While Mexico is renowned for its tequilas and mescals, if you’re heading to Mazatlán there is another type of drink you should try: mango distilled spirits. Onilikan, which translates to “the place of liquor,” is a distillery putting their fruit to good use. In fact, they are the first people in Mexico and one of the only in the world fermenting mango to create delectable spirits.
The drink is a combination of local Mexico and foreign European influences. While the fruits are grown in Mazatlán, Onilikan adapts the European liqueur production traditions to extract the mango essence and craft a premium-quality, smooth sipping mango beverage.
So, what’s so special about the mango-infused libation? While distillers have used mango before, it hasn’t been in this manner.
“There are other people processing mango and creating mango wine, or adding mango into rum, tequila, and so on, but not the way we do it,” says Onilikan Sales Director Maria Victoria Campos.
They use a distiller called “Dora the Distiladora.” This is a German-made “pot still” designed to maximize and capture the fruit aromas. It features a heating/evaporation component, which heats the fermented fruit and juice; an aroma collection column, which uses bronze plates to trap the scents from the alcohol; and a condenser, which cools down the gases and turns them back into liquids. While the model is still widely used in Europe to distil alcohol from a variety of fruits, it is the first of its kind to operate in Mexico.
You can get the spirit in two different strengths. The milder one, a sweet sipping liquor, has an alcohol content of 24%, while the other is referred to as Aqua Caliente – fire water – due to an alcohol content of 40%. Along with being used as for cocktails, the mango liqueurs can be used for cooking and making a delicious marinade for fish or chicken.