The Drink: La Michelada

The Location: Rosa Mexicano, 575 7th St. NW, (202) 783-5522

The Price: $7

The Buzz: My summer beer of choice is Tecate. Whether you’re barbecuing, playing poker, or hanging in the kiddie pool, nothing tastes better on a humid D.C. afternoon than that Mexican beer. It’s light without being watery, and if you add a bit of salt and a lime, it’s as invigorating as a margarita (and much quicker to make). With margaritas on my mind, I swing by the bar at Rosa Mexicano, luckily getting there before the hordes of suits arrive for happy hour. Rosa has an extensive tequila list and a bunch of specialty margaritas, which I’m examining when my friend Marissa tells me how she loves their beer cocktail. When I see it involves Tecate, I’m sold. The glass, rimmed with salt and garnished with a lime, is filled with ice and is about a third full of a mixture of lime juice, Tabasco, and Worcestershire sauce. The bartender sets a bottle of Tecate beside the glass. I’m slightly skeptical about adulterating my beloved beer with spices that I usually reserve for my Bloody Marys, but I go ahead and pour the golden brew over the ice. It doesn’t completely stir up the dark liquids in the bottom of the glass (which will make my last couple sips a peppery shock), but it does create a surprisingly pleasant cocktail. It retains Tecate’s refreshing quality, but the spices add a nice complexity and kick. It somehow even makes it OK to be drinking beer on the rocks. But the drink isn’t for everyone. Deep in conversation, Marissa and I finally notice that two red-shirted bartenders are standing in front of us, staring. They ask if we like the drink. When we confirm that we do, they burst into laughter and admit that they don’t like it. That’s fine. Maybe it is inappropriate to alter Tecate, but this spicy goodness has just added a dinner jacket to my daytime fave.

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