Behold the Mango Martini - in Florida, of Course`
A new Miami distillery is making mango and coffee liqueurs you can have shipped to you
Here in Miami it’s mango season — that time of year when local homeowners fight squirrels for the first sweet mangos as they ripen and fall from trees — then can’t give the fruit away fast enough when, a week later, they all fall down at once like a strange fruit-fueled tropical storm.
When those fruits fall, we tend to rush to cut the fruit and find ways to utilize them. On both restaurant menus and at home, this is the time you’ll see mango salads, mango sorbet, mango salsa, mango ceviche, and mango smoothies on the menu.
The best use, however, for mango is in a cocktail.
Sweet and fragrant, the mango lends itself perfectly to frozen margaritas and daiquiris— simply throw some fresh mango slices into a blender with ice, the spirit of your choice, a touch of agave, and lime juice and you’ve got a boozy slushy that’s worth the brain freeze. Mangos are also perfect in a martini — just muddle the fruit into your favorite vodka martini recipe and double strain into a chilled glass.
If mangos aren’t exactly falling off trees in your neighborhood, there’s a solution: J.F. Haden’s Mango Liqueur. The liqueur is one of the first products to be made by Miami-based Tropical Distillers, which launched the mango liqueur years ago, in the midst of the pandemic. (And no, this isn’t a sponsored post.)
The liqueur is made with purée from local Florida mangos. The name, itself, comes from the Haden mango, which has its origins in Coconut Grove, Florida.
The liqueur is a bright orange color. Bring the bottle to the light and you’ll find actual pieces of mango fruit dancing. The liqueur has a shelf life of a few years, according to Tropical Distillers CEO, Buzzy Sklar, but that bottle will be gone long before that.
Still debating on whether you need a bottle of mango liqueur? It also makes one hell of a good marinade for shrimp, seafood, and chicken. I like to pour a bit into a juicy New England IPA for a tropical shandy. And, you can pour a shot over some ice cream for a boozy dessert.
Tropical Distillers also makes a citrus liquor made with local Florida lemons and limes, and oranges (try this one in a Cosmopolitan instead of the Cointreau), and recently introduced an espresso liqueur made with 100 percent Arabica beans roasted by Miami-based Per’La Specialty Roasters.
The distillery is set to open a tasting room in the next few weeks, where visitors will be able to try all three. J.F. Haden’s is also available online for shipping throughout the U.S. And you don’t have to fight off a bunch of squirrels to get your hands on a bottle.