With only 4 ingredients, this spicy Passion Fruit Margarita is the perfect way to celebrate passion fruit while it's in season! It's a well-balanced, vibrant drink for relaxing and enjoying the transition from summer into cool, crisp fall days.
Passion fruit is so deliciously lush and tangy, it makes for the perfect cocktail with a bit of agave sweetener and tequila! The color is a vibrant yellow-orange, which is borderline golden when the sun hits it the right way. It's my favorite passion fruit drink as summer transitions into fall.
I mean, there's a reason the Cheesecake Factory's Passion Fruit Margarita is one of it's most popular drinks.
In NYC, I noticed that just about every bar I went to had a cocktail with passion fruit and Casamigos, a tequila made in Jalisco, Mexico with George Clooney's name attached to it. I was immediately curious, because we don't get good passion fruit during the fall season in NYC and it breaks my heart! It's either super overpriced, or just not good quality.
I saw a couple on a date order these bright, beautiful golden drinks at Gansevoort Rooftop in NYC and immediately asked them what it was! It was the Ari Gold, essentially a passion fruit margarita with tequila and a spicy rim. This recipe is a recreation of this delicious cocktail!
The Ingredients - Notes and Substitutions
With only four main ingredients - this passion fruit margarita is incredibly simple and has a few substitutions to make it friendly for what's in your fridge or pantry.
- Passion fruit Syrup - If passion fruit isn't it season, it is very difficult to come by! Thankfully, there are several companies such as Goya that sell frozen puree online or in stores. I've also seen Whole Foods carries frozen cubes as well as juice! I opted for a passion fruit cocktail syrup where the only ingredients were passion fruit and sugar.
- Agave Syrup - This is classic to cocktails but you can also use a 1-to-1 ratio of water to sugar to create a simple syrup.
- Tequila - But of course. Use your favorite tequila! I used Casamigos, as an ode to how popular it is in NYC as of Fall 2021!
- Lime Juice - Adds a bit of freshness and acidity. Use fresh lemon juice or orange juice instead.
- Chili Lime Salt - Adding a bit of spice to this margarita makes it so so good! I'm obsessed with the rim. Use your favorite chili lime salt or make your own at home - it's super easy!
- Jalapeños - I LOVE when the cocktail itself is lightly spicy! Adding a few slices of jalapeño and muddling makes this cocktail especially spicy even without the rim but is optional if it's too spicy.
How to Make a Passion Fruit Margarita
Making a passion fruit margarita truly could not be any easier!
If you're starting with fresh passion fruit while it's in season during the fall, you'll want to transfer the passion fruit pulp into a blender and then strain out the seeds to make a puree. You can also defrost frozen passion fruit puree, which is much easier to come by or would make a great frozen passion fruit margarita.
Alternatively, you can purchase a passion fruit cocktail syrup from popular companies like Monin and Torani, but the key is to find one where the only ingredients are passion fruit, sugar, and a natural preservative.
- (Optional) Muddle two slices of jalapeño in a shaker.
- Add the passion fruit puree or syrup, agave syrup, tequila, and lime juice to a cocktail shaker. Pour in ice, and then add the cap on to the shaker.
- Give it a vigorous shake for about a minute.
- Serve immediately according to serving instructions below.
You can also add other fruit syrups or purees into this margarita, like mango, orange, or guava. Another delicious alternative to make it even spicier would be a passion fruit jalapeño margarita.
How to Serve
First, lets make the chili lime salt rim! You can purchase a fancy chili lime salt or Tajín which is easily accessible, but it's also super easy to make at home.
In a small bowl or plate, add a bit of chili powder (my favorite is Sannam Chillies from Diaspora Co), flaky salt, and fresh lime zest and give it a good mix. Rub a lime around the rim so that it's wet, and then dip the rim into the chili lime salt to fully coat it.
Fill a rocks glass with ice to the brim. Then strain the passion fruit margarita into the cup.
Garnish with a lime wheel and a fresh sprig of mint! If you have fresh passionfruit, add a spoonful of seeds. I absolutely love the bit of spicyness from the rim as I drink the sweet, tart margarita.
More Cocktails to try
Passion Fruit Margarita
- Rim a rocks glass by rubbing a lime around the top edges. Then dip the top of the glass into a mixture of chili lime salt, such as tajín, or with a mixture of chili powder, coarse salt, and lime zest to coat it.
- Mix the passion fruit syrup, agave syrup, tequila, and lemon juice in a shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously for a minute.
- Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
- Garnish with a lime wheel and a fresh sprig of mint.
- Note: To make it especially spicy, muddle 1-2 slices of jalapeños in the shaker before adding the liquids.