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Micheladas and Spiced Up Pepitas: You Are Invited!

For Labor Day, our friends Jeannie and Bill invited us to their farm on the Eastern shore. Jeannie said snacks and grown up drinks are welcome. We can’t wait! Since we are going to be a large crowd, meals there are so leisurely and her family likes to try new things, I want to bring an interesting and friendly snack. Since I’ve been experimenting with pumpkin seeds, spiced up pumpkin seeds came to mind. Micheladas are a great pairing for them, especially since this may be one of the last weekends with enough heat for such drink.

Pumpkin seeds, Pepitas in Spanish, are one of the things I used to stuff in my suitcase when visiting Mexico. That’s because they have a mellow, somewhat nutty, almost sweet, barely chewy and nutritious nature, but also because of its multiple uses in Mexican cooking. They are used hulled and un-hulled, toasted or fried, to make salsas, moles, soups and drinks. There is more to Pepitas than being used for an unnoticeable role as a salad topping. So you can imagine my happiness when I began noticing their appearance in not just one, but many grocery stores here in the US.

pepitas 1(Pepitas gently frying in my pan, popping and changing from an olive green to a light brown toasted color)

Pepitas are also a craved for snack for many Mexicans, including myself, when going to the movies. Un-hulled, soaked in salted water, dried and toasted, they are sold in little packages in street stands and bring long-lasting entertainment. It takes a couple hours to go through a small bag, as you place one by one between your teeth to crack the salted shell open and then triumphantly pop the hidden and gentle tasting Pepita into your mouth. You get the pleasure of repeating that again and again throughout the ups and downs of the film.

However, one of my favorite ways to eat Pepitas is hulled, toasted or lightly fried and tossed with ground dried Chile Piquí­n (which can be bought ready to use), salt and sugar. It takes five minutes to make this tasty crunchy nibble. If you make plenty, there is extra to use, not for an unnoticeable role but for a stellar one, on top of salads or fish. The mix of chile, salt and sugar makes them come alive in your mouth.

As for the Michelada, it is the ultimate Mexican way to drink beer. Beer purists: do not fear, you will like what you try. Non-beer drinkers: You will love beer this way.

Classic Michelada is made by pouring beer onto a cold or frozen glass mug with a salted rim (previously rubbed with lime) and freshly squeezed lime juice at the bottom. Some people add ice, some people don’t. For the more playful Michelada, a combination of salty ingredients (such as Maggi and Worcestershire sauces) and spicy ones (Tabasco, Valentina, Cholula, or any spicy sauce) are added before pouring the beer.

There is no agreement as to how to pour the beer. I make mine with lime juice, some dashes of Maggi, Worcestershire and Valentina, and pour the beer up to the salted rim. That way I can taste a bit of the salt around the rim with each sip. Some people pour the beer quickly so it goes over the rim and bubbles up with the salt so that the volcano explodes over their hands, and then they drink the top of the delicious disaster and everything is already mixed up (!)

Here are the super easy recipes for the Pepitas and the Micheladas… why work hard on Labor Day?

Dressed Up Mexican Beer


Recipe Yield

1 beer

Cooking time

5 minutes

Rate this recipe

5 from 4 votes


  • 1 beer mug chilled
  • Kosher or sea salt for coating the rim
  • 1 lime wedge
  • Ice cubes (optional)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 beer preferably Mexican, chilled
  • Dash of hot sauce like Tabasco Cholula or Valentina (optional)
  • Dash of a salty sauce like soy sauce Worcestershire or Maggi Sauce (optional)
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper (optional)
  • Pinch of kosher or coarse sea salt (optional)

To Prepare

  • Pour a layer of salt onto a small plate. Rub the rim of a chilled beer mug with the lime wedge and dip the rim gently into the salt to coat. Place the ice cubes, if using, into the mug. If making a basic michelada, add the lime juice on top of the ice, then pour in the beer.
  • If making a michelada especial, salt the rim of a chilled beer mug as directed above, then place the optional ingredients, to taste, into the mug. Stir the mixture lightly then pour in the beer.


13comments inMicheladas and Spiced Up Pepitas: You Are Invited!

  1. Mara

    Aug 24

    Hi Pati,
    Do you have recipe for these pepitas? My nonprofit group sponsors a winter festival (in December) for the children of our local farmworker families. This year our theme is “Plaza de la Familia”. We want to offer little bites/snacks that the children will enjoy while they partake in the carnival-like festival. They will be walking around the different activity booths, so prefer nothing messy. Do have any suggestions and recipes you think the children would like? We host about 200 children at our event.
    Look forward to hearing from you…

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 04

      It is very easy to make the Pepitas Mara, here is the paragraph from my blog that talks about it:
      “However, one of my favorite ways to eat Pepitas is hulled, toasted or lightly fried and tossed with ground dried Chile Piquí­n (which can be bought ready to use), salt and sugar. It takes five minutes to make this tasty crunchy nibble. If you make plenty, there is extra to use, not for an unnoticeable role but for a stellar one, on top of salads or fish. The mix of chile, salt and sugar makes them come alive in your mouth.”
      Great recipes for kids are molletes (, esquites ( and chicken flautas (

  2. Tony

    May 01

    I rim the glass with Tajin!

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 07

      Si! Love Tajin in EVERYTHING 🙂

  3. Robin

    Aug 25


    Not a hint of tomato or clamato juice.

    Must try, with the few remaining warm days of summer, left, in the Great Lakes area.

    1. Pati

      Aug 26

      Enjoy the rest of your summer, Robin!

  4. Jeanette

    May 10

    I love Micheladas and add a small amount of clamato juice to the mix as well. Rimming the glass with a spicy salt is a must!!

    1. Pati

      May 12


  5. Connie

    May 21

    Ooh, since I saw this I have been adding Crystal Hot Sauce from Louisiana to my lime-and-salt laced Mexican beer, and it is great!

  6. Peggie

    Feb 22

    I just love these. Make them all summer long. Love the spicyness.Each batch does not last long. So good with a beer on those hot summer days!

    1. Pati

      Feb 23

      True! Can’t wait for summer…

  7. Frank Rios

    Apr 30

    Many years ago while attending the University of Americas in Cholula, MX I used to go to Puebla where I discovered some incredible tacos. They use a green sauce called Pipon that was incredible. Unfortunately I could never find them here in the States. I believe the owner told me the sauce was made from pumpkin seeds (?) and other ingredients but whatever it was delicious. Do you know how to make this sauce or does it not sound something you heard of.
    I have been back to Puebla a few times since the 70s and always find some variation of the sauce which were equally as good.

  8. Jeanie

    Sep 07

    The spiced pumpkin seeds completely addicting like potato chips, you can’t eat just one – But because they are relatively good for you, no guilt! Even the kids keep going back for more. I even brought a bag to my friend’s house tonight as a house gift instead of wine. Thanks for bringing them, and since you brought so much, we are continuing to enjoy them back in DC too. Yum.
    TX! Jeanie

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