Growing up on an island off the west coast of Scotland, I don’t think I even saw a mango until I was a fully grown adult living on the mainland. However they almost immediately became my favourite fruit. I love their sweetness combined with a zesty taste that reminds me of the smell of pine needles.
This pine flavour might be one of the reasons this fruit it goes well with gin. I think it compliments the juniper which also has notes of pine (Christ that sounds pretentious). Anyway, for the sake of objectivity I tried eating a mango cube followed by chewing a juniper berry and the two seemed to go well together.
In order to make a mango martini get yourself a tin of mango slices in syrup.
Pour the syrup into a glass and place it in the freezer for around 45 minutes to cool down.
Take a fresh mango and slice off an end, cutting it as close to the stone as possible. Use a blunt knife to cut the flesh of the cut side into cross-crossed squares but be sure not to cut through the skin of the fruit.
You can then invert the sliced piece which makes it easier to cut out little cubes of the flesh.
You’ll be left with a piece of skin that by law you must chew and suck while your guests aren’t watching. Don’t let any of that succulent flesh go to waste!
When it’s time to pour add a measure of vermouth (to taste), then fill up the rest of the glass approximately half and half with gin/vodka and the mango syrup.
Garnish with a slice of mango and serve with some of the pieces of mango as an accompaniment.
I also had my first breakfast on the balcony this year the next morning. A cup of tea with mango pieces and a small sprinkling of pepper – an unusual combination I first tried during my time in Sri Lanka. I’m not sure why it works but it does!