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The Miller Chill Challenge

Corona MicheladaOK, I have a plan.

I’ve written several times that I think I should try Miller Chill. I’ve been seeing advertisements for six months (New Mexico was a test market) and sales are rockin’. And today I received a press release from an agency that represents Corona with recipes for Michelada, Michelada Roja and Chelada. (Miller Chill is based on the “cheleda” – with lime and salt already included.)

So I see an organized blind tasting in the near future. Since we are headed East it might be a few weeks – or perhaps I’ll rope friends and relatives in Massachusetts into taking the test.

If you check out Rate Beer, Beer Advocate or founding brother Jason Alström’s rant this isn’t going to seem like such a good idea. Guess we’ll find out.

The press release is another sign that Mexican breweries are feeling the impact of Miller Chill.

The Michelada, and variations such as the Michelada Roja and the Chelada, are classic Mexican beer cocktails typically made with an authentic Mexican beer, such as Corona, Pacifico or Negra Modelo, and varying combinations of lime, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and salt, served over ice. The lime and spices complement each other and provide a spicy, flavorful kick to the traditional Mexican beer. Recipes vary throughout Mexico and the origins of the michelada are not widely known, although most agree the name came from “mi chela helada,” slang for “my cold beer.”

Corona recommends the following recipes:

Recipe courtesy Adobo Grill in Chicago (and pictured above)
– Chile Piquin
– Salt
– Juice of ½ large fresh lime
– 1 oz. Sangrita**
– 12 oz. bottle Corona
– Garnish: fresh lime wedge

Salt the rim of a large, frosted glass with the coarse salt and chile piquin. Fill the glass halfway with ice and then add the lime juice. Add sangrita and top with beer. Garnish with a lime wedge.

** Sangrita is a tomato-based drink with hints of orange and lime juices, chiles and peppers. It can be purchased at Mexican specialty stores.

Michelada Roja
– Coarse salt
– Juice of 1 large fresh lime
– Dash to taste of Worcestershire, hot sauce, soy sauce
– 2 ounces tomato juice or Clamato juice
– 12 oz. bottle Corona or Pacifico
– Garnish: red and yellow cherry tomatoes on a pick

Salt the rim of a large tall glass with the coarse salt. Fill the glass with ice and then add lime juice and Worcestershire, hot sauce and soy as desired, and then add the tomato juice. Top with beer – serve any extra beer on the side. Garnish with tomatoes on a pick.

– Coarse salt
– Juice of 1 large fresh lime
– 12 oz. bottle Negra Modelo or Corona
– Garnish: fresh lime wedge

Salt the rim of a large tall glass with the coarse salt. Fill the glass with ice and then add the lime juice. Top with beer – serve any extra beer on the side. Garnish with a lime wedge.

While you are waiting for the results you might want to check out some of the experiments Donavan Hall conducted earlier this year.

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9 Responses to The Miller Chill Challenge

  1. SteveH July 26, 2007 at 11:19 am #

    Funny thing to add to this somorgasbord, I once saw a Chicago bartender mix up the typical bloody mary for someone, then toss in a jigger of Summit Porter to the mix. I looked shocked, so he handed me a small sample glass and I have to say it was pretty good.

    Although, it was a bloody mary, not a glass of beer. Point being, I want my beer to be beer flavored. If I want a bloody mary (or Michelada Roja) I’ll order that.

  2. Becky July 26, 2007 at 4:36 pm #

    This Michelada is what my grandpa used to call a Red Beer, only with celery salt instead of chile piquin and V8/tomato juice instead of Sangrita. Always thought it was just a German immigrant in Kansas thing, is it was commonly a way to disguise cheep beer. Hmm, wonder why that’s all the push? However, a freshly made Michelada or Chelada is way better than Miller Chill. Blame it on real lime juice versus a nasty citric acid substitute that’s used commercially. I’d say try a freshly made one, and pass over the Miller Chill

    PS As a fellow New Mexican currently residing in California, how I envy you the green chile season coming up!

  3. Stan Hieronymus July 26, 2007 at 4:59 pm #

    Becky – Roasters are already in place on Fourth Street.

    (The downside is the first chiles in are from Mexico – not to be anti-Mexican but I hate to see them undercutting New Mexico farmers on price.)

  4. Jeff Alworth July 28, 2007 at 11:28 am #

    It was the ad that included the term “beerveza” that irrevocably turned me off. Some time ago, you asked what a “craft beer” was, and I think that as a data point, we can say with 100% accuracy that this marketing department gimmick is not it. The line is fuzzy, but Chill ain’t anywhere near it.

  5. Jeff Alworth July 28, 2007 at 11:33 am #

    Which is not to say I don’t appreciate beer experiments. Some years ago I spent some time in Panama enjoying Panama Beer and Soberana. It was tropical weather, and anything stronger than the lightest pilsner was out of the question. But it did make me wonder what kind of brewing/mixing experiments you could run to expand the offerings. You’re not in tropical country, but you know heat. I am interested in this line of inquiry in general–it’s the market-tested Chill that kills me.

    Incidentally (and not so relatedly) did you ever see Fal Allen’s post on Tuak? Mighty fascinating.

  6. DirtyDon September 1, 2007 at 3:02 pm #

    I’m SHOCKED!
    Here I am sipping on my 22nd Miller’s Chill Beer and Loving it!
    I’m such a beer snob, but not ashamed to let my friends know I’m drinking a Miller Product. Normally, I hate Miller Beer, especially their “Lite” beer, it tastes like Elf Wee-Wee should taste.. bad aftertaste is it has one..
    Normally I drnk Negra Modelos (without lime), Warsteiners, Stella’s, and Urquell’s. Love a variety of IPA’s, Stouts, and just something that surprises me ever now and then..
    Miller’s Chill Surprised me!

  7. Bob Skilnik January 6, 2008 at 3:39 pm #

    If I recall, the old bartenderess at The Map Room in Chicago, used to add a splash of Guinness to her Bloody Marys. They were delicious; all 5 of them.

  8. Alejandro Ayala August 5, 2009 at 2:53 pm #

    Ok. Im Mexican and let me explain.

    CHELADA yes its beer with lime and salt. SIMPLE

    MICHELADA (authentic) in Mexico is served: Lime juice, workshire sauce, Maggie sauce, pepper, salt, tabasco sauce. mixed will produce what we call Petroleo (petroleum) this name comes for its dark black result color.
    Top it off with Tecate beer and that is it. Beutifully blended and invented, Delicious everytime… Cheers!!

    Ohh and CHELAMATO is a Michelada only with half a glass of CLAMATO which is for hangovers or chilling in a beach. Rarely served at a bar.
    Approximately 8 out of 10 beers served in a mexican bar are micheladas. VERY POPULAR

  9. Drew Kirsten October 19, 2009 at 9:38 pm #

    I prefer St. Rogue Red

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