Chavelas Cocktail Recipe

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Chavelas Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:4.5

Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


Chavelas is a traditional Mexican cocktail that is often enjoyed during hot summer days. It is a refreshing blend of beer, tomato juice, lime, and hot sauce. The cocktail is believed to have originated from the coastal areas of Mexico, where it is still a popular choice among locals and tourists alike. It is a great choice for those who enjoy a spicy kick in their drinks.

  • Origin: Coastal areas of Mexico
  • Ideal for: Hot summer days
  • Taste profile: Spicy and refreshing

How Chavelas Tastes?

Chavelas has a unique taste that is both spicy and refreshing. The beer provides a light, crisp base, while the tomato juice adds a tangy sweetness. The lime gives it a citrusy punch, and the hot sauce brings a fiery kick. It's a well-balanced cocktail that is both savory and thirst-quenching.

Interesting facts about Chavelas

  • Chavelas is often served in a salt-rimmed glass, adding an extra layer of flavor.
  • The cocktail is named after a popular Mexican folk song, 'La Chabela'.
  • Chavelas is sometimes garnished with a shrimp or a celery stick, making it a mini-meal in itself.



The 12 oz of beer adds a fizzy and refreshing base to the cocktail. It's a smooth canvas that allows other flavors to shine. Too much beer might overpower the other ingredients, while too little would make the drink less refreshing.

Emma Rose

Tomato Juice

4 oz of tomato juice provides a savory, umami depth that complements the beer. It's the backbone of a Chavelas' distinct flavor. If omitted, you'd lose the classic character of the drink. For a twist, use Clamato for a hint of seafood flavor.

Mary Mitkina


One lime brings a bright and tangy zing to the mix. It cuts through and balances the heavy flavors. Without lime, the cocktail would be flat and one-dimensional. You could substitute with lemon, but it would alter the overall taste slightly, making it less tart.

Alex Green

Hot Sauce

A teaspoon of hot sauce adds a kick that perks up your palate. The heat dimension makes the cocktail more dynamic. If you're sensitive to spice, reduce the amount slightly; for more heat, add more. No hot sauce makes it too tame.

Emma Rose


Rim the glass with salt for that salty crunch with each sip, enhancing the drink's savory side. Without salt, you'd miss out on the contrasting texture. You could use flavored salt like chili or lime salt for a different punch.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Chavelas Drink

  1. Rim the glass with salt.
  2. Fill the glass with ice.
  3. Squeeze the lime into the glass.
  4. Add the tomato juice and hot sauce.
  5. Top off with beer.
  6. Stir gently and serve.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh lime juice for the best flavor.
  • Adjust the amount of hot sauce to suit your taste.
  • Serve with a straw for easy mixing.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairing

Tacos & Taquitos: The lime and tomato juice in the Chavelas complement the savory flavors of tacos, especially if they are spicy.

Seafood: Try pairing it with ceviche or shrimp cocktails. The acidity and spice can cut through the richness of the seafood.

Grilled Meats: The robustness of Chavelas can stand up to grilled meats like carne asada. The char on the meat and the tanginess of the cocktail create a harmonious balance.

Snacks: Pair with chips and salsa or nachos for a casual snack that will enhance the spiciness of the Chavelas.

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What you could change in Chavelas

  • Beer: Any light beer can be used in place of a traditional Mexican beer.
  • Hot Sauce: If you prefer a less spicy cocktail, you can use a milder hot sauce or reduce the amount.

Explore all drinks starting with C here

And of course - twists🍹

Michelada Twist

Add 1 oz of Worcestershire sauce and a pinch of ground black pepper. This gives a more complex, savory depth and a little earthiness to the Chavelas.

Sweet Heat Twist

Replace hot sauce with 1 tsp of honey and a slice of fresh jalapeño. You'll get a nice balance of sweet and spicy, offering a milder heat with a sweet undertone.

Fruity Chavelas

Mix in 2 oz of pineapple juice and garnish with a pineapple wedge. This brings a tropical sweetness that contrasts the drink's heat and tang, making it refreshing and more approachable.

In case you forgot basics how to make Chavelas

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

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Frequently Asked Questions on Chavelas

What type of beer is best for Chavelas?

Typically a Mexican light beer is used, like Corona or Modelo, but feel free to experiment with your favorite beers.

Is Chavelas a popular cocktail outside of Mexico?

While Chavelas is a traditional Mexican cocktail, its unique and refreshing flavors have gained it recognition in cocktail scenes around the world.

Is it necessary to use a salt-rimmed glass for Chavelas?

While not strictly necessary, the salt rim adds an extra layer of flavor which complements the tangy and spicy components of the drink. However, if you aren't a fan of salt, you can skip this step.

Can I add other spices to my Chavelas?

You can definitely experiment by adding different spices, such as a bit of Worcestershire sauce for a savory twist, or a sprinkle of chili powder for extra heat.

Should Chavelas be served chilled?

Yes, Chavelas is usually served chilled because it is enjoyed during hot summer days. Therefore, it is best to use cold beer and tomato juice to prepare it.

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