Finding a Michelada in Tucson is not difficult. Finding the best Michelada? Not quite as easy.
To resolve this pressing dilemma, up to 40 Tucson bartenders will come together on August 15 to compete for the title of “Tucson’s Best Michelada.” The Tucson Michelada Challenge, now in its second year, will be held at the newly renovated Tucson Convention Center Arena.
The Michelada is a cocktail of tomato juice and beer, first created over a hundred years ago during the Mexican Revolution. The drink was named for El General Michel, who would order this signature drink between battles at a cantina in San Luis Potosí. Ever since, bartenders throughout the Southwest have been putting their own spin on the traditional Michelada.
Competing bartenders will be supplied with the Mexican beer of choice and limes. The secret additional ingredients that each bartender uses, and how they combine them, will determine who takes home the title.
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Though the final list of participating bartenders is still-evolving, there are a number of notable local restaurants already included, such as:
- Bison Witches
- Elliott’s On Congress
- Empire Pizza & Pub
- Nana’s Kitchen
- Paradiso Lounge
- Reforma Cocina Y Cantina
- Wild Garlic Grill
For the $20 admission fee, attendees will receive a sampling cup and a ballot to drop in the bucket of their favorite Michelada maker. Samples will also be submitted to a judging panel (featuring Tucson Foodie’s own Adam Lehrman) whose points will be added to the ballots for a total score.
To help guests truly get into the spirit of the Michelada tradition, a live Mariachi band and Folklorico Dancers will be providing entertainment through the event.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit tucsonmichelada.com.