Chinola now makes a mango liqueur, and this one is just right for summer drinking

Just in time for your summer pool party, liquor maker Chinola has unveiled a new variety: mango, which goes great with cool water, shady trees and lazy afternoons.

The new bottle is the company’s first new offering since it launched its flagship passion fruit liqueur nearly a decade ago, and represents a shift for the company from just a maker of passion fruit liqueurs to co-founder, CEO and chairman of the company. of the board Andrew Merinoff mentions a “fresh fruit liquor company.”

The company “started in a blender in the Dominican Republic,” says Merinoff, who spent years working with partners to create a shelf-stable fruit liqueur without additives or extra flavorings. The development of the original passion fruit Chinola took four and a half years and 2,200 test batches.

Once it was ready, the company turned to high-end bars and creative mixologists to bring drinkers on board, but the Covid-19 pandemic threw a wrench in that strategy. According to Merinoff, the company was selling about 40,000 bottles a year before the pandemic. “In two weeks we lost 95 percent of that, and we thought it was doomsday,” he says.

However, Chinola pivoted and began marketing its product directly to consumers, eventually establishing a presence in specialty stores and larger stores such as Total Wine & More. Today, Chinola can be found in 33 states and 13 countries, and the company expects to sell 40,000 cases this year.

With all this growth, the idea arose to add new flavors, hence the new mango variety that went on sale last month. Although Chinola was able to apply the lessons she learned from creating the passion fruit liqueur to the new mango flavor, the new fruit posed significant challenges due to its fibrous texture. Merinoff says that changing growing conditions in the Dominican Republic, where all the fruit used in Chinola is grown and where the products are bottled, will also affect the taste of the mangoes and the resulting drink.

While other popular liqueurs like Campari or Aperol are brightly colored but still translucent, both the passion fruit and mango quinolas are cloudy, thanks to the company’s use of fresh fruit, and have a thick, syrupy texture. Pour some out and the liquid will stick to the glass.

Sounds great, right? But what does this all mean for that summer pool party you have planned? How are you supposed to drink this stuff? “People drink the mango neat, with ice or with soft drinks,” says Merinoff. You can also plug it into any recipe that uses passion fruit quinola. A mango margarita can be made with one ounce of mango Chinola, two ounces of tequila or mezcal, one ounce of lime juice and half an ounce of agave. Sounds good. I’ll see you at the pool.