I know, you see mangos and avocados and you think “salsa.” We always eat mangos, indulging in their sweetness and enjoying the dense flesh. Drinking a mango? Well, you need your blender and then you must sieve and … That flesh does not easily convert to a liquid.

Or, you can just secure some lovely frozen mango puree. I suggest The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley. They have over 20 flavors to enhance your beverage making: mango, white peach, thyme and citrus, cranberry, passion colada … It’s a long list. You buy, they ship it frozen, and you dip into your freezer when the muse strikes you to make something.

You still might need that blender but now no sieve is needed at all. Or, the puree melts quickly and a long visit in your cocktail shaker should be sufficient to liberate all the flavor.

This recipe comes from a wonderful Italian restaurant Giorgione in Soho. Great food. The best lasagna outside of Italy. Or maybe just the best period. And, the bartenders are supreme. Try this very simple cocktail and you will realize that even simple things can be sublime.

The proportions here can vary. A little lime juice is fine. Use more simple syrup if you have a larger lime. I preferred just ½ ounces of simple syrup and no tonic water. I prefer my cocktails to have a bit of a jolt. Instead of tonic water, club soda would be equally refreshing.

Ah, but the gin. At Girgione they use Hedricks and I would be careful about steering away from that. There are dozens of gins out there, most of them lovely, but their flavor profiles can vary widely. At least the first time you try this cocktail, use the Hedricks to get the same surprise Suzi and I experienced at first sip.

Il Tropicale

Yield: 1 cocktail


  • 2 ounces gin [Hedricks if possible]
  • 2 ounces mango puree
  • Juice of one lime
  • Simple syrup and tonic water to taste


Add the gin, mango and lime juice. Begin with ½ ounce of simple syrup. Shake and strain. Have you glass filled with crushed ice. Top off with tonic water, or that club soda. Stir in a little more simple syrup if desired.

Source: Giorgione Restaurant, Soho, NYC

Photo Information [Drink]: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/2.8 for 1/200th second at ISO‑100