Mangonada

published May 23, 2024
summer
Mangonada Recipe

Macerating fresh ripe mango creates a natural nectar that’s divine in this slushie-like Mexican summer staple.

Serves6

Makes9 cups

Prep15 minutes to 30 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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angled shot of two mangonadas, topped with cubed mango, tamarind candy straws and a tajin rim.
Credit: Photo: Vicky Wasik; Food Stylist: Rachel Perlmutter

If you ever find yourself in the markets of Mexico or any Mexican American neighborhood during the summer, you’ll be sure to see fruit vendors dishing up iconic cups of sweet fruit covered in lime juice and chiles, which is a classic way to prepare fruit in Mexico. Mangonadas, sorbet-like frozen treats that combine sweet ripe mango, salty Tajín, and a sour sauce known as chamoy, are emblematic of that culinary experience. This refreshing frozen treat is the perfect representation of how Mexicans enjoy their fruit during the summer. 

Why You’ll Love It 

  • It’s bound to be this summer’s staple drink. Macerating fresh mango draws out its natural juices and softens the fruit, giving you a smoother sorbet and juicy mango pieces.
  • You don’t need to freeze any mangos. The only addition of water is in the form of ice. So there’s no need to freeze the mangos to wait for your mangonada experience.
  • It’s sweet, salty, and sour. Chamoy, Tajín, and a tamarind chile straw add a salty-sour element that pairs well with the sweet mango.
  • It’s got great texture. There are fresh pieces of macerated mango in the sorbet as well as on top, adding a textural element to the drink. 
Credit: Photo: Vicky Wasik; Food Stylist: Rachel Perlmutter

Key Ingredients in Mangonada

  • Ataulfo mangoes: This variety of mango, also known as Champagne mango, is (in my opinion) the most flavorful for mangonadas. They produce a silky-smooth, aromatic, and sweet sorbet. To check if they’re ripe, apply gentle pressure; if they have a slight give to them, they’re ready. The softer the mango, the more difficult it will be to peel and dice. The harder the mango, the less likely it is to macerate properly.
  • Granulated sugar: Sugar is key to macerating the mangos, drawing out their natural juices to create a flavorful syrup. 
  • Tamarind straw: A fun garnish that you will see in most mangonadas across Mexico. Not only is it functional, but you can also eat the tamarind chile paste off the straw as you enjoy your mangonada.
  • Chamoy: Adds a sour and salty element to the mangonada, which provides balance to the sweet flavors. Licking the chamoy off of the rim adds to the overall experience.
  • Tajín: It’s the equivalent of a cherry on top! The citric acid in Tajín gives you that irresistible mouth-puckering feel. 

How to Make Mangonada

  1. Prep the mangos. Peel four ripe but firm Ataulfo mangoes and cut them into small dice.
  2. Make the mango syrup. Cover the mango with sugar and let them macerate for up to 20 minutes.
  3. Blend the mangoes. Add mango into the blender, holding back some juicy pieces for garnish. Add ice, fresh lime juice, and blend until smooth.
  4. Assemble the mangonadas. Line the rims of your glasses with chamoy and then coat with Tajín. Drizzle chamoy on the inside of the glass. Pour the sorbet into glasses alternating between macerated mango and sorbet. Garnish with macerated mango, a tamarind straw, and top off with Tajín.

The History of the Mangonada

The origin of mangonadas is a bit murky, however most evidence and oral history points to Tijuana, Mexico, as the birthplace of the original frozen treat, where it began as a mango sorbet with a Tajín-rimmed glass and no chamoy inside. It soon after evolved into a chamoyada or chamango, which was when vendors started incorporating chamoy into the actual drink. It has since then been produced in the forms of raspados, paletas, and frozen drinks. The popularity of the frozen treat has spread so wide that there are chains of ice cream shops throughout the United States and Mexico that specialize in mangonada-inspired products. 

Chamoy itself was introduced to Mexico by a Japanese businessman named Teikichi Iwadare. He immigrated to central Mexico in the 1920s and opened a store that sold Japanese food products. Chamoy was inspired by umeboshi, which is a pickled plum condiment Iwadare sold in his store. Umeboshi was loved by the Mexican community for its salty and acidic flavor profile. The condiment was adapted and, over time, chiles were added and it became chamoy. 

Helpful Swaps 

  • Instead of granulated sugar, you can also use brown sugar, natural cane, or monk fruit sugar as an alternative.
  • There are sugar-free alternatives to chamoy available. 

Steps for Preparing the Mango

  1. Using a Y peeler, peel the mango holding it upside down starting at the base and peeling towards the top. Create a flat surface at the base of the mango by peeling across the bottom until it is able to stand up once placed on a flat surface. 
  2. With the mango standing up and the narrow part facing you, slice each side or “cheek” off. Do this by locating the middle point at the very top of the pit and then go to the left about 1/4 inch and slice down; if you hit seed just start all over again and curve your blade away from it. Repeat on the opposite cheek.
  3. Once the cheeks are cut off, take the mango and cut around the pit. There should be about 1/4 inch of flesh surrounding the edges of the pit. Gently glide your knife around the edge; you should be able to distinguish between flesh and pit.
  4. Place the mango cheeks flat-side down and, with the side of your knife facing the cutting board, slice them in half. Repeat with all mango cheeks.
  5. Slice longways into 1/4-inch slices and then rotate the mango to do the same, which will create 1/4 squares. Repeat for the long strips that you cut off the edges of the mango. 

More Mango Drinks

Mangonada Recipe

Macerating fresh ripe mango creates a natural nectar that’s divine in this slushie-like Mexican summer staple.

Prep time 15 minutes to 30 minutes

Makes 9 cups

Serves 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds

    ripe mangos, preferably Ataulfo or “Champagne”

  • 1/4 cup

    plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 3

    medium limes

  • 5 cups

    ice, divided

  • 3 tablespoons

    chamoy (Mexican pickled fruit sauce), plus more for drizzling

  • 2 tablespoons

    Tajín Clásico, plus more for sprinkling

  • 6

    straws or tamarind-chile candy sticks

Instructions

  1. Peel 4 pounds ripe mangos, preferably with a Y-shaped peeler. Pit and cut the mangoes into small (1/4-inch) dice (about 9 cups). Place in a large bowl.

  2. Add 1/4 plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and gently mix until combined. Let sit for 10 minutes for the sugar to begin to dissolve. Stir again, then let sit for at least 5 and up to 50 minutes more. Meanwhile, juice 3 medium limes until you have 1/4 cup. Place 3 tablespoons chamoy sauce on a small flat plate. Place 2 tablespoons Tajín Clásico on a second small flat plate.

  3. Reserve 3/4 cup of the mango for assembling. Place half of the remaining mango, half of the lime juice, and 2 1/2 cups ice in a blender. Blend on low speed for 20 seconds, then gradually increase the speed to medium and blend for 20 seconds. Increase the speed to high and blend until the texture of a thick smoothie, about 20 seconds more. Pour into a pitcher and repeat blending the remaining mango, lime juice, and ice together. Stir the mangonada in the pitcher to blend the batches together.

  4. Rim 6 (12-ounce) glasses one at a time: Invert the glass into the chamoy, turning it as needed, to coat the rim. Turn it on its side and coat the top inch or so of the outside of the glass in the chamoy. Repeat inverting the glass and rimming it with the Tajín, using a small spoon to dust some of the Tajín onto the chamoy as needed. Drizzle some of the chamoy into each glass, letting it run down the sides.

  5. Fill the glasses halfway with the mangonada. Top each with 1 tablespoon reserved mango. Fill the glasses up with the remaining mangonada. Garnish with the remaining reserved mango and Tajín, and serve with a regular straw or tamarind chile candy stick (cut or bite the ends off the candy stick first to use as a straw).

Recipe Notes

Frozen mango: 2 pounds thawed frozen mango chunks can be used in place of the fresh mango. Cut into small dice before adding the sugar.