You have not truly lived until you've visited Jalisco during Guadalupe Reyes, a month-long partying marathon and unofficial national holiday in Mexico. Celebrated by elders and Millennials alike, it starts on the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe (December 12) and ends on the day of The Three Wise Men (January 6).
During this time, you are basically authorized to party at a moment's notice. In fact, you are practically obligated to. If you have at least one Mexican friend, you will undoubtedly be invited to a posada—the name given to parties that are held during this time—with their posse. And because the dollar-to-peso exchange rate is amazing right now, you will probably splurge on lots of beer and tequila, and consequently end up with some of the most debilitating hangovers imaginable.
You could only imagine how people party in the state that gave birth to tequila, after all.
For all of this partying, however, Jalisco will also have your back with its hangover-busting variations on the michelada that reflect the western state's regional flavors. This means an ample use of dried chiles de arbol, since this type of chile also originated in Jalisco, and lots of meats like beef and pork inland, as well as lots of fresh seafood along coastal areas.
This unique michelada recipe was the creation of a customer who would come in extremely hungover and always add a couple of tablespoonfuls of carne en su jugo's beef stock into his cold beer.
Exhibit A is at Karnes Garibaldi in Guadalajara, Jalisco. While this place may hold the Guinness World Record for serving the world's fastest food, it also offers one of the most amazing micheladas thanks to one simple ingredient: chilled beef stock. The beef stock part is not included in the menu description, but you'll taste it as soon as you take a sip and nearly fall over your chair because of the degree of umami in it, especially when paired with the restaurant's namesake carne en su jugo dish.
According to Joel Campos, Garibaldi's general manager for the past 12 years, this unique beef stock-enhanced michelada recipe was the creation of a customer who would come in extremely hungover and always add a couple of tablespoonfuls of the carne en su jugo's tomatillo-infused beef stock into his cold beer. One day, the restaurant found a way to keep the beef stock from coagulating (it involves adding the beef stock into a frozen mug while still hot). "If regular micheladas have Clamato that is made with clam or shrimp juice, why not use beef stock for ours?" Campos tells me.
The second michelada that changed my life forever—and that will probably change yours as well—is the cocochelada served at a tiny seafood stand in Puerto Vallarta, Mariscos El Jefe. This beverage may very well be the world's most perfect, because it actively hydrates you and keeps the buzz going slightly. Like the Garibaldi's michelada, the premise is simple: a traditional michelada enhanced with a startling ingredient.
In this case, that secret ingredient is young coconut water. To that is added a merciless amount of shrimp, cucumber, young coconut meat, and enough sticky chamoy—a sour sauce traditionally made from dried apricots—to fill up a small pool.
Naturally, when asked to share the recipes with MUNCHIES, both establishments politely declined. But what we can do is provide you with this basic recipe for a michelada and leave the rest to your imagination, just as these restaurants did.
Guadalupe Reyes may end this week, but these gonzo micheladas will stay with me forever.