The michelada may be North America’s greatest beer cocktail. The sessionable beverage is best known for combining Mexican beer with Clamato, chile, lime, and salt. Really, though, the michelada is a genre of beer cocktails, and Chef Ricardo Diaz is showcasing the michelada’s range at his latest Mexican restaurant, Colonia Publica in Uptown Whittier.
The sprawling space features drawings of people’s faces on mottled walls, skylights, and plenty of seats. The menu is rooted in fideo, a soup with a base of chicken, pork, tomato, Worcestershire and vinegar, with the ability to add ingredients like creamy cubes of queso fresco, smoked sausage, shrimp and crunchy tortilla strips. To drink, Diaz serves seven different micheladas, including Roja, classic Clamato with spice rim and lime; Smokey Brown with tamarindo, agave wine and cayenne; and La Morena ($9). Don’t expect Guinness and Bass with this “black and tan.” Instead, this “brunette” stacks horchata – sweet rice milk – with toasty St. Ambroise McAuslan stout. This particular michelada comes in a pint glass rimmed with a cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir to mix the two tones and integrate the rich flavors.