On a hot day, the michelada is the most refreshing drink ever, though the combination of bitter beer, Clamato, spice, chiles, and lime might strike some as bizarre. To me it is the essence of Mexico: a searing beach, a shady palapa, and an ice-cold michelada in hand, giving one the strength to get through the afternoon. There are, of course, as many michelada variations as there are bartenders—and that’s before they start filling your glass with plump shrimp, encouraging you to down the drink even faster. (This is called a perfecta, and if the idea appeals to you, check out the vaso loco on the next page.) Be sure to freeze the glass for the full effect.