Salsa Is Your Grocery Store Shortcut for Fresh Beer Cocktails

published Feb 2, 2018
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(Image credit: Chadwick Boyd)

America’s biggest party — the Super Bowl — is about to go down. That means putting together an epic menu of wings, nachos, chili, pizza, chips and salsa and, of course, cold beer. But what if you switched things up and did something even more epic for the adventurous fans in the room — like put salsa in your beer to make big, bold beer cocktails? Hear me out!

(Image credit: Chadwick Boyd)

Beer and Salsa: A Destined Pair!

Did you know salsa and beer are among the top foods purchased in the week leading up to the Super Bowl? They’re also regular staples in the fridge, so they’re usually at our fingertips any time of year. These days salsa comes in so many varieties beyond the traditional red tomato you’d find in a jar. Fresh blends with tomatillos and avocado, and juicy fruits (like mango, peach, and pineapple) make them exciting to munch on with chips. But they also quickly bring a lot of flavor to any recipe — including drinks.

Micheladas and shandies are popular beer-based cocktails with fresh components added in, so why not speed things up at home and make them with a grocery store shortcut? Recently, I discovered something magical happens when you plop salsa in a blender and give it a whirl for 20 seconds. The tangy, chunky vegetable and fruit bits we love to eat with salty chips meld super fast to make a surprisingly inviting cocktail base (think: Bloody Mary or cocktail mix, but fresher and just as easy).

And so I present to you three salsa beer cocktails with fun, easy twists. The key to making them is puréeing the salsa in a blender until smooth before adding the ice and beer. Once you get the hang of the core recipe, add your own embellishments to suit your taste. I like to use Mexican beer, like Dos Equis, to play up all the flavors in the salsa, but you can use whatever you like — just make sure it’s a cold one.

The Best Salsas for Beer Cocktails

The best salsas for beer cocktails are the small-batch kind found in the grab- and-go refrigerated cases in the deli section of the grocery store. I find the bold, flavorful ingredients blend the best and give a great pop to the cold, fizzy tang of the beer. No measuring is involved either — just peel the lid off and plop the pint in the blender.

Three Beer Cocktails to Try

  • Avolada: A green version of a traditional tomato-based Michelada made with avocado tomatillo salsa and served in a pitcher with chilled beer mugs rimmed with salted coriander. It’s especially refreshing when served with crispy tortilla or corn chips.
  • Mango Peach Shandy: A light yet complex fruit shandy made with mango peach salsa, a bit of sugar, and freshly squeezed lemon. Served with fresh wedges of mango and chili powder.
  • Shortcut Bloody Mary Beer Cocktails: A refreshing, fizzy beer-laden alternative to a Bloody Mary made with a pint of medium-spicy tomato salsa and beefed up in flavor with steak sauce. It’s the perfect accompaniment to Super Bowl chili or nachos — or hair of the dog for the headache you’re nursing the next day.