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Inspired by the famous Hotel California in Todos Santos, Mexico, this sparkling mango cocktail uses fresh mangoes, tequila and tart white lemonade to create the ultimate summer drink!
Why I love This Baja California Mango Cocktail
- It’s got pure and simple natural ingredients with no complicated infusions or syrups.
- It’s so easy to make you don’t even need a cocktail shaker
- You likely have everything you need on hand to make this mango cocktail! No need to scour the store for exotic ingredients!
- Its pretty golden hue makes it perfect for Cinco de Mayo, a summer pool party or other fun celebration.
I was inspired to make this mango cocktail following a weekend in Baja California. I stayed at Paradisus Los Cabos, an all-inclusive luxury resort.
It had just reopened after a $35 million renovation. The soaring architecture of the resort is spectacular and offers dramatic views of sky and sea throughout the property.
Beyond the property, we explored the Baja peninsula where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean, floating past the arch of Cabo San Lucas where the waters teemed with tropical fish. There are so many ecotours in Cabo San Lucas I can’t wait to return and see more marine life such as sea lions, turtles and whales.
For food fans there’s the added attraction that Los Cabos is home to lots of fantastic dining experiences. Just checkout this recipe for Cream of Sardine With Smoked Salmon from Gastro Bar by Martin Berasategui, the acclaimed Basque chef.
Another top spot for cocktails and cuisine is the historic Hotel California in Todos Santos, Mexico.
This is where I came across the sparkling mango cocktail of my dreams.
While a classic lime margarita might be the perfect beach cocktail when you’re at a beach resort on Mexico’s Pacific coast where you’re wrapped in hues of blue and green, in Baja California, a golden-hued Los Cabos mango cocktail is the perfect drink of choice.
When it comes to cocktail hour Baja style, Hotel California in Todos Santos, Mexico knows how to do it right. Their open courtyard surrounded by artwork is the ideal retreat from the hot desert sun.
Helmed by Executive Chef Dany Lamote, Hotel California’s lunch and dinner menu includes classics like tortilla soup, ceviche tostadas, mole and grilled arrachera steak.
But no matter your choice of main, you need to start off with a spicy mango cocktail. It’s deliciously frozen, slightly sweet and tart, but with a touch of spice thanks to the chile salt!
How to Make a Copycat Hotel California Mango Cocktail
Scroll down to the recipe card for exact quantities and method.
If you’d like to channel the spirit of the Baja at home, you’ve got to try this copycat version of the original. With just 3 ingredients, it’s the ultimate summer cocktail for easy entertaining! You don’t need a cocktail shaker and can easily make a big batch to serve a crowd.
While at its most delicious when made with tequila, you can also use mezcal, vodka or the brilliant yellow Damiana liqueur that’s popular throughout Baja California. Or, skip the alcohol and enjoy it like a summertime smoothie.
1. The key is to begin with fresh mangoes. You can use any kind of mango but for the most brilliant orange colour similar to the Hotel California cocktail, opt for the Haden, Francis and Tommy Atkin variety.
Cut the mango cheeks from the pit and then cut the flesh into small chunks, from the peel. If it’s your first time making a mango recipe, you might want to wear gloves and/or avoid touching the skin of the mango.
Some people are allergic to mangoes and get a rash, redness, itching and/or swelling after eating or touching mangoes.
To avoid discovering if you’re one of the unlucky people who are allergic to this delicious fruit, it’s good to be aware that it’s the skin of the mango that contains the majority of the chemical compound urushiol.
Found in poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac and cashew nutshells, this oily resin can often cause contact dermatitis.
3. Once you’ve got the mango peeled and chopped, simply place it in a blender with the lemonade, tequila and ice.
4. Blend at low and then high speed for 60 seconds until the ice is pulverized into tiny pieces. The mixture should be smooth and frosty.
5. Next, run a cut piece of lime around the rim of the cocktail glass. Then, dip the rim of a cocktail glass in chili lime salt. You can use either store-bought cocktail salt or scroll down to see our recipe for homemade chili lime salt below.
6. Pour the blended mango cocktail mixture into the glass.
7. Garnish with a wedge of lime and serve!
How to Make Chili Lime Salt at Home
To make a sparkling mango cocktail like they do at Hotel California, you’ve got to salt the rim of your glass with chili lime salt! No need to buy a margarita cocktail kit for this. It’s super easy to make at home!
Not only is this homemade cocktail salt delicious but it contains no artificial ingredients or additives.
1/2 cup Mexican sea salt
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon chili powder
1. Combine the Mexican sea salt, chili powder and lime zest in a bowl. Spread it out on a small plate.
2. Moisten the rim of the cocktail glass by running a cut wedge of lime around the top.
3. Invert the glass and dip it into the chili salt mixture, twisting it lightly until it’s coated.
4. Pour the mango mixture into the glass and garnish with a wedge of lime.
Love Mangoes? Check Out These Other Popular Mango Recipes
Sparkling Mango Cocktail
- 6 cups chopped peeled, fresh mango
- 1 cup frozen white lemonade
- 4 ounces tequila, vodka or mezcal
- 3/4 cup ice cubes
- chili lime salt to rim the glass
- lime wedge for garnish
Chile Lime Salt
- 1/2 cup sea salt
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Place all ingredients ( except those for the chili lime salt and the lime wedge) in a high-powered blender
- Blend at low and then high speed for 60 seconds until ice is pulverized into tiny pieces.
- Moisten the rim of the cocktail glass by running a wedge of fresh lime around the top.
- Spread the chili lime salt out on a small plate.
- Invert the glass and dip it into the chile salt mixture, twisting it lightly until it's fully coated.
- Pour the mango mixture into the glass and garnish with a wedge of lime
Chili Lime Salt
- Grate the peel of a fresh lime using a zester.
- Combine Mexican sea salt, chili powder and lime zest in a bowl.
- Use to rim the top of a glass for margaritas, mezcalitos or this sparkling mango cocktail.
- You can use any kind of mango but for the most brilliant orange colour similar to the Hotel California cocktail, opt for the Haden, Francis and Tommy Atkin variety.
- White or silver tequila is the best tequila to use in mixed drinks.
Check prices and availability at Paradisus Los Cabos Mexico Resort on Booking.com.
For a stress-free vacation, get travel tips and learn more about Los Cabos airport transportation
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Dividing her time between Canada, Guatemala and Mexico (or the nearest tropical beach), Michele Peterson is the founder of A Taste for Travel. Her award-winning travel and food writing has appeared in Lonely Planet’s cookbook Mexico: From the Source, National Geographic Traveler, Fodor’s and 100+ other publications.
Read more about Michele Peterson.