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Can You Put Hot Sauce in Beer? What's the Deal?

Can You Put Hot Sauce in Beer? What's the Deal?

Hot sauce and beer, two beloved condiments in their own right, have been combined by people all around the world to create a unique and flavorful beverage. While some may find this combination strange, others swear by it as the perfect complement to a spicy meal or a refreshing drink on a hot day.

But can you really put hot sauce in beer? And if so, what's the deal with this unconventional drink?

The Origins of Hot Sauce in Beer

The history of hot sauce in beer can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where spices and herbs were used to flavor alcoholic drinks. For example, Aztecs had a traditional beverage called "xocolatl," which was made from cocoa beans, water, and chili peppers. It was a bitter and spicy drink at the time.

Similarly, the ancient Greeks and Romans used herbs and spices to enhance the taste of their wines. This practice continued through the Middle Ages, where spices were added to beer for medicinal purposes.

mixing hot sauce and beer

Adding hot sauce in beer is also extremely popular in South America, especially in countries such as Mexico. In Mexico, people often add lime juice and hot sauce to their beer, creating a drink called "cheladas", which is just beer, hot sauce, lime, and salt. They also have a "michelada", which is similar but with tomato juice and a few other ingredients.

You will also find these drinks often rimmed with Tajin, a popular chili-lime seasoning.

If you're like us, you've probably had and love a good Bloody Mary... They can be similar in a sense. So if you love Bloody Mary's, you're going to love a michelada!

Which also have different versions. For example, they have the regular Michelada which we just talked about but they also have what is called Ojo Rojo. Which is a a red-eye or a michelada made with Clamato juice and spices.

So as you can see, adding hot sauce in beer has been a part of different cultures for centuries. And it's not just about adding a spicy kick to your hot sauce drink, but also about incorporating the flavors and traditions of a particular region.

Why People Love Hot Sauce in Beer

Before you decide to shake off this concoction, it's important to understand the fundamentals of taste. Hot sauces come in a variety of profiles, from vinegary and tangy too smoky or sweet, depending on the ingredients and methods used.

Beer, on the other hand, boasts its own spectrum, with notes ranging from the bitter punch of hops in IPAs to the caramel sweetness of ales or simple like lagers.

a michalada with beer and hot sauce

To pair beer and hot sauce effectively, you must consider the intensity and nature of your hot sauce.

And while some may find the idea of hot sauce in beer unappealing, those who love it have their own reasons for doing so.

One reason is that the spiciness from the hot sauce can balance out the bitterness or sweetness of certain beers. For example, a light and crisp lager can be enhanced with a few drops of hot sauce, creating a refreshing and flavorful drink.

Additionally, the acidity in hot sauce can help to cleanse your palate between sips of beer, allowing you to fully enjoy the flavors of each drink.

Moreover, for those who love spicy food, adding hot sauce in beer is a natural extension of their love for bold and intense flavors. It's a way to elevate the taste of their drink while also satisfying their cravings for heat.

How to Make Your Own Spicy Beer

If you're ready to try hot sauce in beer, making your own is easy and allows you to customize the level of spiciness to your liking.

If you are feeling adventurous or really want to try some flavorful combinations, here's a few ways you can make them.

How to Make a Chelada:

A chelada is simple as it gets, all you need to do is:

  • Rim the glass with Tajin or salt if desired.

  • Pour a light beer of your choice into a glass.

  • Squeeze in some lime juice and add a few dashes of hot sauce.

  • Enjoy your refreshing chelada!

a chelada with hot sauce and salt rim

How to Make a Michelada

For a classic michelada, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 light Mexican lager (such as Corona or Modelo, but can be any larger really)

  • 1-2 tablespoons of hot sauce (depending on your desired level of spiciness)

  • Juice from half a lime

  • Tomato juice (or Clamato juice)

  • Salt and Tajin for rimming the glass (optional)

  • Worcestershire sauce (optional)

  • Soy sauce (optional)


  1. Rim the glass with salt and Tajin (or any other seasoning of your choice).

  2. In a separate container, mix together the hot sauce, lime juice, tomato or Clamato juice, Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce.

  3. Pour the mixture into the rimmed glass.

  4. Add ice and then pour in your light lager.

  5. Stir well and enjoy your homemade michelada!

How to Make Ojo Rojo (red eye)

For a spicier and more flavorful version, try making an Ojo Rojo:

  • 1 Mexican Amber (such as Negra Modelo, you want a darker beer)

  • A couple of dashes of hot sauce

  • Juice from half a lime

  • Clamato juice

  • Worcestershire sauce

  • Soy sauce or Maggi seasoning or tamari

  • Salt and Tajin for rimming the glass (optional)


  1. Rim the glass with salt and Tajin (or any other seasoning of your choice).

  2. In a separate container, mix together the hot sauce, lime juice, Clamato juice, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce or Maggi seasoning.

  3. Pour the mixture into the rimmed glass.

  4. Add ice and then pour in your Mexican amber beer.

  5. Stir well and enjoy your homemade Ojo Rojo!

hot sauce and beer with a tajin rim

Hot Sauces to Try With Your Beer

If you're not sure which hot sauce to use in your beer, here are a few recommendations to get you started.

For your basic level mass produced hot sauces you can always use:

  • Valentina

  • Cholula

  • Louisiana 

  • Tapatio

But if you want some more flavorful options, we suggest trying some craft hot sauces!

  • Zing Hot Sauce (a perfect mild sauce for adding to beer, but you can also use it along the rim with seasonings)

  •  Ghostly Garlic Hot Sauce (If you want to take up the heat a bit with a bunch of flavor, this one is perfect for cheladas and michelada alike)

  • Sam Sauce (This one screams michelada, not to mention it contains Japanese Black Vinegar)

hot sauce made for adding to beer

Celebrating the Union of Hot Sauce and Beer

Hot sauce in beer may seem like an unconventional combination, but it has a long history and is loved by many for its unique flavors and refreshing qualities. Whether you prefer a simple chelada or a more complex michelada or Ojo Rojo, there's no denying that hot sauce in beer is a delicious and exciting way to elevate your drinking experience.

So next time you're looking for a new twist on your favorite beer, reach for some hot sauce and see how these two beloved ingredients can come together in perfect harmony. Cheers to the union of hot sauce and beer!


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