To the novice, all Latin cuisines might seem similar. Rice, beans, plantains -- that's all there is to it, right?
Wrong. To the expert, it is extremely evident that the spices, combinations, and, yes, even ingredients, differ from one country to the next. For example, Peru prefers its huge kernels of cuzco; Nicaragua gushes over its cold, vinegary cabbage and carrot salad; and Honduras loves its pupusas.
The differences don't end with food; they carry over to beverages as well. And one such distinction is obvious when you compare michelada and bul -- two beer-based beverages from two very different countries.
Michelada, popular in Mexico and served locally in places such as Clandestino Pub in South Beach, is tart, salty, and sour. The recipe varies depending upon the region and the bartender, but usually consists of Worcestershire sauce, lime juice, soy sauce, and a combination of salt, spices, and chili powder. Add beer, and ice if you please, and you have one of the most popular drinks in Mexico.
Cubans aren't known for using spicy, heat-laden flavors, but they are known for their azúcar, and a bul, the Cuban equivalent of a michelada, is the perfect example.
While a michelada is savory, a bul is sweet. Mix beer, sugar, ginger ale, lime juice, and ice, and you have a light, sweet, refreshing beer-based beverage.
Each concoction is worth trying, but enjoyment is a matter of individual taste. Below are recipes for both drinks. We challenge you to try each recipe at home and let us know which one you like better.
- One 12-ounce beer, usually a light beer such as Sol, Corona, or Tecate
- Juice of two limes
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
- Tabasco sauce, to taste
- Pinch of black pepper
- Salt, to taste
- Ground chili powder, to taste
For the glass
- Ice cubes
- Lime wedge
- Chili powder
Rub the lime wedge around the rim of the glass or beer mug, flip mug upside down, and dip into chili powder, making sure to generously coat the entire rim. Mix the first set of ingredients inside of the mug, add ice, and then add beer.
- One 12-ounce beer, preferably a pilsner
- 12 ounces of ginger ale
- 1/4 cup of sugar, or to taste
- Juice of two limes
- 1/4 cup crushed ice
Combine all ingredients, mix well, and serve.
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