LifeFood and Drink


McDonald's is releasing its own version of 'mambo sauce'

​The fast-food chain’s take on “Mambo Sauce” and a new “Sweet and Spicy Jam Sauce” will be available for a limited time.
McDonald's mambo sauce and sweet and spicy jam sauce containers.
Posted at 5:41 PM, Sep 26, 2023

Cue the go-go, McDonald’s is adding two new sauces to their dipping lineup.   

The fast-food chain’s take on “Mambo Sauce” and a new “Sweet and Spicy Jam Sauce” to pair with their breakfast menu items will be available for a limited time starting Oct. 9. 

The jam sauce is described as “red pepper sauce with a tongue-numbing Szechuan peppercorn kick and extra heat from cayenne pepper; finished with apple cider vinegar,” according to a McDonald’s press release

Mambo, or mumbo, sauce is a tomato-based, sweet, spicy and vinegary condiment that has origins in both Washington, D.C. and Chicago, although the capital city will take credit for its popularization. In some variations, it can taste similar to barbecue sauce. 

Capital City Mambo Sauce, a small business that partnered with KFC in 2021 to bring the condiment to select fast food locations for a limited time, said Washington locals claim the sauce originated in the late 1960s at an African American-owned chicken wing restaurant. 

It then became so popular that Asian restaurants across the district adopted their own take on the sauce to pair with takeout dishes, according to Capital City Mambo Sauce’s history. Today, you can get the sauce just about anywhere around the district.

The sauce has become synonymous with Black food culture in Washington and has trickled into realms beyond food, even inspiring the name of a go-go music group — the music genre being another staple of the district. 

McDonald’s said it acknowledges the rich, cultural history of mambo sauce and plans to feature a documentary on their YouTube channel that highlights the sauce makers and restaurateurs behind it. 

McDonald’s has also teamed up with a handful of food content creators on TikTok to promote the new sauces.