If this post is incoherent, it’s because I had to test too many of these Mangonadas Margaritas. You deserve only the best from me, you know. These spiced, frozen mango margaritas are my favorite drink to order whenever we go to a Mexican restaurant. You know why? Because the restaurants around here did all us adults a solid and spiked the normally alcohol-free treats with tequila blanco. A round of applause for Texas and Mexico. This recipe is intended for those of legal drinking age (that’s 21 here in the States). The youngsters can have the virgin version I leave down below.
I knew that one of the blessings of living in the birthplace of Tex-Mex cuisine was the access we’d have to amazing Mexican food. What I didn’t know was how much Mexicans and Tejanos love chile-topped fruits. Not until we were stationed in El Paso, TX, that is. My introduction to Mexican antojitos (snacks) changed my palate forever. Clearly ’twas for the better.
A recent, disappointing experience with an overpriced mangonada changed my opinion about buying them outside of my house. The last two mangonadas I had in restaurants were such letdowns. Both were watered-down, goopy, and weak. So I started making them at home. Now I hope you will too.
What are Mangonadas and where do they come from?
The original mangonadas are akin to a Slurpee. Kiddos around these parts seem to love chile from the womb, so this spicy mango slushie is a favorite treat. When you consider that some parts of the Southwest suffer through 100°F+ temps during the summer, this treat makes perfect sense.
Mangonadas come from our southern neighbor, Mexico. Also known as chamango and chamoyadas, they are a frozen mango smoothie swirled with chamoy (a pickled, spiced fruit paste) and sprinkled with Tajín (or salted chili powder). Some mangonadas are topped with fresh, diced mangos, and some are laced with tequila. Ours will be the latter, thank you kindly.
What’s in these Mangonadas?
Most bartenders make their mangonadas with commercial mango pulp. But, the great thing about making yours at home is that you can use fresh mangos instead. In addition to ripe mangos, you’ll need a good quality tequila blanco, triple sec, ice, lime juice, a bit of sugar-water, chamoy, and Tajín. That about covers all of the ingredients.
To mix the drink, you need a blender and a big ol’ goblet (or four smaller glasses if you’re more civilized) to serve the mangonadas in. Do yourself a favor and use a high-powered blender. Mine literally died during the making of this post, and I almost threw it across the apartment. I hate that blender.
You will garnish the mangonadas with a couple of candy straws (I’ll explain those in a minute), a sprinkle of tajín, or a lime wedge. Or, nothing at all.
If you have kiddos that want to indulge (like mine always do), this recipe is easily transformed into an alcohol-free version with minimal effort. Again, I’ll leave those instructions in the notes section of the recipe card.
Which mangos are best for Mangonadas?
If you wonder what type of mangos taste best in this recipe, I’m here for you.
Tommy Atkins, those big fat mangos you usually see in the produce section, are the best variety for this cocktail. They are flavorful and give you the most bang for your buck. You only need three of them because of their larger size. You can use Ataulfo mangos (also called honey mangos), but you will need more of them.
Choose mangos that are orange and red on the peel. They are at their ripest. You do want the fruit to give way some when you press it with your fingers, but not so much that it’s mushy.
Fresh mangos that have been frozen are the best option when making mangonadas. I cut and freeze fresh mangos because, instead of watering down my libation with a bunch of ice to get a smoothie consistency, I cut the ice with the frozen mango chunks. While bagged, frozen fruit from the store has its place and use; if I can avoid using it, I most likely will. I always cut and freeze my fruit at home. The flavor just doesn’t compare to cutting and freezing it when it’s at its ripest.
How do I cut a mango?
To prepare my mango for freezing, I cut off the peel in strips using a chef’s knife.
After you have removed the peel, cut off what I refer to as the butt and the belly. Basically, it’s the rounded front and back of the mango’s flesh. Cut off any excess flesh from the sides of the mango’s pit, as well.
Be careful here because the fruit is probably very slippery by now.
Discard the mango pit and dice the mango into 1-inch chunks.
If you plan to makes these mangonadas the same day, toss the chunks of fruit onto a silicone mat-lined sheet pan and freeze them until solid. That usually takes about 2 hours.
If you want to make the mangonadas another day, transfer the mango chunks to a freezer bag and freeze them until solid.
If you don’t want to peel and cut the mango, you can use frozen mango pulp, similar to the fruit pulp I used here.
Which glasses do I serve Mangonadas in?
Here, in Texas, mangonadas are served in these oversized schooner goblets. You want to use a glass that has a long or thick stem that you can hold. If not, the heat from your hand on the goblet will cause your mangonadas to melt faster. Margarita or daiquiri glasses are other great drink vessels.
To prepare your glasses, dip the rims in Tajín. Tajín is a citrusy-chili powder that’s typically sprinkled over fruits and corn. It’s not too salty and has a little kick. Don’t worry though, it’s hardly spicy.
Start by cutting the limes, which you will use to wet the rims of the glasses. Cut one lime in half, then cut one of those halves into 4 wedges. The other half of the lime you will juice and add to the mangonadas. Save the remaining wedges to garnish your drinks. Next, pour some of the tajín onto the center of a salad plate or bowl.
Take a lime wedge and run it (flesh side down) against the rim of the goblet to wet the glass.
Dip the rim into the Tajín to coat it. Repeat this step with the other goblet, then set both of the glasses aside to dry.
What is the straw that comes with Mangonadas?
Mexican children have put me to shame on more than one occasion with the amount of spice they can handle. Granted, I’m prone to ulcers, but I still feel like a punk when I see young kids downing chile like it’s nothing.
Go to El Paso, San Antonio, or other cities with a high concentration of Mexican-Americans, and you’re bound to run into a kiosk selling antojitos (or snacks). Tamarind-chile straws are big smoothie straws coated in a thick, sticky tamarind paste, then coated with chile powder. Little kids go bonkers for these things! They are a typical garnish for mangonadas, but they’re optional, so if you can’t find them, it’s okay to leave them out.
Don’t put the straws into the glasses just yet, though. Just unwrap them and set them aside for later.
What kind of tequila is in Mangonadas?
Mixing the margarita is very simple. If you decide not to make mangonadas- with chamoy and tajín and all, this recipe works for plan ol’ mango margaritas, as well.
Begin by adding the liquids to your blender. Adding the liquids first keeps things moving when you add the rest of the ingredients. So, add the lime juice, triple sec, tequila blanco, and sugar-water to the bottom of the blender.
Tequila blanco is the best tequila to use in this recipe because it has a very mild flavor. I like Casamigos, Teremana, Herradura, and Patron. Whatever you do, don’t use bottom-shelf tequila. Use a good quality one, and you won’t even taste the alcohol in this. Which actually might not be a great thing. Since I’m an adult and can do it, I make my drinks a little on the strong side. If you’re like me, add another jigger of tequila to your blender here.
Next, add the frozen mango and ice cubes to the blender.
I swear I hate this blender so much. I’m glad it died.
Blend the mixture together until very smooth, scraping the blender’s carafe once or twice during mixing.
What is Chamoy?
Chamoy is a syrup/paste that is the byproduct of brined fruit. Often, mangos, plums, or apricots are heavily salted and allowed to break down to a paste. Vinegar is added, and you are left with chamoy. A lot of people top their watermelons, mangos, apples, or corn with chamoy. In El Paso, we were introduced to Micheladas, Mexican beer mixed with lime juice, tomato juice, sauces (chamoy, teriyaki, or soy sauce), and spices. It’s the Mexican version of a Bloody Mary just with beer. There are plenty of uses for chamoy, but my favorite is in these mangonadas. Chamoy gives the bright red color to the cocktail, as well as a mild amount of salty flavor with minimal spice.
Because of the amount of vinegar they contain, most chamoys don’t have to be refrigerated after opening. Be sure to read the label, just in case your brand does.
To go from Mango Margaritas to Mangonadas, spoon or pour a good amount of chamoy into each of the goblets.
Swirl the glasses a little in a decorative swirl. Once you add the mangonadas to the glass, the two will swirl in their own way, creating cool (literally), unique patterns.
Pour in the mangonada mixture into the glass, then garnish each with a tamarind-chile straw.
How can I switch up these Mangonadas?
You’re going to get brain freeze sipping these; that’s just a heads up.
If you want to switch things up, use a different fruit like:
All of these fruits replace the mango in this recipe well.
Try an aged tequila blanco or an añejo for a slightly smoky flavor.
You can omit the chamoy or add more.
Use 2 tablespoons of simple syrup instead of the sugar water. Even a flavored simple syrup, like the jalapeño one I use here will go well in this.
Can I make pitcher Mangonadas?
Technically this is a pitcher mangonadas recipe. The problem is that Hector and I like to drink it from these big glasses, so it only makes two. If you’re not abnormal like us, you can get four servings out of these drink recipe. Yes, you have to change the glasses, but everything else remains the same.
If you still want to make a bigger batch, simply double the recipe.
Can I freeze leftovers?
I don’t even know what “leftover mangonadas” are, but I’ll indulge you. If you have any leftovers, you can transfer them to a freezer storage container and freeze them for 2-3 months. You can blend them with a little more lime juice or tequila if it’s too thick to pour.
If you’re like me and enjoy a unique cocktail that packs a punch, these Mangonadas need to be in your toolkit.
They’re colorful, flavorful, and easy to make, with or without alcohol.
What do I serve the Mangonadas with?
Oh, you mean food?!?! Sorry. My attention is on the booze.
Here are some snack-ish recipes that will go great with these cocktails:
Be sure to enjoy these Mangonadas responsibly. Don’t forget to pin it on your drinks board and share it with your friends, too!
**This post was first published in 2019. It’s been updated with brand-spankin’ new images and clearer instructions**
- high-powered blender
- 3 large (or 5 cups) mango cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 large limes
- 1/3 cup (121 grams) Tajín optional
- 6 ounces (176 milliliters) tequila blanco
- 3 ounces (88 milliliters) triple sec or Grand Marnier
- 2 ounces (59 milliliters) cold water
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 cups (2 handfuls) ice
- 4 ounces (118 milliliters or 1/2 cup) Chamoy
- 4 Tamarind-Chile Straws, optional
Freeze the Mango Chunks (2 hours ahead)
- Arrange the mango chunks on a silicone-lined sheet pan in single layer. Place the pan, uncovered in the freezer and freeze the fruit until solid, which should take about 2 hours. Alternatively, you can put the mango into a freezer bag and freeze them until solid for up to two months.
Prepare the Goblets
- Cut one of the limes in half. Cut one of those lime halves into 4 wedges. Juice the remaining half and the other whole lime to extract 1/3-1/2 cup of lime juice to use in the mangonadas later. Set this juice aside.
- Pour the Tajín onto a salad plate or bowl.Use one of the lime wedges to wet the rim of the margarita glasses. Dip the rims into the Tajín to coat it thoroughly. Set both of the glasses aside to dry. Discard the use wedge of lime.
Mix the Mangonadas
- To the carafe of your blender, add the tequila, triple sec, lime juice, water, and sugar. Next add the frozen mango chunks and the ice.
- Place the lid on the blender and blend the mixture on high for 30 seconds. Stop the blender and use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the carafe. Blend again on high for 30-45 seconds. Stop and scrape the blender again. If you find the mangonada is too thick add a tablespoon more tequila or water to the blender.Blend once more on high for 30-45 seconds, or until the mixture is very smooth and free of lumps.
Serve the Mangonadas
- Spoon or pour the chamoy into each of the goblets, dividing it equally between the glasses. Swirl the chamoy in the glass slightly.
- Divide the mangonada mixture evenly between the glasses and garnish each with a tamarind-chile straw.
- Serve and enjoy responsibly.
Swaps and Subs:
- Replace the mango with guava, pineapple, passionfruit, or papaya.
- One package of frozen fruit pulp may be use instead of frozen fresh fruit.
- Try an aged tequila blanco or an añejo for a slightly smoky flavor.
- You can omit the chamoy or add more.
- Use 2 tablespoons of simple syrup instead of the sugar water. A flavored simple syrup, like the jalapeño one I use here will go well in this recipe.
For virgin mangonadas:
- Omit the triple sec and tequila.
- Replace the alcohols with 3/4 cup of mango nectar.
- Prepare as instructed.