Drink of the Week: Maria’s Mexican Restaurant’s Michelada

Rob Galloway
This week’s featured drink is Maria’s Mexican Restaurant’s Michelada. <em id="emphasis-74c6cd4cbe9e1f2996a69fc1ee5fa11a">Rob Galloway / Tahoe Daily Tribune</em>

In our Drink of the Week segment, we’ll showcase one unique type of beer, wine, cocktail — you name it — to try at one of the countless breweries, bars and restaurants from around the basin.

While the margarita likes to bask in the limelight as the most popular drink associated with Mexico, the Michelada might be just as popular, if not more. There’s something about that refreshing and spicy mix that strikes a chord and helps to go down oh so smoothly.

Pro tip: they are also very helpful when it comes to getting rid of hangovers. Can’t tell if I’m happy about giving that tip, or ashamed – either way, you’re welcome.

If you’ve never heard of the Michelada (a.k.a. red or bloody beer), it all starts with a base of Mexican lager (Modelo Especial in this case). At Maria’s, much like the rest of their menu, their mix is scratch-made. A combination of fresh lime, hot sauce, Worcestershire, salsa Maggi, and Clamato juice are the players on the team. A simple mix with the lager, and a salt chili rim (Tajin) added, and you have the classic drink.

But, there’s a bit of a kicker thrown in here. A tamarind Banderilla candy stick is thrown in to ratchet up the flavor. Pro tip number two: don’t try to sip out of the Banderilla like a straw. I made that mistake so you don’t have to. Instead swirl that bad boy around and let the sweetness swell with the other flavors. Or, pull it out and nibble on the fruit – it’s delicious.

The drink itself is about as tall as the Nakatomi building, so it has you covered (at least) through the chips and guacamole. The spice level is pronounced, but it’s not over the top – exactly how you want it to be.

The beer keeps everything like a first date: light. The flavors, especially when you get a tinge of the Banderilla, deliver tastes that pound the paint like Shaq in his prime.

If it isn’t abundantly clear, these go down way too easy on a hot summer day. You’ve been warned – or rewarded. Either way, it works.

Maria’s Mexican Restaurant is located at 2494 Lake Tahoe Blvd. in South Lake Tahoe. For menu, takeout and additional information visit them online at or give them a call at 530-600-2200.

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