It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
No, Christmas hasn’t come ridiculously early this year. I’m talking, of course, about mango season, which starts this month and builds up through June and July until we’re almost knee deep in Carrie, Nam Doc, Julie, Kent and so many more varieties of this delicious, succulent fruit.
You can buy mangoes in Cayman all year around of course, but no hothouse-grown, imported, chilled fruit will pack the flavourful punch of a ripe, juicy, local mango. There’s an amazing culture of sharing this juicy joy, as fruits are scooped up and gifted to friends, family and colleagues who aren’t blessed with a mango tree, or maybe swapped if both parties have different varieties.
Mangoes aren’t just tasty; they’re actually pretty darned healthy as well. Packed with vitamins K and C, which are beneficial for our blood and bones, mangoes also contain good amounts of magnesium and potassium, which are good for the heart, lowering blood pressure and the cardiovascular system.
So there you have it. Mangoes are delicious and healthy, bring people together and give us joy. They also make already delectable drinks even better. Take any classic cocktail that lends itself to hot climates or tropical beach life, and you’ll find an enhanced mango version waiting to happen.
It's true that fresh is best, but what if there's a way to prolong mango season to go on forever (or 3-6 months anyway!). Simply peel, chop and bag (re-usably and sustainably, please) your mango chunks, scribble the date and pop them in the freezer. Whenever the barbecue is on, or it’s been a tough day at work or you're in need of a smile, add a couple of ounces of frozen mango chunks to the other ingredients of a daiquiri or margarita in your blender and whiz away. You can use less ice because the frozen fruit will help chill the drink, and this means less dilution, better texture and more flavour!
You can also do the same for a shaken drink, or muddle up a mango-jito, but these are easier if you blend the mango first with a splash of lemon juice for an easy-to-pour purée.
2 ounces 100% blue agave tequila
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce triple sec
2 ounces frozen mango chunks
Add all ingredients to a blender with 4-5 ounces of ice cubes and whiz on high for 30 seconds.
Any glass that's cold and salt-rimmed
A slice of mango and the sun!
Jim Wrigley is the beverage manager at Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa.
This article was originally published in the May/June 2022 print edition of Camana Bay Times.