Ready for an Ice-Cold Michelada — with Petróleo?


A michelada is a Mexican cocktail made with beer, lime and salt, at its most pure and simple, says MariCarmen Ortiz Conway, one of our favorite Mexican cooks and a tequila connoisseur.

”The most important thing when making Michelada is that you have an ice-cold, frosted-rim glass. It must be ice-cold and frosty — hence the root of its name: mic-helada, from the word frozen,” says MariCarmen.

Also key, adds MariCarmen: ”I always use blonde beer. Because it’s from Mexico, so the beers I make it with tend to be Mexican:  Modelo, Pacífico, Tecate, Victoria o Corona. But you can also make it with any type of lager that has a smooth, light taste.“

”A michelada is very refreshing. It’s one of my favorite things to drink after a day at the beach, or before the beach, and also during. The lime and the salt make the beer more acidic and different giving it a bright, delicious sabor refrescante.”

Petróleo is a sauce made from three other sauces: Worcestershire, Maggi and tabasco. Mix an equal amount of Worcestershire sauce and a seasoning popular in Mexico called Maggi.

—MariCarmen Ortiz Conway, gifted Mexican and tequila connoisseur

”There are many ways to make a michelada. Some people use Clamato or any spicy tomato juice. Or to make it more sophisticated, you can give it an extra kick by adding what is called petróleo or petroleum to this drink. Petróleo is a spicy concoction that works with both micheladas and tequila. The recipe for how to make it is below.

”As to rimming the glass, that’s up to you. You can dip the glass in lime and press it into margarita salt or tajín, a ready-made orangey-red-colored condiment you can buy made of dried chiles, salt and dehydrated lime. It’s not as spicy as you may think and also gives your michelada an extra kick. I love tajín. I also love to add petróleo,” MariCarmen says.

What Is Petróleo? And How Is It Used in a Michelada?

”Petróleo is a sauce made from three other sauces: Worcestershire, Maggi and tabasco,” says MariCarmen. ”Mix an equal amount of Worcestershire sauce and a seasoning popular in Mexico called Maggi. Maggi has an umami flavor and is sort of like Worcestershire, sort of like soy sauce but slightly different than both. Mexican cocineros often put a drop or two of Maggi in soups and stews to give it deeper, beef-like flavors. And third, add about 10 drops of tabasco sauce, depending on how spicy you like things. Y ahí está: You’ve got petróleo.”

MariCarmen was inspired to share this refreshing recipe when she was specially asked by Familia Kitchen co-founder Lisa’s husband Ted, who loves micheladas. ”I called my brother in Mexico who owns a restaurant and serves a lot of them. Here is our family recipe for michelada with petróleo.”

Para tí, Ted. This one is for you, Ted. ¡Salud!

If you like this refrescante drink, we recommend you check out these other recipes by MariCarmen: her easy and amazing margarita, classic margarita, her guacamole (with its surprising, secret ingredient!), her Baja-style fish tacos, her mole de olla, and her classic paloma.

Ready to Try MariCarmen’s Michelada with a Shot of Petróleo?

How to Make a Michelada with Petróleo

Recipe by MariCarmen Ortíz Conway
3.3 from 3 votes
Cuisine: Mexican


Prep time




  • 12 oz light beer

  • 1 oz lime juice, fresh

  • 1/2 oz petróelo or petroleum

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1 pinch black pepper

  • 1 tsp tajín, optional, to rim glass

  • Petróleo Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/4 cup Maggi seasoning

  • 10 drops Tabasco sauce, more if you want it spicer


  • Place your glass or mug in a very cold freezer, until it is frosted and ice-COLD.
  • If you wish, dip the rim in margarita salt or tajín. This step is optional.
  • Pour your favorite Mexican light beer into the glass.
  • Mix in lime, salt and 1/2 oz of petróleo or petroleum.
  • Add ice to fill.
  • Give it a swirl, and you are good to go!


  • MariCarmen makes her micheladas with a light Mexican beer like Modelo, Pacífico, Tecate, Victoria or Corona.

Photo: Mizina

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