Mango Skin Syrup
Don’t throw away those mango skins–you can make a mango skin syrup!
Mango skins are 100% edible, and while not entirely tasty to be eaten on their own, they sure make a delicious syrup!
Loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins, the leftover skins from all mangos are still packed with lots of flavor!
Flavor that tastes similar to…well…the fruit itself!
By using sugars natural ability to attract water molecules, you can retrieve all of the flavorful moisture stored within the peels and make a natural, fragrant, mango skin syrup that tastes just like a regular mango.
No cooking or fancy equipment required.
All you’ll need for this recipe are:
- Mango Skins,
- and Scale (optional for accuracy)
Why Use the Skin Instead of the Fruit?
It may be difficult to understand why you should use the skin instead of the actual flesh of the fruit.
First, sustainable bartenders should always use everything that the fruit has to offer in its entirety–especially when everything is edible.
There is also a practical reason.
Mango flesh is a difficult ingredient to work with. This is because of its fibrous pulp and inability to shine in a cocktail. Mango seems to get lost when mixed with other ingredients.
(Maybe that’s why there are no real classic cocktail that contains mango…)
Turning the pulp into a syrup isn’t that easy either because of its thick fiber and already present sugar content. Also, pure mango juice hardly has as much flavor compared to when the fiber is present.
Most of the actual flavor stored in the flesh is sealed in the fiber.
This is why the skin can be a very useful ingredient!
Just like most fruit, mango skins have flavors and nutrients that can be extracted through a simple hack (oleo saccharum) which can simplify our lives!
Mango skins make great infusions, syrups, or even fermentations even in small quantities.
This makes them highly resourceful behind the bar, almost more than the actual fruit itself!
In essence, if you want to make a mango-flavored cocktail, you should start with the skin and not the other way around.
Important Things to Consider
The first step is to save all the mango skins you can get your hands on. Every leftover can be kept in the fridge or frozen until you have enough on hand to work with.
The ratio to stick around will be a 1:1 ratio of skins to sugar (weighed in grams).
Bear in mind that (following that ratio) about every gram of skin will give you roughly a milliliter of syrup.
For example, 100g of skin combined with 100g of sugar should give you around 100ml of syrup.
Follow the recipe and take note that you can always adjust the quantities of your sugar based on how sweet or dense you want your syrup to be (and don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of sugar like Demerara or Coconut!)
Less sugar = less sweet, less flavorful, more liquidy.
More sugar = more sweet, more mango flavor, and denser.
It’s also important to note that you can approach this recipe in two different ways before combining the skins with the sugar.
You can choose to either cut the skins up beforehand or, leave them entirely whole.
Dicing them up beforehand will help retrieve slightly higher amounts of syrup because of the larger surface area that will come into contact with the sugar.
While keeping them whole will not give you as much after straining, but you’ll still be left with an entire beautiful piece of macerated skin that can be eaten whole, used for garnishes, or reused in some other way.
The choice is yours as there is no right or wrong way to this!
Combine Skin with Sugar
When making mango skin oleo you could do things by eye, but if you want accuracy I highly recommend using a scale (especially because each piece of skin can have either a lot or very little flesh attached to it).
Weigh the number of skins (in grams) that you want to transform and record that number.
Now, weigh the SAME amount in sugar so as to keep the ratio 1:1.
(Ex: if you have 100g of skin, weigh 100g of sugar).
Combine the skins and sugar in a jar and mix them together very well.
You want to make sure that the sugar entirely covers up every part of the skin so that it can do its best to retrieve all of the fragrant moisture found within.
Once properly mixed, let your sugar and skins sit together at room temperature for 4 – 5 hours or overnight.
You’ll notice that the sugar will have extracted the moisture from the skin and dissolved itself creating a syrup.
If all of the sugar crystals haven’t completely dissolved, place your sugar and skins in a hot bath of water so that the sugar will slowly melt (make sure it’s in a jar made of glass).
Stirring it will also help dissolve the crystals.
Once fully dissolved you can strain the syrup from the skins using any fine mesh or cheesecloth filter, and congrats! Now you have your Mango Skin Syrup ready to go!
How To Use
Mango Skin Syrup is extremely versatile and can be used with just about any spirit especially with Mezcal, Rum, and Whisk(e)ys!
Any classic cocktail like a Whiskey Sour or Daiquiri can use mango syrup instead of simple syrup to give tropical twists to these drinks while also elevating their fruitiness.
Mango syrup works well in tiki cocktails, summer cocktails, shaken cocktails, or swizzles.
The possibilities are limitless!
Sword & Shield
This is a twist on a classic cocktail known as a Bow & Arrow. The original recipe calls for an interesting blend of Mezcal and Bourbon, as well as some pineapple, lime juice, and demerara syrup.
For this recipe, I swapped out the regular syrup for mango skin oleo, as well as included some interesting infusions to the two spirits.
Glassware: Nick & Nora or Coupe
- 30ml Banana Peel Infused Rye
- 30ml Coriander Infused Mezcal
- 20ml Pineapple Juice
- 15ml Lime Juice
- 15ml Mango Skin Syrup
(Shake & Strain)
- Garnished with a Leftover Mango Skin Candy
The combination of the infused fruits gives this cocktail an extreme tropical feel, while the mezcal and coriander provide earthiness, some smoke, and spice.