If I write something in this post about my Mangonadas that doesn’t make sense, it’s because I had to test too many of them. I’m a stickler for good recipes, you know. Food blogging is sacrificial hard work! These spiced, frozen mango margaritas, are my favorite drink to order whenever we go to a Mexican restaurant.
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, however, was how much Mexicans and Tejanos love chile-topped fruits. That was, not until we were stationed in El Paso, TX. My introduction to Tajín (or salted chili powder) and Chamoy (pickled, spiced fruit paste) changed my palate forever.
A recent, disappointing experience with an overpriced mangonada changed my opinion about buying them outside of my house. Watered-down, goopy, and weak; the last two mangonadas I’ve had in restaurants were such letdowns. I vowed to begin making my own at home.
What’s in 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 silver tequila, triple sec, ice, a lime, a bit of sugar-water, chamoy, and Tajín. That about covers all of the ingredients. A blender and a big ol’ goblet to pour the mangonadas in is also a must. Garnishes are a couple of candy straws (I’ll explain those in a minute).
If you have kiddos that want to indulge (like mine), this recipe is made virgin easily and with minimal effort. Replace the tequila and triple sec with lime juice or mango juice.
Cut, and freeze, fresh mangos
Fresh mangos that have been frozen are the best option when making mangonadas. Instead of watering down my libation with ice to get a smoothie consistency, I use frozen mango chunks. Frozen fruit has its place and uses, but if I can avoid using it, I most likely will. To prepare my mango for freezing, I cut off the peel in strips using a chef’s knife.
Once the mango is skinned, I 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.
After the flesh has been removed, dice the mango into 1 to 1 1/2 inch chunks.
You could very well use the technique of dicing the mango with the peel still on (see the image above), but I’ve found that you lose valuable flesh doing that.
Once the mangos are peeled and the flesh is diced, pack the mango chunks into a freezer bag and freeze them until solid. I usually cut and freeze the mango overnight so I’m not rushed. If you don’t want to deal with peeling and cutting the mango, you can use frozen mango pulp, similar to what I used here, instead.
Prep the Goblets
Here, in Texas, mangonadas are served in these oversized schooner goblets. Their rims are coated with Tajín, which is a citrusy-chili powder that’s typically sprinkled over fruits and corn. I start by pouring a third of a cup of the seasoning onto the center of a salad plate.
Take a lime wedge and run it (flesh side down) against the rim of goblet to wet the glass.
Once the rim is juiced, dip it into the Tajín to coat it. Repeat this step with the other goblet, then set both of the glasses aside to dry.
Spicy (and Sweet) Garnishes
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 that are 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, in the event 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 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 a mangonada. Chamoy gives the bright red color to the cocktail along with a mild amount of heat.
Pour the chamoy into a dish, or leave it in the bottle until your ready to pour in your prepared mango margarita. I prefer to transfer it to a bowl because I have more control over how much I add when I use a spoon. Because of the amount of vinegar they contain, most chamoys don’t need to be refrigerated after opening. Be sure to read the label, just in case your brand does.
Blend the Mango Margarita
Mixing the margarita is very simple. If you decide not to make mangonadas, this recipe works for plan ol’ mango margaritas, as well.
Pour 2 1/2 cups of ice into your blender.
Add your frozen mango cubes to the blender, as well.
Now pour in a full jigger (1 1/2 ounces) of triple sec, followed by three jiggers (4 1/2 ounces) of tequila. Since I’m an adult and can do it, I make my drinks a little on the strong side. If you prefer a lighter drink, add only two jiggers of tequila. Squeeze the rest of the juice from the lime you used to rim the glasses earlier into the blender. To sweeten the mangonadas, add 4 tablespoons of sugar and 4 tablespoons of water to the blender.
Blend the mixture together until very smooth, scraping the blender’s carafe once or twice during mixing.
In order to go from Mango Margaritas to Mangonadas, spoon a good amount (about 1/4 cup) of chamoy into each of the goblets in a decorative swirl.
Pour in the mango margaritas and garnish each glass with a tamarind-chile straw.
Serve and Sip
Use the straw to sip these Mangonadas ’til they give you brain freeze.
If you’re like me and are going to be hosting a Cinco de Mayo party, these Mangonadas need to be on your menu.
They’re colorful, flavorful, and easy to make- with, or without, alcohol.
You do need to serve them immediately, but you’ll never have to worry about them tasting watered down…
…I guarantee it. Pin and share this recipe and celebrate Cinco de Mayo the authentic way.
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Mangonadas (Spiced, Frozen Mango Margaritas)
Use fresh mango to create this spicy-sweet libation.
- 3 large mangos
- 1 lime wedge
- 1/3 cup Tajín seasoning
- 2 1/2 cups ice
- 1 1/2 ounces triple sec
- 4 1/2 ounces silver tequila
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup Chamoy
- 2 Tamarind-Chile Straws, optional
6-24 hours in advance: Peel and dice the mangos into 1 1/2-2" chunks. Pack the mango chunks into a freezer bag and freeze them until solid.
Prep the Goblets and Mangonadas
Pour the Tajín onto a salad plate, then rim the margarita glasses by running the lime wedge against the rim of goblet to wet the glass.
Dip the into the Tajín to coat it. Repeat this step with the other goblet, then set both of the glasses aside to dry. Save the wedge of lime.
Add the ice, frozen mango chunks, triple sec, tequila, sugar, and water to your blender. Squeeze in the rest of the juice from the wedge of lime.
Blend the mixture together until very smooth, scraping the blender's carafe once or twice during mixing.
Spoon a 1/4 cup of chamoy into each of the goblets in a decorative swirl.
Divide the mango margarita between the glasses and garnish each with a tamarind-chile straw.
Serve and enjoy responsibly.
For virgin mangonadas:
Omit the triple sec and tequila and use 3/4 cup of mango or lime juice instead.
One package of frozen fruit pulp may be use instead of frozen fresh fruit.