Chamoy Sauce: Sweet & Sour Mexican Condiment With A Kick

chamoy sauce over jicama
Chamoy sauce is a Mexican condiment that’s spicy, sweet, sour, and salty all at once. It's made from dried hibiscus flowers, fruit, chile de arbol, Tajin, lime juice, salt, and sugar. You can drizzle it over everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to tacos and steak.

You can find many brands of store-bought chamoy sauce in Latin markets, or make your own homemade chamoy sauce!

What Does Chamoy Sauce Taste Like?

Mexican chamoy sauce is an explosion of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors, making it a popular condiment for Mexican street food.

The fact that chamoy sauce has heat, sweetness, and salt allows it to be used as a flavor enhancer for sweet and savory foods, including fresh fruit, meat, nuts, and potato chips.

It’s also popular on frozen delicacies such as sorbet, paletas (fresh fruit popsicles) and raspados (shaved ice). 

chamoy sauce on chips, nuts and vegetables

What Is Chamoy Sauce Made Of?

Chamoy sauce’s complex flavor profile is achieved using dried apricots (sweet), dried hibiscus flowers (sour), lime juice (sour) Tajin seasoning (salty and sour), and dried chili peppers (spicy). 

Other recipes may use different dried fruits, like raisins, prunes, and various dried chiles or chili powder. Shortcut recipes may use fruit jams or sugar for the sweetness and omit the hibiscus. 

Add water to make the sauce your desired consistency, depending on how you’re using it. 

How To Use Chamoy Sauce

The uses for chamoy sauce are nearly limitless:

ChamoyadaA chamoyada, also called a mangonada, is a deliciously sweet mango drink topped with chamoy sauce that originated in Mexico. The beverage is finished with a Tajin rim and tamarind candy straws.

chamoyada mango drink with chamoy sauce

Chamoy for alcoholic drinks – For alcoholic beverages, chamoy can be used as a rim paste for micheladas, beer, and cocktails.

Fruits and vegetables – Chamoy sauce adds a punch of flavors to your favorite fruits, such as mangoes, watermelons, and pineapples. It’s also delicious on raw, crisp vegetables like cucumber and jicama.

Dulces enchilados or pica pica candy (spicy Mexican candy) – Make dulces enchilados by dipping gummy candy fruit rings in chamoy sauce and sprinkling with Tajin seasoning.

Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?

Are Tajin And Chamoy The Same Thing?

No. Tajin is a seasoning salt and an ingredient in chamoy sauce. However, the Tajin brand also makes its own bottled chamoy sauce, which is where the confusion may stem from. 

Where Can You Buy Chamoy Sauce?

The availability of chamoy sauce may vary depending on your location. Check the Mexican food section of your local grocery store, a Latino market, or a farmers’ market.

Additionally, you can buy chamoy sauce online from Amazon or a Latino food retailer. 

Chamoy sauce is sold in liquid form in bottles for easy storage, but it will have extra ingredients for preservatives, such as citric acid or potassium sorbate, and artificial colors to maintain a vibrant red color.  

Other brands sell thicker versions of chamoy sauce in a shallow round tin specifically for rim paste when making drinks. 

How To Make Chamoy Sauce

If you can’t find chamoy sauce or don’t like the added ingredients, it’ fairly easy to make at home. You may have to order dried hibiscus flowers online, but the rest of the ingredients are easy enough to find in most grocery stores.

You can find many different chamoy sauce recipes online, but these are the basic ingredients and steps you can expect. 

Dried Fruit 

Dried apricots are authentic, but you can use prunes, plums, raisins, mangos, or peaches. 

Dried Chiles

Chiles de arbol is authentic, but you can use guajillo chile, chile pasilla, ancho chiles or cayenne chile powder for varying flavors and heat levels.  

Lime Juice 

Lime juice adds a tangy and sour flavor. However, you can substitute lime juice with an equal amount of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.

Dried Flor de Jamaica

Hibiscus flowers add a beautiful red color and a tart taste to your dish. If you don’t have access to dried hibiscus flowers, you can use dried cranberries or more lime juice.

Tajin Seasoning

Tajin is a pre-made seasoning that includes salt, chili powder, and dehydrated lime zest. It’s a salty, spicy, and tangy condiment that perfectly matches the flavor profile of chamoy sauce. 

Cane Sugar

Cane sugar balances the bold flavors in the sauce. You can also use agave, coconut sugar, or piloncillo.


Salt emulates the umeboshi (pickled fruit brine) flavor found in traditional chamoy sauces.

Follow these five steps to make chamoy sauce:

1. Stem and seed the ancho chilis – Use a medium saucepan and add the ancho chiles along with hibiscus flowers, cane sugar, salt, water, and dried fruit.

2. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for approximately 30 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes before you blend it. 

3. Blend everything to a smooth mixture.

4. Squeeze in the lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your taste. Add cane sugar, more lime juice or cayenne powder if needed. Add a small amount of water if you want a thinner, pourable sauce. 

Store the remaining sauce in a glass jar or an air-tight container, and store it in the refrigerator for up to two months. 


ErIka didn’t grow up with gardening or peppers but she’s turned out to be a spicy foods enthusiast. Today, she not only loves super-hot chilies but also finds solace growing hot peppers. She grows different types of peppers using growing devices, automated indoor gardens, and containers. Keep it here for all matters peppers!

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