Mango Mint Margarita Mocktail
You may not know this but my family (of origin) has a thing for Mexican food and drink. I’m not exactly sure how it started but any time we all get together, there is always a trip to a favorite Mexican restaurant or celebrations at home with our own homemade versions. Our family visits to each other are not complete without this. This has been passed down to my own children as well. We cannot go a week without some sort of Mexican flavor in the household and when asked where they want to go to eat- it is always Mexican. Sometimes they let me get away with my lettuce wrapped walnut tacos or sweet potato vegan nachos with cashew cheese sauce- but not always! Sometimes it is a full-blown fiesta in here with all the dishes and all the fix-ins!
Endless bowls of beans, salsa and guacamole fill our bellies and our entire beings are filled with happiness. Even though I am well aware that it is often not the healthiest choice, this comfort food feels like home to me. The feeling I get when eating this food and sharing this experience with my family adds something to my health that eating a kale salad by myself will never give me. I’ll talk more on this way of eating in another post because this one isn’t even about food!
On to the drinks!
For the past 20 years or so, my sister has perfected margaritas of all kinds- getting really creative with flavors. I particularly like anything with jalapeño, smoked salts or charred lime but her blood orange concoctions are a lovely summer treat too!
The problem is she doesn’t live near me and honestly, I am not really great at drinking tequila. It doesn’t always affect me in a positive way but I still love fresh margarita flavors and experimenting with fruits, herbs and salts to balance the essence of this classic drink.
When I started fermenting my own kombucha, I decided that it would make an incredible base for margaritas and I wasn’t wrong. I know, I know – “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. However I think you will agree that Kombucha adds such a powerful fizz and sour element that you may not even miss the alcohol or those dreadful sour mixes from most restaurants. Charring the lime allows for the natural sweetness to arise as well as adding that smoky component that pairs well with jalapeño and smoked salt for a balanced finish.
I love to serve this mocktail to guests or enjoy it with my family- even the kids love it. It is easily transformed into a spirited option by adding your alcohol of choice. We have concocted many different fruit/herb combinations but this is one of our favorites. I often substitute a cup of whatever frozen fruit I have available or use different flavors of kombucha.
Note: This is intended to be a frozen margarita, which is why I have you rimming the glass and charring the lime first- on a hot day this goes from frozen to melted quickly so serve immediately.
Mango Mint Margarita Mocktail
1 cup frozen mango
2 TBSP mint
½ cup water
2 Limes (the juice of one is used in the recipe- the other to cut, rim and garnish)
2 TBSP raw honey
Pinch of sea salt
1 cup ice
⅔ cup ginger kombucha
1-2 inch slice of jalapeno (no seeds)
Salt to rim the glass (smoked salt, lava salt or coarse sea salt)
Ground Cayenne Pepper (optional for rim)
To char the lime, cut lime in half and lay it cut side down on a hot griddle pan. Char until brown (not black). Remove from griddle and either muddle this in a cocktail shaker to squeeze all the juice out or alternatively squeeze manually into a measuring cup.
Rim your glass by rubbing a lime wheel around the edge of the glass and dip half of it in your choice of salt, smoky salt, or (the super fun) lava salt. For a spicier rim, I add a dash of cayenne pepper to the salt before dipping.
Add mint, the juice of one lime, jalapeno, honey and water to a blender and blend until the mint breaks down. Add frozen mango and blend until smooth. Blend in the ice until it becomes slushy. Add the kombucha and blend on low until it is just mixed in but carbonation is in tact- just a few seconds. Fill up the margarita glasses garnish with mint and a slice of lime and serve. Cheers!
As stated, for a spirited alternative, add a shot of your favorite tequila or Mezcal when blending.
This recipe was previously published in The Brick Magazine (2018) and has been edited and updated.