I don’t always make cocktails at home, but when I do, I like to try new concoctions. Margaritas are easy to make, and easier to drink. Adding passion fruit to your margarita makes a cocktail that is both sweet and sour, with a hint of basil and a little bite from tequila. It takes you one step closer to the beach.
It’s been too long since I mixed up a cocktail here at The District Table. The last one was The Lady Cora in celebration of Downton Abbey – an awesome drink with a punch. Today’s libation is a bit more suitable for the middle of summer, with tropical tart flavors to add a little flair to a regular margarita. It’s a fun, simple cocktail recipe that is great for summer parties, or BBQs, or Thursdays.
I like a regular margarita as much as the next person, but when I was in Hawaii this past March, a little bit of fresh passion fruit took my margarita to the next level. And I can’t ever go back to regular. Sure, sitting on a porch next to the ocean, or a day well spent kayaking and snorkeling might have had something to do with my contentment. I’m not sure – I will just have to go back, to isolate each thing and try them again. I could happily spend my entire day at Daylight Mind Coffee Company, where I first tried this drink.
Hawaii was magic to me. Surrounded by lush and beautiful scenery every day, I picked up on a slower, more easygoing approach to life. The fruit was the freshest, the avocadoes the ripest, and the shaved ice on point. You are all invited to come visit me there, when I move someday.
Hawaii was the first time I tried passion fruit on its own as well. It’s a fun round purple fruit with dimples in it, and inside is a cool yellow/orange jelly with little black seeds – that’s where the puree comes from for these drinks. If you cannot find fresh passion fruit (it’s only seasonably available around these parts), use passion fruit juice or the frozen puree. I found passion fruit juice at Whole Foods (and passion fruits too). Just be careful with sugar content. Some fruit purées come pre-sweetened, so you may not need to add any additional simple syrup to the cocktail.
There are a few different options for your passion fruit margarita. The drink sounds quite fancy but isn’t too hard to mix together. You definitely need the tequila, passion fruit juice, and lime juice. After that, it’s up to you. If you’re feeling fancy, you can muddle some basil into the drink. For sweetener, I suggest including either simple syrup or orange liqueur such as Cointreau. Do not use both, or it will be too sweet. I preferred my drink with simple syrup; my husband preferred the Cointreau. So it depends on personal taste. If you’re wondering about difference in flavor, check out this post.
As I learned from my grandma, you can make margaritas in large quantities, in advance, and let the pitcher chill in the refrigerator until it’s ready to serve. (Seriously kids, listen to your grandmas, they know what’s up.) So feel free to triple or quadruple or octuple the recipe, and enjoy it all evening, preferably on the porch, ocean waves in view.
- 2 oz. silver tequila
- 1 ½ oz. passion fruit puree or juice
- ½ oz. fresh lime juice (from about 1 lime)
- ¾ to 1 oz. simple syrup, to taste, OR ¾ oz. orange liqueur (I used Cointreau)
- Fresh basil, optional
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Salt, for the cup rim
- To make a passion fruit puree, halve fresh passion fruit and scoop the flesh and seeds into a blender with a tablespoon of water. Blend for 5-10 seconds, and then strain through a fine-mesh sieve.
- Prepare a glass by moistening the rim with a lime wedge, and then dip onto a plate of coarse salt. Add desired amount of crushed ice to the glass.
- If using fresh basil, add it to a cocktail shaker with the tequila. Muddle well and then add the remaining ingredients and shake. If not, just add the tequila, the passion fruit puree, lime juice, and simple syrup or orange liqueur to a cocktail shaker. Shake well, then pour into the prepared glass. Drink and enjoy!
- I preferred the margarita with simple syrup, no Cointreau - but my husband preferred Cointreau, no simple syrup. So it's up to personal taste (read the post for more info). Just don't use both because the drink will be too sweet.
If you try out these margaritas, I’d love to hear what you think! You can leave a comment below, which helps me improve my recipes or gives other readers a heads up that this is indeed rave-worthy.