The Best Hot Sauce To Instantly Elevate Micheladas

The michelada is the perfect summer drink — a Mexican, beer-based beverage that blends spicy, savory, and acidic elements into a refreshing cocktail. It usually contains beer, tomato juice, lime juice, hot sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire, and a rim garnish of lime and Tajín. If you're still wondering what it tastes like, it's a bit like a zesty, fizzy version of a Bloody Mary.

It might be hard to decide on the perfect hot sauce to complete your best michelada recipe, but look no further. An expert has shared his take with Mashed on which brand should be your go-to when making the drink.

Juan "Sonic" Ramirez — bar manager of Fonda, a contemporary Mexican restaurant in New York City — has some thoughts on which hot sauce you should be mixing into your micheladas. "Valentina Mexican Hot Sauce is the best hot sauce to use when crafting a michelada," Ramirez tells us.

You also might be wondering if one hot sauce holds up for various beers, or if you should switch things up when using different types of beer in your michelada recipe. According to Ramirez, a truly great michelada mix "will stand up perfectly to any profiles a beer may have. It really depends on the consumer's preference of beer." While it's best to stick with a light, Mexican beer, experimenting can't hurt.  

Why Valentina is the beloved hot-sauce that will perfectly complement your drink

Now that we know that Valentina and micheladas are a match made in heaven, it's time to get mixing. But what exactly makes this particular hot sauce such a good pairing? It likely has to do with the quality, simple ingredients, and flavor — Valentina has a fairly subdued profile and a lower vinegar content than other sauces. It's a Mexican hot sauce that's on the thicker side, and it has a relatively mild flavor.

The normal, red-label version of the sauce is only a 900 on the Scoville scale, below Tabasco, Cholula, and Tapatio. Erring on the milder side when it comes to a michelada might seem like a personal choice, but beer tends to amplify the heat. In terms of vinegar content, Valentina is lower than American hot sauces like Crystal and Texas Pete's, making it a perfect addition to a drink that's already heavy on the citrusy, acidic, and savory flavors brought in by the other ingredients.

For those still curious about why people love Valentina hot sauce so much, it's all about the perfect storm of spice, flavor, and affordability. A 12.5 oz bottle of Valentina will usually only run you about $1.50. In other words, you have no reason not to consider it the star ingredient of your next michelada mix.