else are you going to get rid of your hangover?

As one of the Dharma Bums of Barra de Navidad is quite fond of telling me, "You don't drink beer to get drunk. You drink beer to get sober. If you want to get drunk you drink liquor."

It is why, when I am in Mexico, I will stop at the Kiosko once I stumble out of bed (or stagger home with the rising sun) and pick up a six pack of Modello and pay an early morning visit to my Guru of Grunge. A desayuna Mexicana so that they could prepare me a mornings worth of micheladas while I scribbled down their timeless koans and coax them back down to earth following the misstep of an acid trip.

There are as many different types of micheladas as there are varying types of alcoholics. Some micheladas are truly regional, some are sublime in their simplicity requiring nothing more than a squeeze of lime and a dash of hot sauce. Others are works of art.

The Michelada Michigana will carry you through the hellish mornings that are Chicago in the summertime. As of this writing summer has been cancelled in Chicago and I am sitting in mi casa wearing a winter coat and blowing on my hands for warmth like some character out of Dickens — maybe it's just the shakes. Maybe I should have paid the utilities last month.

But I digress.

Here is what you need to make your own Michelada Michigana...

1 beer
4 oz Spicy Hot V-8
1 dash Valentina hot sauce
1 dash Worcestershire
1 teaspoon horseradish
1 splash of vinegar
1 pinch of celery salt
1 lime (juice thereof)

One can of beer (bottles are an option, but should you really be handling glass? That's why most micheladas served in Mexico come in plus-sized Styrofoam cups. Or you can fish out a Starbucks cup from the trash.)

Fill that polystyrene cup full of ice, open your fridge door and get creative. We'll sweat the small stuff first. As you probably don't have any Maggi sauce in your fridge you are going to have to adapt. Coat your cup of ice with some Valentina hot sauce, a dash of salsa inglesa (Worcestershire sauce for the linguistically challenged), a little horseradish and a splash of vinegar — think of it as a poor man's vermouth. DO NOT add the lime juice at this point. You will regret it.

Swirl your cup around and mix all that goodness together. Consider it foreplay for drunks. Most people opt for three fingers of Clamato at this point but we're not most people and this isn't their recipe. Our new wonder drug is Spicy Hot V-8 which, surprisingly, tastes okay without beer. Hell, with Spicy Hot V-8 you can save yourself a lot of time and effort and just mix the V-8 with your beer and a dash of lime — you remember the lime don't you? The lime goes in at the end of this process, otherwise your concoction will foam up like Lake Michigan in a storm once you add the beer. Our objective here is get you to prepare and to drink your michelada and not to clean up your kitchen.

Wannabe hipsters in the East Village and the tepid tipplers in Lincoln Park may want to rim their glass with lime and salt. But do you really want to be a poseur or do you merely want to be able to function? If you want to cure your hangover creatively, anthropologically, try a Michelada Michigana. If you want to get drunk just follow my friend's advice and start knocking back shots of tequila.

Now, if you'll excuse me I have company coming over for breakfast.


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