Back in December, we identified mango as an emerging cocktail flavor for 2014. As we enter spring, mango indeed is making headlines in adult beverages: Mango Moscato is the featured flavor of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers’ new wine shake, which drew national attention when it was announced last week. And AB InBev this month debuted the Bud Light Lime Mang-O-Rita as one of two new additions (the other is a raspberry-flavored variety) to the highly successful Ritas line that launched in 2012.
These come on the heels of Belvedere Vodka’s launch last month of Belvedere Mango Passion, distilled with mangoes and passion fruit. And beyond Red Robin, a host of bar and restaurant operators nationwide are highlighting mango in a range of fresh new drinks. Here’s a look at several recently introduced cocktails incorporating mangoes’ vibrant, sweet-tart, decidedly tropical taste:
- Mango Madness, Harvest, Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile: With Malibu rum, mango purée, orange juice and cranberry
- Mango Mojito, Cozymel’s Coastal Mex: Cruzan Estate Light Rum, sugar, mango, fresh lime and mint with a splash of soda
- White Seasonal Sangria, Dos Caminos: With mango, pineapple and lemon
- Mango Tango, Duffy’s Sports Grill: Absolut Mandarin, Red Bull, orange juice and mango
- Mango Citrus Punch, Logan’s Roadhouse: A tropical blend of Cruzan Mango Rum, fresh oranges, sweet mango and ginger ale
- The Lady Boy, The Roger Room, Los Angeles: Smoked plantation rum, mango nectar, pineapple juice, cherry heering and hickory over crushed ice (via Eater Los Angeles)
- White Port Sangria, Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille: Muddled mango and apricot shaken with Warre’s White Port and Ciroc Peach vodka; served over ice with an orange twist
Worth mentioning is that 43% of consumers (39% of men and 46% of women) polled for our 2013 BarTAB report said they choose a cocktail based more on its flavor characteristics than on the type of spirit it contains—so mango need not pair exclusively with its most common partners, rum and tequila. As we see, operators and suppliers are experimenting with mango as a flavor component of wine- and vodka-based beverages.
And one final note: Mango also has gained significant ground in the past few years as a flavor/ingredient in nonalcohol beverages such as teas and smoothies, Technomic MenuMonitor data indicates, lending it approachability and appeal as a component in creative mocktails, too.