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rusa mexican drink ingredients

Rusa Drink Recipe: Enjoy this refreshing Mexican Cocktail

One of my favorite things about traveling to new places is discovering unique local beverages. A few summers ago when I visited Mexico City, I came across an incredibly refreshing soda-based drink called the Mexican Rusa.

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With its burst of fruity flavors and just a hint of spice, the Rusa was perfectly suited for enjoying on a hot afternoon. It quickly became my go-to refreshment as I explored the vibrant neighborhoods and bustling markets of the city.

Even back home, I find myself craving the sunny taste of the Rusa on warm days. The blend of mango, pineapple, lime and chamoy sauce makes for an exciting combination of sweet and tangy.

A sprinkling of chili powder provides a subtle kick without overpowering the natural flavors of the fruit. Best of all, it comes together in just a few simple steps without much fuss in the kitchen. No wonder this drink has become such a beloved summer staple for many Mexicans.

While the Rusa’s light effervescence from soda makes it especially refreshing on its own, some variations include adding a splash of tequila to make it an adult beverage.

Regardless of whether alcohol is included, it remains a classic summertime cooler that never fails to transport me back to the bustling streets of Mexico City.

Ingredients to make Mexican LA Rusa Drink

rusa drink

This beloved fruit drink, with its zesty combination of mango, pineapple, lime juice, and a hint of chili powder, captures the essence of Mexico’s rich flavors and lively culture.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1. Ice (3 cups)

Cool, crisp ice is essential for keeping this refreshing drink at the perfect drinking temperature as you enjoy it on a warm day. The ice helps dilute the drink while keeping it chilled.

Use high-quality ice cubes made from filtered water. Cloudy ice can dilute the flavor and melt faster, hindering the drink’s refreshing nature.

2. Mango (1/2 cup diced)

Sweet, tropical mango adds a burst of sunny flavor. It’s one of my favorite fruits thanks to its blend of smooth textures and bright acidity. I like to dice the mango into small, bite-sized pieces so each sip provides a delicious little mango surprise.

3. Pineapple (1/2 cup diced)

Along with mango, pineapple brings a hit of vitamin C to the Rusa. Its natural tartness balances the other sweet flavors. I like to dice the pineapple into a similar size as the mango so the two fruits complement each other in every sip.

4. Lime Juice (1/4 cup fresh)

A squeeze of lime juice ties it all together with a splash of bright acidity. Limes have long been part of warm weather drinks, and their zesty flavor truly makes the Rusa refreshing. I always use freshly squeezed lime juice for maximum flavor.

5. Orange (1/2 cup diced)

For added color and citrus flavor, some recipes call for adding freshly diced orange to the mix. Its sunshine brightness is a nice complement.

6. Chamoy Sauce (2 tbsp)

This sweet and tangy Mexican sauce with a hint of spice is the heart of the Rusa. Think of it like a sweet chili sauce with a fruity twist.

The perfect amount provides subtle heat and tang. Growing up, I loved the way chamoy brought excitement to everyday snacks.

While finding it in regular stores might be tricky, don’t fret! You can actually make your own. Here is my simple recipe to make this Mexican sauce at home.


  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup pitted prunes, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried hibiscus flowers
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Pinch of salt


  1. In a small saucepan, combine apricots, prunes, hibiscus flowers, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until fruits are softened.
  2. Let mixture cool slightly, then transfer to a blender or food processor. Add sugar, lime juice, chili powder, and salt. Blend until smooth.
  3. Strain if desired for a finer texture. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

7. Chili Powder (1/4 tsp)

Just a small sprinkle of chili powder lends a gentle kiss of heat to the drink without overpowering the other flavors. I think this spice complements the natural flavors beautifully.

Go gently – you can always add more heat, but you can’t take it away! I like to warn my more timid friends before we indulge.

8. Grapefruit Soda (1 bottle)

Fizzy grapefruit soda mixes it all up into a light and effervescent drink. This fizzy drink adds a refreshingly tart flavor that cuts through the sweetness. I love how it balances the Latin flavors with its sunny brightness.

You can also use pink grapefruit-flavored sparkling water for a lower sugar option. Still delicious!

And homemade grapefruit simple syrup would add natural sweetness without artificial junk.

9. Tamarind Candy (optional garnish)

These naturally sweet and tangy candies make for a tasty garnish that also relates to traditional Mexican flavors.

But hey, if you don’t have any, don’t sweat it – the Rusa will still be a fiesta in your mouth!

Craving that tamarind candy garnish but missing it? Don’t worry, these sweet and tangy alternatives will do the trick:

  • Dried mango slices: Chewy and fruity, they add a tropical twist.
  • Dried cranberries: Tart and chewy, they complement the Rusa’s sweetness.
  • Maraschino cherries: A classic garnish with a hint of sweetness.
  • Lime wedge: Tangy and refreshing, it adds a pop of citrus.

10. Tequila

For an adult take, tequila adds an extra layer of complexity to the drink while still allowing the fruity flavors to shine through. Use your favorite tequila, like blanco or reposado, for a smooth experience.

Try one of my favorite tequila cocktails: Butterfly Pea Flower Cocktail

Mexican Rusa Drink Recipe

Recipe by JenniferCourse: CocktailCuisine: Mexican


Prep time


Cooking timeminutes



Enjoy this refreshing Mexican Rusa cocktail at home by following this simple recipe. You can also turn it into a mocktail by omitting alcohol.


  • 3 cups ice

  • 1/2 cup diced mango

  • 1/2 cup diced pineapple

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lime juice

  • 1/2 cup diced Orange

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) chamoy sauce (or substitute, see above)

  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 liter bottle (33.8 fl oz) grapefruit soda

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) blanco or reposado tequila

  • Optional: tamarind candy for garnish (or substitute, see above)


  • Rub a lime wedge around the rim of each glass. Dip the rim in chili powder to create a spiced edge. Fill each glass with ice (120 ml/4 oz each).
  • Add diced mango, pineapple, lime juice, chamoy sauce, and diced orange (if using) to each glass.
  • If using, add 15 ml (1 tablespoon) of tequila to each glass and stir gently.
  • Top with grapefruit soda and garnish with tamarind candy (or substitute) if desired.


  • Adjust the chili powder to your spice preference.
  • Use sparkling grapefruit water for a less-sweet option.
  • Make your own chamoy sauce using the recipe provided above.
  • For a non-alcoholic version, omit the tequila.

How does Rusa drink taste?

Mexican Rusa Drink Recipe

The taste of a Rusa is a truly unique blend of sweet, spicy, and refreshing flavors, often described as a burst of sunshine in a glass. Here’s how you can imagine it:

Sweetness: It gets its sweetness from the fruits, primarily ripe mango and pineapple. Think of it as a tropical treat, but not overwhelmingly sugary just like a wet pussy shot.

Spicy: The chamoy sauce and chili powder add a subtle smoky warmth and a hint of spice. It’s not meant to be fiery hot, but rather a pleasant contrast to the sweetness.

Tangy: Fresh lime juice provides a zesty kick that cuts through the sweetness and balances the overall flavor profile.

Refreshing: The bubbly grapefruit soda adds a light and refreshing element, making it a perfect drink for a hot day.

Overall: Imagine a fruit salad with a spicy kick, then add the bubbly refreshment of a soda. That’s how most people describe the taste of a Rusa.

Pro Tips to make Perfect La Rusa drink

Rusa Drink Recipe

Here are some pro tips for making the perfect Mexican Rusa cocktail:

Prep your fruit beforehand

Dice all your mango, pineapple, lime and orange ahead of time so you’re ready to assemble the Rusa quickly as thirst hits. Nothing ruins a mood like waiting around peeling and chopping during a heat wave!

Go for the freshest limes

Look for limes that are bright green and heavy for their size. Their juice will pack more flavor punch. A friend of mine who’s a real Rusa expert suggested juicing them a day ahead to let those essential oils develop even more zing overnight.

Cut Pineapple Fine

Say goodbye to pineapple chunks getting stuck in your straw! Instead, chop your pineapple into small, even pieces about the size of your pinky nail.

This ensures every sip is packed with delicious pineapple flavor and makes the drink easier to enjoy. Think of it like having tiny explosions of sweetness in every mouthful!

Thaw Frozen Fruit Partially

Using frozen fruit is a great way to keep your drink cool, but letting it thaw completely can make it watery. The key is to find the sweet spot between icy and soggy. Aim for fruit that’s about halfway thawed – still a bit firm but with some softened pieces. This gives you a refreshing chill without diluting the flavors.

Warm Chamoy Sauce

Don’t just pour your chamoy sauce straight from the bottle! Heating it up slightly (like in the microwave for 10 seconds) helps it flow more easily and mix better with the other ingredients.

This releases the full flavor potential of the chamoy, giving your drink a richer, deeper taste. Think of it like unlocking all the delicious goodness hidden in the sauce!

Make Your Own Chamoy

Want to truly personalize your La Rusa? Skip the store-bought chamoy and make your own! It’s easier than you think and lets you control the sweetness and spice level exactly how you like them.

You can even add your own unique touches, like different fruits or spices. Imagine creating a chamoy sauce that reflects your personal taste and makes your La Rusa truly one-of-a-kind!

Spice Up Chamoy: Add a Kick (Optional)

Love a little heat? Adding a pinch of cayenne pepper or a few drops of sriracha to your chamoy sauce can give your La Rusa a nice spicy kick.

Start with a small amount and taste as you go – you can always add more but you can’t take it away! Remember, this step is completely optional, so adjust it to your own spice tolerance.

Infuse Tequila

If you’re using tequila in your La Rusa, try infusing it with fruit like mango or pineapple for a whole new flavor dimension. Simply add chopped fruit to a bottle of tequila and let it sit for a few days.

This infuses the tequila with subtle fruitiness that perfectly complements the other ingredients. But remember, this step is also optional, so feel free to skip it if you prefer the classic La Rusa taste.

Chill Tequila

For an extra smooth tequila experience, pop it in the freezer for about 30 minutes before adding it to your drink. This chills the tequila without making it icy, resulting in a more pleasant mouthfeel. Again, this step is optional, so feel free to adjust it to your preference.

Get the right balance of sweet and spice

Start with small amounts of chamoy and chili powder, then adjust to your taste. You can always add more, but you can’t remove it! I learned this lesson the hard way after making one too spicy for my sister. Oops.

Give it a stir, don’t shake

The Rusa ingredients separate beautifully when you gently mix them together. Vigorous shaking risks bruising delicate fruit and losing those layered flavors. Patience serves it best!

Variations/Twists of Classic Rusa Drink

For an adult, add a shot of white tequila to the Rusa ingredients. The agave flavors blend beautifully with the fruit. Be careful though – with the soda, it goes down quite smoothly!

Here are some twists on the classic Mexican Rusa drink:

1. Tropical Rusa

Ditch the pineapple and swap it for juicy mango chunks, papaya cubes, or even a splash of passionfruit juice. Add a sprig of fresh mint for an extra tropical touch. Imagine yourself sipping on a beach with this refreshing island-inspired delight!

2. Berry Blast Rusa

Replace the mango with a mix of fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. For a tangy kick, add a squeeze of lime juice. This vibrant combination is perfect for berry lovers looking for a burst of sweetness and acidity.

4. Creamy Rusa

Blend half the mango or pineapple with some yogurt or coconut milk for a creamy and smooth texture. This rich twist is perfect for a satisfying and decadent treat.

6. Smoky Sunrise

For a unique and smoky flavor, infuse your tequila with chipotle peppers or smoked paprika. This sophisticated twist adds depth and complexity to your La Rusa, making it perfect for special occasions.

7. Frozen Rusa

Blend all the ingredients with ice for a delicious and refreshing frozen La Rusa. Garnish with a dollop of frozen yogurt or whipped cream for an extra treat. This frozen version is perfect for hot summer days.

8. Spicy Rusa

If you like some extra kick, double the amount of chamoy sauce and chili powder in the classic recipe.

Turn up the heat with jalapenos, habaneros, or a dash of your favorite hot sauce. You can even rim the glass with Tajín seasoning for an extra fiery touch.

Remember, start slow and gradually increase the spice level to your preference. This option is for those who crave a tastebud-tingling adventure!

If you love spicy cocktails, try spicy passion fruit margarita and spicy ranch water cocktails.

9. Non-Alcoholic Rusa drink

Skip the tequila for a refreshing and kid-friendly version. You can even add a splash of club soda or sparkling water for extra fizz. This option allows everyone to enjoy the delicious flavors of La Rusa without the alcohol. You can also go for other kid-friendly cocktails like Blue baby shower punch.

Serving tips

mexican rusa cocktail

Your La Rusa creation deserves a stunning presentation to match its deliciousness. Here are some serving tips to impress your guests and elevate your drink to a whole new level:

Choose the Right Glassware

A tall, frosted glass shows off the beautiful layers of fruit. But mason jars or tumblers work too for a more casual vibe. Make sure to rim the edge with lime juice and chili powder for extra color and flavor.

Chilled Glasses

Pre-chill your glasses in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before serving. This keeps your drink colder for longer and adds a refreshing touch right from the first sip.


Don’t just pour and serve! Get creative with garnishes. Try using tamarind candy, lime wedges, fresh mint leaves, Tajín-dusted mango slices, or even edible flowers.

A pinch of chili powder on the rim adds a festive touch. Remember, presentation is all about creating a visual experience that complements the taste.

Set Up a Build Your Own Bar

Display ingredients in bowls so guests can assemble their own customized Rusas. Leave extra lime wedges, chamoy, chili powder and sodas in bottles on ice for easy refills all afternoon. My family loves this interactive approach to eating and drinking together.

What to serve with Rusa drink

Here are some delicious things to serve alongside a Mexican Rusa cocktail:

Fresh Fruit Skewers: Colorful skewers of pineapple, mango, watermelon and strawberries make for the perfect light and refreshing accompaniment. The fruit complements all the flavors in the Rusa beautifully. Setting up a fruit skewer station is one of my favorite ways to entertain.

Tacos Dorados: Crunchy fried tacos filled with shredded chicken or pork and pico de gallo are a classic Mexican street food. The savory flavors provide the perfect balance to the Rusa’s tropical sweetness. No party is complete at my abuela’s house without her tacos dorados recipe.

Tortilla Chips with Salsas: Homemade tortilla chips with a trio of salsas allows guests to customize their spiciness. Mild roasted tomato salsa, tangy pineapple habanero, and creamy avocado salsa add layered flavor. I love how everyone gets involved assembling their own salsa cups.

Tostadas with Toppings: Crunchy tostadas topped with beans, shredded lettuce, queso fresco and sliced radishes offer substance in bite-sized form. The varied textures and flavors soak up the refreshing Rusa. Tostadas are one of my go-to snack recipes for any gathering.

Chips and Guacamole: This classic combo is always a crowd-pleaser. The creamy guac balances the sweetness and spice of the La Rusa, while the chips offer a satisfying crunch.

Try coffee flavored cocktails:

Nutrition facts of Rusa drink

rusa drink non alcoholic

The vibrant La Rusa drink offers a refreshing medley of sweet, spicy, and tangy flavors, making it a delicious addition to any gathering. Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional profile of this tropical treat:

Nutritional Breakdown

NutrientEstimated Range per Serving
Vitamin C40-60mg
Vitamin A750-1250IU

Remember, these values are based on a general recipe and can vary depending on the specific ingredients and quantities used. Additionally, if you choose to include tequila, factor in its additional calories and alcohol content.

La Rusa presents a good source of Vitamin C, a moderate source of Vitamin A and potassium, and some fiber. However, keep in mind the moderate to high sodium content, primarily due to the chamoy sauce.

For a healthier spin, try using fresh fruits instead of sweetened juices, opt for low-sugar chamoy sauce, or skip the tequila altogether and enjoy a refreshing non-alcoholic version.

Alcohol content

Using 1/4 cup (60 ml) of tequila with an average ABV of 40% in our La Rusa recipe would result in approximately 0.75 ounces of pure alcohol per serving. So, one serving of La Rusa recipe would be considered slightly more than one standard drink.

it’s important to remember that this is just an estimate, and the actual alcohol content can vary depending on the factors liek tequila brand, measurement accuracy and dilution.

If you love strong and bold drinks, try Dancing bear cocktail. I am sure you are going to love it!

Dietary Considerations

Gluten-Free: The classic Rusa recipe is naturally gluten-free since it doesn’t contain any wheat, barley or rye. Even when making variations like the alcoholic version, be sure to use gluten-free tequila.

Dairy-Free: Since the Rusa only contains fruit, lime juice, chamoy sauce and soda, it is also dairy-free. No milk, cream or yogurt are needed. This makes it a tasty summertime option for those avoiding or allergic to dairy.

Vegan: The classic Rusa is vegan-friendly as it contains no animal products. Even the chamoy sauce variety I buy is accidentally vegan.

Keto-Friendly: With no added sugars, the Rusa can fit into a low-carb ketogenic lifestyle. Be mindful of carb counts if choosing fruit varietals higher in natural sugar like pineapple. But using berries would keep it well within keto macros. As someone currently trying keto, I’m glad this refreshment lets me participate in social summertime drinks.

Storage tips

mexican rusa

Just like any other delicious creation, your La Rusa deserves proper storage to maintain its vibrant flavors and avoid spoilage.

Start Fresh: Always use fresh ingredients whenever possible. The quality of your ingredients directly impacts the shelf life of your drink.

Cool It Down: Before storing, make sure your La Rusa is completely chilled. Never store a warm drink, as this can accelerate bacterial growth.

Choose the Right Vessel: Opt for airtight containers to minimize air exposure and prevent oxidation. Glass mason jars or BPA-free plastic containers work well.

Storage Options

Refrigerator: This is your best bet for short-term storage (up to 2 days). Store your La Rusa in an airtight container on a shelf, not the door, where temperature fluctuations are greater.

Freezer: For longer storage (up to a week), freezing is an option. However, remember that freezing can alter the texture and flavor slightly. Pour your La Rusa into freezer-safe containers, leaving some headspace for expansion. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before enjoying.

Important Tips

Avoid storing your La Rusa with ice in it, as this can dilute the flavors and make it watery upon thawing. Add fresh ice when serving.

Separate the Chamoy: If you’re concerned about the chamoy sauce affecting the other ingredients, store it separately in a squeeze bottle or small container. Add it back when serving.

When you’re ready to enjoy your stored La Rusa, give it a good sniff and taste test. If it smells or tastes off, discard it for safety reasons.

Bonus Tip: For an extra burst of freshness, consider freezing individual portions in ice cube trays. Pop a frozen La Rusa cube into a glass and add water or club soda for a quick and refreshing treat!

History and origin of Mexican Rusa Drink

History and origin of Mexican Rusa Drink

The vibrant and refreshing La Rusa drink holds a special place in Mexican hearts, but its exact origin story remains shrouded in a bit of mystery.

Recommended: Mexican Tea Shot Recipe

Many believe the La Rusa emerged from the cultural and culinary exchange between Mexico and its northern neighbors, mainly the United States.

The name itself, “Rusa,” translates to “Russian” in Spanish, possibly hinting at the influence of Eastern European flavors like tamarind, a key ingredient in chamoy sauce.

This theory suggests the drink arose from the blending of Mexican fruits and spices with American sweet and sour candies, like tamarind, resulting in the unique flavor profile we know today.

Some believe the La Rusa doesn’t have a single origin story but rather evolved in different regions of Mexico, each with its own unique interpretation. This explains the variations in ingredients and names you might encounter. For example, in some areas, it might be called “Caguama preparada” or “Michelada tropical,” emphasizing the use of beer or non-alcoholic options.

Rusa Drink FAQS

Can i make Rusa drink ahead of time?

Absolutely! For same-day enjoyment, prepare everything except the ice and store your La Rusa in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Add ice and garnishes just before serving.

How can I make Rusa cocktail for a larger gathering?

Yes! Multiply the recipe quantities based on your desired serving size. Use large containers to mix ingredients and ensure everything chills evenly.

Create a DIY La Rusa station with chopped fruits, chamoy sauce, spices, and individual bottles of tequila (optional) for guests to personalize their drinks.

What alcohol pairs well with the Rusa cocktail?

While La Rusa shines on its own, it can embrace a boozy partner too! Here are some options:

  • Tequila: The classic choice, its agave flavors complement the fruit and spice notes. Opt for blanco or reposado for a clean or richer profile.
  • Vodka: Its neutral character allows other ingredients to shine. Choose unflavored vodka for a balanced approach.
  • Rum: Light rums with subtle sweetness can add a tropical twist. Consider white or coconut rum for a hint of Caribbean flair.

What are other citrus fruit options in the Rusa recipe?

Swap the mango or pineapple for these options:

  • Oranges: Tangy and vibrant, they add a zesty punch. Use blood oranges for a unique color and flavor twist.
  • Grapefruit: Their bittersweet notes create a refreshing and slightly tart edge. Use pink grapefruit for a milder flavor.
  • Tangerines: Juicy and sweet, they offer a delicate citrus touch. Combine them with other fruits for a layered flavor profile.

Does the color of chamoy sauce affect the taste of La Rusa?

The color of chamoy sauce usually indicates its spice level. Darker sauces tend to be spicier, while lighter ones are milder. Choose based on your preferred heat level, knowing the color doesn’t significantly impact the overall flavor profile of your La Rusa.

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Hey there, I'm Jennifer, the brains and heart behind Thirstpals.com. I'm on a mission to explore and share the amazing world of drinks and beverages. From healthy sips to spirited concoctions and the perfect cup of coffee, I've got it all covered. Join me in sipping and smiling through life's flavorful moments!

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