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Boozy chamoy snow cones: Fire, ice and pucker

Nothing harkens back memories of the summers of your youth like a snow cone. If I’m being totally honest, the only reason I participated in Little League as long as I did was the free snow cones they gave the players. If that sounds like a lot of work for some shaved ice and syrup, keep in mind I was 6 and I played left field. I picked more flowers than runners.

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I still love snow cones, but that doesn’t mean I have to eat them with those ultra-sweet syrups we all loved as kids. Enter chamoy. This traditional Mexican condiment made from fruits like apricot or mango spiced with chilies is a popular dip for fruits and provides the perfect grown-up flavors for this very adult spiked snow cone.

Boozy chamoy snow cone recipe

boozy chamoy snow cone
Image: Heather Barnett/SheKnows

I feel this has the perfect amount of heat — a good spice up front that quickly subsides due to the sweet apricot preserves and ice. But if you’re not a fan of the fiery stuff, feel free to back off. And if you can’t find ancho chili powder at the grocery store, regular chili powder will work.

More: 12 simple syrup recipes for cocktails that will knock your socks off

Serves 3 – 4

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Inactive time: 1-1/2 hours | Total time: 1 hour 50 minutes


  • 1/4 cup apricot jam
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 2 ounces mezcal, tequila or vodka
  • Water
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 cups ice
  • Lime zest or wedges, for garnish


  1. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the apricot jam, lime juice, liquor, 2 ounces of water, crushed red pepper, ancho chili powder and salt to a high simmer, stirring frequently until the jam is dissolved. Allow it to simmer, uncovered, for 2 – 3 minutes or until it reaches the desired consistency.
  2. Remove the chamoy syrup from the heat, allow it to cool for 15 – 20 minutes, and then pour it into a bowl, cover it, and let it chill in the refrigerator for 1 – 1-1/2 hours or until well chilled.
  3. Just before you’re ready to serve, fill a blender with the ice (in batches if necessary), and pour in about 2 cups of water. You want enough water that it’s easy for your blender’s blades to turn and the ice develops a snow-like consistency instead of just turning into crushed ice. If you use too much, don’t worry — you can just drain it in a colander. If it has one, use your blender’s ice crushing setting. If not, just use long pulses on high until the ice resembles snow.
  4. Portion out the snow into 3 – 4  small martini or margarita glasses. Drizzle the syrup, divided equally, over the snow. Serve immediately, topped with lime zest or a lime wedge.

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