Pick your poison: from classic to weird mango cocktails & mocktails
to keep you at home for the long haul
Wherever you are and whatever your viewpoint is on quarantine or no quarantine, mask or no mask… one thing that most can agree on is that a cocktail at home tastes rather good these days. More and more people are advancing their bar skills alongside their cooking and baking skills, and it’s a sweet deal for mangoes, which make a perfect cocktail and mocktail additive in their many various forms.
I’ve got a few of my favorites here, something for everyone. Most of the recipes are flexible, whether you want it to be boozy or alcohol-free. Either way, I promise the end result will be tasty, refreshing and loaded with the intoxicating flavor of mangoes!
Sipsong Mango Negroni
Makes 1 drink
This cocktail uses two of my favorite spirits, Sipsong Gin and Amaro Angelino. Both Spirits are made in my ‘backyard’ (aka California) and both are crafted exceptionally well. This Negroni version is for those folks like me, who are not fans of the usual Negroni spirit Campari. Despite the fact that the classic Negroni has a cult following, more and more creative versions are popping up all over the world. I have been making a mango version since my days back in Brooklyn, circa 2010. This one has a pleasant bitter edge, is lighter, less sweet and highlights the herbs and spices in of the spirits. If you want a super cool DIY home project, make your own vermouth. I have a few good recipes you can find in Edible Marin & Wine Country.
Mocktail (sort of): For an ultra low alcohol drink skip the fine and amaro and simple combine 1 ounce of mango pure with 1 ounce of vermouth and about 4 ounces of tonic or soda. Walla a tropical and summer light beverage! Sipsong makes a non alcoholic gin thats incredible and perfect for this mocktail– so if you have or can get that make the tea and add a little mango puree to the tea, add a little vermouth and tonic or soda and – a perfect negroni nockoff.
2 ounces mango infused Sipsong Gin
1-ounce Amaro Angelino or other white Amaro
1/2 ounce dry or bitter vermouth
Place the gin, amaro and vermouth in a rocks glass filled with ice and stir until the drink is super chilled, about 30 seconds. Garnish with a dried orange slice.
*Mango Infused Gin: Place 1 chopped ripe mango (1 cup) in a mason jar filled with gin (3 cups) and allow to infuse for 4 days. Strain the mango out (discard or serve as boozy shot bites). Refrigerate the infused gin.
Makes 1 drink
This recipe morphs the classic tequila sunrise into something much more Mexican, by adding mango nectar to the classic o.j. component and also lime juice. For my boozy version, add mezcal to the grenadine.
Mocktail: To make the non-alcoholic version, simply omit the booze; it’s that easy!
1 ½ ounces tequila reposado
1-ounce orange juice
2 ounces mango nectar
½ ounce lime juice
Mezcal Grenadine (Recipe below)
Place the tequila, orange juice, mango nectar and lime juice in a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for about 15-20 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass filled with ice. Pour a little Mezcal Grenadine over the top. Garnish with a slice of mango.
*To make mango nectar, simply blend 1 cup of fresh mango with 1 cup of water until silky smooth.
Mezcal & Sage Grenadine
Makes 2 cups
The mezcal in this recipe gives this grenadine a sultry smokiness. Sage imparts a similar smokiness, so skipping the booze will still yield the same smoky result. Use pre-bottled pomegranate juice and make it super easy. The sautéed sugar gives the syrup a deeper, richer taste.
Nonalcoholic: Skip the booze, here too!
½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped, seed and pod reserved
8 fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon cracked white pepper
½ cup raw sugar
¼ cup boiling water
1 ½ cup fresh pomegranate juice
¼ cup Mezcal
Combine the vanilla bean (including the scraped seeds), sage, zests, pepper and sugar in a small shallow bowl. Pulverize all of the ingredients together using heavy pressure with your fingers. The sugar will turn a light-yellow hue, from the oils in the zest. You want to make sure that all of the sugar is colored and that all of the jasmine and sage are pulverized into the sugar well.
Place the macerated sugar mix in a small saucepan on a burner on medium-heat. Continuously stir the sugar using a wooden spoon, about 1 minute. You don’t want the sugar to melt but it will begin to appear coarser as it heats up and begins to cook and melt. Cook it for another 30 seconds, stirring constantly and then gently pour in the boiling water and melt the remaining sugar. Once the sugar is fully dissolved, add the pomegranate juice and bring to a boil. Let the mixture boil for 2 minutes and then reduce heat and simmer for 6-8 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool completely. Strain, discard the solids, and bottle up and refrigerate the liquid. If using the Mezcal, add it once the syrup is cold.
Tropical Gin Fizz
Makes 1 drink
The gin fizz is one of those classic cocktails that always feel special and yet it’s rather simple to make. My version is just as frothy and bubbly but has a tropical edge to it. My secret technique is to use a milk frother to froth the egg white. This is a big change in your cocktail game; trust me!
Mocktail: Obviously omit the gin, use 2 full ounces of mango puree and lime juice, otherwise the method is the same.
1 egg white
1 teaspoon sugar
2 ounces gin
1-ounce lime juice
½ ounce mango puree
½ passion fruit, seeds and all (optional)
Add the egg white and sugar to dry shaker and, using a milk-frother, froth the egg white for about 45 seconds until it is super frothy. Add the gin, lime juice, mango puree and passion fruit and shake vigorously, about 20 seconds. Add some ice and continue to shake vigorously for another 30 seconds. Double-strain into a chilled tall cocktail glass and fill with club soda.
Mango Red Rum (Trio)
Makes one drink
This is one of those if you can’t be on a tropical island you might as well drink this and feel like you are there. It’s got three different rums, giving it a lot more complexity than the average rum punch and a trio of tropical nectars: mango, pineapple and sour orange. Probably the best thing about this cocktail is that it utilizes one of my coolest mango inventions – Mango-schino cherries, which are mango pit spiced syrup-soaked cherries. They are sweet, tropical and so easy to make. Never buy those creepy neon red ones again.
Mocktail: Omit the booze, double the juice and add a teaspoon of coconut cream.
1-ounce dark rum
1 ½ ounce light rum
½ ounce coconut rum
½ ounce lime juice
2 ½ ounces Tropical Mango Punch
Combine the rums, lime juice and punch in a large rocks glass filled with ice. Stir until chilled, about 20 seconds. Garnish with a few Mango-schino cherries and drizzle of the cherry juice.
Makes 2 cups of cherries
One of my most clever mango recipes is my Mango Pit Syrup, which is a simple syrup that utilizes all the tropical flesh left on the mango that’s way too hard to extract. The syrup is only slightly mango-esque and more perfumed tropical. It can be used to sweeten anything from teas to cakes, and I have used everything from sugar to honey to rice syrup to make it. In this recipe, we morph it into a poaching liquid to first soften cherries and, eventually, the syrup that said-cherries bask in for a luxurious and slightly spiced maraschino alternative. It’s sultry and easy to make at home. Cherry pitter required; though, I use an olive pitter, same thing.
½ cup sugar in the raw
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ vanilla bean, scraped
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cracked white peppercorns
¼ teaspoon salt
1 handful of pineapple sage, chopped (optional)
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup boiling water
3 mango pits with flesh
5-6 cherries, pitted and finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 ½ cup pitted fresh cherries
Combine the sugars, vanilla bean (including the scraped seeds) spices and zest in a heavy bottom saucepan on medium-heat. Continuously stir the sugar, using a wooden spoon for about 1 minute. You don’t want the sugar to melt but it will begin to appear coarser as it heats up and begins to cook and melt. Cook it for another 30 seconds, stirring constantly and then gently pour in the boiling water and melt the remaining sugar.
Once the sugar is fully dissolved, add the mango pits, chopped cherries and lemon juice. Let the mixture boil for 3-4 minutes and then reduce heat and simmer for 10 more minutes. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Strain and discard the solids. Place the liquid back in the pan and add the pitted cherries. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for about 3-5 minutes or until the cherries are a desired softness. I prefer them a bit firmer, while others a bit softer. Take of the heat and cool completely. Once cool, place the syrup and the cherries in a mason jar and refrigerate for up to 8 weeks.