Skip to content

Chinola: Eco-Friendly Fruit Liqueur From The Dominican Republic

Photo Courtesy Chinola Fresh Fruit Liqueurs

The Dominican Republic’s (DR) burgeoning economy has made it one of the richest Caribbean nations. Tourism and agriculture are big; however, the DR also has a substantial domestic manufacturing scene, and more U.S. companies are investing in the island nation. The beverage industry is also establishing a strong presence there, channeling the region’s island flair. 

Chinola Fresh Fruit Liqueurs, a liquor company based in the DR, has been capturing the sweet flavors of paradise with its passion fruit and recently added mango liqueurs. The recipe is based on the “old-world style of European liqueurs.” The company is named after the word for passion fruit on the island. All fruit is sourced from local Dominican farmers; all spirits are made with 100% fruit.

The company was founded by Robert Pallone, Andrew Merinoff, and Mike Krychowecky in 2014. Its approach is “farm-to-bottle,” which reduces the firm’s carbon footprint due to a lack of shipping outside ingredients.

They use a polycrop technique to grow the passion fruits. Company representatives explained that the approach enriches soil health and attracts pollinators.  

A press release shared with The Business Download said the mango flavor was recently launched in April.

Photo Courtesy Chinola Liqueur

“The growing demand for distinctive tropical flavors inspired our new liqueur,” Merinoff, co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. “Similar to the mission with our passion fruit liqueur, Chinola Mango Liqueur mirrors the taste and aroma of fresh mango while adding depth and complexity.

Today’s drinkers are continually seeking innovative, high-quality crafted spirits and low-ABV offerings for at-home cocktails and social occasions at bars and restaurants.”  

All mangoes are grown in the DR, which means they are locally sourced. The liquor is made with a custom blend of Banilejo, Keitt, and Kent mangoes, which Chinola says “offers a well-balanced combination of sweetness and tanginess with a smooth texture that helps give the liqueur its distinctive taste.” 

No artificial sweeteners are added, just cane sugar. The spirit can be enjoyed on its own or in tropical beverages. Tasting notes say you can taste natural mango flavor with natural acidity and subtle sweetness. It’s only 42 proof, meaning it’s just above 20% ALC/VOL.

The drink is helping another project: uplifting the Dominican communities that help make Chinola beverages. 

“Besides our business success, we are very proud of the way we choose to make Chinola,” Pallone told Shoutout Miami. “We produce it in the Dominican Republic. Because of that, we’ve had the ability to support the infrastructural growth of the community, from building a road that makes this area more accessible to creating small bridges, electric poles, and water wells that help boost the local economy.” 

Chinola is serious about capturing the essence of the DR in a bottle. Everything is considered in the process. The brand’s name is derived from farmland in northeast DR, the El Valle de Chinola. The blue color on the bottle label is inspired by the native Larimar stone, which is only found in the DR. Passion fruit and mangoes are sourced directly from the vine. The company keeps its beehives nearby for better pollination, and the bees produce honey for the locals. 

“In 2022, all the knowledge acquired over the years was consolidated into a state-of-the-art, eco-conscious farm in the heart of the Dominican eco-tourism capital, El Valle, in Samaná,” company representatives told The Business Download via email.

“The El Valle de Chinola farm is in the middle of an undeveloped ‘jungle’ where Chinola has helped build up the infrastructure such as road, small bridges, electric poles, and water wells.”

Photo Courtesy Chinola Liqueur

The liqueurs are available in 22 U.S. markets at brick-and-mortar stores and can be bought nationally online. It’s ideal for people following the sober-curious or “mostly sober” lifestyle. 

“What we see is that consumers are not abstaining from consuming alcohol,” Mernioff told Beverage Wholesaler. “They are alternating between traditional spirits and no and low ABV options, with the primary concern being the quality of ingredients.”

There are several types of cocktails that Chinola offers recipes for, but it’s their Porn Star Martini that gets eyes turned. It’s nothing more than the passion fruit Chinola with vanilla vodka, lime, and simple syrup shaken with ice and served with a passion fruit garnish, but the name is edgy and provocative — it gets the people going.

They also offer a Mamajuana Old Fashioned made with Candela rum, another Dominican traditional spirit made with sustainable practices.

“The investments have energized the area, creating access and value never seen before. Continued support will continue to develop this area that didn’t previously have electricity or running water into a flourishing paradise,” company representatives said. “The work Chinola has done over the past eight years and the access to the area they helped provide is driving tourism in El Valle, hence creating jobs and boosting the local economy.” 


Back To Top