Eat & Drink

Spicy Beer

I first became obsessed with chile powder in beer on a trip to Patzcuaro, Michoacan Mexico in 2007. In the Zucalo, a cart vendor served up unbelievably fresh and delicious Ceviche, which in itself was a treat, since most of my journeys in Mexico have been in the mountains. Though Patzcuaro is situated inland as well, it encompasses the largest lake (and their aren’t many) in the region. Because of this unique locale, you get not only the inland cuisine, but also a wonderful array of fish dishes.

The beer was served in a can, topped with a cooked, peeled shrimp drizzled with lime juice and sprinkled in chile powder. With the first sip, goes the spicy shrimp shot, and the remaining chile on on the top of the can is consumed with each sip after.


1 Tecate beer (in a can. Clean the top well)

1 Lime wedge

1/4 tspn Chile Ancho powder

optional: 1 peeled, de-veined and steamed shrimp

Directions: Open can, garnish with lime and chile ancho. Serve.

As far as I’ve found, the origins of the drink go back to the 1940’s when the practice of adding hot sauce and lime to beer became popular in Mexico. I wish I had more to report, but I do know that I now confuse local bar goers in NYC on a regular basis by ordering a Tecate with lime, and then proceeding to take out a small bottle of chile powder (which i travel with) and sprinkling a healthy dose on the top of the can.

On a recent jaunt to 169 Bar, I was also pleased to discover (having forgotten my vial of spice at home)  that a few drops Siracha (available for their bar food menu) and lime is a great alternative. But be careful, that Siracha packs quite a kick…especially after the 4th or 5th!

Chile Ancho: The poblano is a mild chili pepper originating in the State of PueblaMexico. Dried, it is called a chile ancho. The ripened red poblano is significantly hotter and more flavorful than the less ripe, green poblano. While poblanos tend to have a mild flavor, occasionally and unpredictably, they can have significant heat.

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