Those who prefer elderflower to brine may not have acquired the taste of the savory cocktail, but salt-aholics rejoice, you’re not alone. This year, one of the biggest bar trends we’ve seen involves mixologists ditching the simple syrup in favor of less cloying alternatives. The dirty martini is a natural choice for anyone who enjoys a nice olive garnish, and of course there’s the ye olde Bloody Mary, but these aren’t the only cocktails with a kick. Bartenders are using peppers, herbs like tarragon and thyme, and even bacon (I can’t personally advocate that one) to make the transition from sweet to salty.
The Michelada, or a sexed up Mexican beer, is among the most accessible drinks in this category. It’s easy to make at home (you probably have the ingredients already, minus the Tecate). This recipe, published in Gourmet, is a good basic version of this thoroughly refreshing zinger, but if it’s too piquant for your tastes, you might want to play with the hot sauce and Worcestershire ratios.
Combine 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon pure chile powder, 1 lime, halved, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, a dash of hot sauce, and 1 chilled beer (I prefer Tecate or Negra Modelo). Stir together the kosher salt and chile powder on a plate. Run a lime half around the edge of a pint glass, then turn the glass over onto the plate and rotate to attach the salt mixture (the best part). Add lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce to the glass, then top with beer. Eliminate the dash of hot sauce or use less chile powder if spice isn’t your thing. The Michelada makes a great brunch beverage and is simple to serve in mass quantities if you’re throwing an impromptu fiesta.