Mangoes are a staple fruit in my Indian mother-in-law’s kitchen, and it’s always impressive to see how quickly and efficiently she can skin and break down a mango, leaving nothing but the oblong pit, in what seems like a matter of seconds.
She also gifts us with boxes of them, and so—with some practice—I’ve learned both how to correctly break one down, and how to get creative with recipes. And while mango chutney, and dried mangoes are some of my favorites, what I love best is adding mango to my margaritas.
Big batches of frozen mango margaritas, to be exact! Batched drinks when you’re putting drinks out for a crowd, or even just two people, means that you can break out your big glass measuring cups and just pour directly into them. No need for jiggers or measured shot glasses—just go straight from your measuring cup into the blender. SO EASY.
Making a Well-Balanced Mango Margarita
Mangoes are a sweet fruit, but not cloyingly so, and there is a subtle earthiness to them that balances that sweetness out. This combination of sweet and earthy works really well with tequila, which has a similar flavor, and the two ingredients enhance each other.
Stay with a Blanco, or unaged, tequila here, as the aged varieties can overpower the mango, or, in some cases, create an unpleasant oak-y flavor that does not meld with the mango very well. I also like to add orange juice in addition to the lime-orange liqueur citrus mix, as it brightens the whole drink up a bit.
Use Fresh or Frozen Mangoes
You can use either pre-frozen chunks of mangoes from the store, or peel, cut, and freeze your own fresh mangoes.
To freeze your own, peel away the skin and cut the flesh away from the pit. Chop up the flesh into 1/2-inch chunks (the smaller they are, the easier they are to blend) and spread them evenly over a baking sheet. Freeze for at least 4 hours, or overnight if time allows. Then remove the chunks and use right away or store them in a freezer-safe container up to 9 months.
If you’re using fresh mangoes, make sure they are super ripe. The best time to purchase in-season mangoes is in early summer. That way they’ll be super-sweet and taste of mango, instead of the bland taste of an under-ripe one. However, it’s possible to find mangoes all year round at your local grocery store, and, even if out of season, it doesn’t always mean they’ll be flavorless.
If, after blending your cocktail, you notice a grainy texture, chances are your frozen mango slices have been in the freezer for too long. I noticed this texture more so with the bagged frozen chunks I bought from the store, as opposed to my homemade frozen mango chunks that were frozen for 24 hours.
If breaking down a whole mango is intimidating, but you don’t want pre-frozen, many grocery stores will also carry fresh cut mangoes. You can freeze these in lieu of cutting the mango up yourself.
If all you’ve got on hand are some not great frozen mango slices, add in a few more ice cubes and blend it an additional 30-45 seconds. That extra time in the blend may help eliminate some of the grainy texture.
Batch Your Simple Syrup
If warmer temperatures get you daydreaming of batches of these mango margaritas, think ahead to also batching a large amount of simple syrup; it keeps in the refrigerator for up to a month. Use the basic ratio of 1:1 (1 cup sugar to 1 cup water) for a basic syrup and double or triple from there.
If you’re concerned about spoilage, stir in an ounce of vodka to the simple syrup after it has cooled to room temperature, and it will extend its refrigerated life up to three months.
Use a Coupe Glass for This Drink!
While a margarita on the rocks is best served in a rocks glass, I love a coupe for this drink. The bright, jewel-toned cocktail looks so elegant in one, and, because the volume is less for this drink than one on the rocks (which would leave your glass looking a little empty if you decided to go that route), this blended version fits perfectly in a regular 6-ounce coupe glass.
Mix It Up! Margarita Variations
- Make it spicy! Blend in half (or more depending on your heat tolerance) of a jalapeno pepper, chopped and deseeded, with the rest of the ingredients. Garnish with spicy salt on the rim.
- On the rocks! If you’d like a non-blended version of this, substitute 3 ounces of mango puree or juice for the frozen mango. Shake that along with 2 ounces Blanco tequila, 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice from about 1 lime, 1/2 ounce orange liqueur, 1/2 ounce orange juice, and 1/2 ounce simple syrup (or more to taste). If you use a mango nectar, which is usually sweetened, you may not need any simple syrup, so taste first and decide from there. To serve, strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass.
- Get fancy with garnishes! Kosher salt is a standard ingredient for rimming your glass, but here you can swap that out with sugar crystals, or use Tajín chili pepper seasoning either on its own or mixed in with salt. Lime wheels, orange slices, and mango chunks all also work for garnishes.
More Marvelous Margarita Recipes
- Grapefruit Margarita
- Grilled Peach Pitcher Margaritas
- Homemade Margarita Mix
- Frozen Strawberry Margaritas
- Classic Margaritas
Rim the glasses:
Pour salt onto a plate that is slightly larger than your cocktail glass. Take a piece of lime and generously rub it around the outside rim of your glass. Dip the outside rim of your glass into the salt. Repeat with other glasses.
Blend the margarita:
In a blender add in Blanco tequila, freshly squeezed lime juice, orange liqueur, orange juice, simple syrup, frozen mango chunks, and ice cubes. Blend until smooth, depending on how powerful your blender is, this could take up to 1-2 minutes of blending on high.
Pour frozen margaritas into prepared glasses and serve.
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