Sweet and sour from the passion fruit and lime juices and slightly smoky from the mezcal, this Passion Fruit Margarita recipe makes a unique cocktail that everyone will love. Perfect for Cinco de Mayo, summer barbecues, and 4th of July gatherings!
Making This Passion Fruit Cocktail Recipe
A few years ago, Kevin and I stayed at a boutique, adults-only hotel in Puerto Vallarta called Villa Premiere. During our stay, we enjoyed some of the best food and drinks I’ve ever had at an all-inclusive hotel!
The pool bartender made me a mezcal-based passion fruit cocktail with a spicy salt rim several times and I’ve been trying to recreate it ever since!
Years later, I think I’ve finally made the perfect passion fruit cocktail. I’m calling it a Passion Fruit Margarita because that’s the cocktail it’s most similar to.
However, instead of tequila this passion fruit margarita is made with mezcal (more on why that matters in a moment!).
It’s a refreshing cocktail that’s perfect for summer gatherings, potlucks, and barbecues.
What Is a Mezcalita?
I supposed this drink could technically be called a passion fruit mezcalita. A mezcalita is a spin-off of the classic margarita.
Margaritas are made with tequila, triple sec, and lime juice, whereas mezcalitas are made with mezcal (hence the name ‘mezcalita’), and oftentimes orange juice is added to the cocktail to the mixture.
Both cocktails are part of the sour family, which by definition are made with a combination of liquor, citrus juice, and a sweetener.
What Does This Passion Fruit Margarita Taste Like?
This recipe isn’t for a traditional passion fruit margarita, it’s more in line with a mezcalita. Mezcal has a slight smokiness to it that definitely comes out in this cocktail.
It’s a sweet and sour passion fruit cocktail that’s ultra refreshing thanks to the combination of passion fruit and lime juice.
The smoky mezcal plays off of these flavors very nicely.
Tools Needed to Make Passion Fruit Margaritas
If your bar cart isn’t stocked yet, here’s what I recommend purchasing to make a passion fruit and mezcal cocktail:
- Shaker — This recipe makes two passion fruit margaritas. I like to measure the ingredients directly into the shaker.
- Strainer for shaker — Most cocktail shaker sets come with a strainer included, but if you don’t have one you need it for this recipe.
- Jigger — Makes measuring out drink ingredients quick and easy.
- Citrus juicer — Makes juicing limes much easier. Be sure to roll your limes on the counter before slicing and juicing them to help release even more juice.
- Cocktail muddler — The passion fruit chunks need to be muddled.
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Ingredients in This Passion Fruit Cocktail
Passion fruit margaritas call for very few ingredients, with the only “special” ingredient being the passion fruit. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need to make the cocktails:
For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.
What Is Mezcal?
The term “mezcal” encompasses a large variety of agave-based spirits. Tequila is actually a type of mezcal, but not all mezcals are tequila. Make sense?
For something to be labeled as tequila, it must be made from the Blue Weber Agave plant. On the other hand, mezcal can be made from any variety of agave plant.
Mezcal is made by burying part of the agave plant (the heart, or piña) with hot rocks and smoking it. This results in the spicy, smoky flavor that’s characteristic of any mezcal.
Unlike tequila, aging isn’t as crucial to the mezcal making process. (Some mezcals are aged and are labeled as such, but generally speaking it’s not critical to mezcal making.)
When purchasing mezcal for this recipe, look for one that’s clear in color. Clear mezcals are sometimes labeled as “Joven,” which simply means unaged.
If your mezcal is tan or deeper brown in color, it has been aged. That won’t work for these passion fruit margs!
What Can I Substitute for Mezcal?
Tequila is an acceptable mezcal substitute in this recipe.
What Is Cointreau?
Cointreau (pronounced “kwan-troh”) is a colorless, orange-flavored liqueur. It’s a type of triple sec, but it’s stronger and smoother in flavor than name-brand Triple Sec.
I recommend sticking with the Cointreau brand of cointreau.
Acceptable cointreau substitutes are: Triple Sec, Grand Marnier, or Orange Curaçao.
However, my preferred substitute would be Grand Marnier.
I don’t recommend triple sec or bottom shelf orange curaçao. Higher quality orange liqueur matters when making margaritas, just like higher quality mezcal!
How to Make Passion Fruit Margaritas
Like all of the cocktail recipes on my site, these passion fruit mezcal margaritas and a cinch to prepare! This recipe makes two drinks, but you can scale it up to make a larger batch.
- Make the salt rims: Fill a saucer with salt and Tajín. Run a lime wedge around the rim of your glasses before dipping in the salt mixture.
- Fill the glasses halfway with ice: Then, set aside.
- Muddle the passion fruit: Add the passion fruit to the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Using a cocktail muddler or wooden spoon, muddle the passion fruit.
- Shake the cocktail: To the cocktail shaker, add 1 cup of ice, mezcal, passion fruit juice, Cointreau, and lime juice. Shake the contents vigorously for about 30 seconds.
- Strain and serve: Strain the margarita mixture into the prepared glasses.
The above is simply a quick summary of this recipe. Check out the full recipe in the free printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.
How to Make a Salt Rim for Margaritas
The Tajin salt rim is essential for this passion fruit mezcal margarita recipe! Here’s my preferred method for making salt rims for margaritas:
- Fill a saucer with flaky salt and Tajin.
- Cut a small slice in a lime wedge and run the lime around the rim of your glasses.
- Dip the rim of the glasses in the salt mixture and twist around to coat the outer edge of the glass in the salt mixture.
I recommend wetting the rim of the glass with lime rather than water. Lime juice is stickier and will help the salt stick to the glass more easily.
Use a flaky salt variety, such as kosher or sea salt. Do NOT use iodized table salt. It has a much stronger, saltier flavor than kosher or sea salt.
Instead of a Tajin salt rim, you could also make the margaritas with a smoked salt, Hawaiian black salt, or a citrus-flavored salt. (Use the same method in my lemon sugar recipe to make lime salt for rimming your margarita glasses!)
Tips for the Best Passion Fruit Cocktail
- Use freshly squeezed lime juice: Fresh lime juice is far superior to bottled. Be sure to read my tips for getting the most juice from your limes.
- Use real passion fruit juice: Don’t buy any fruit juice concentrates or syrups.
- Use high-quality alcohol: This is a very simple cocktail, so it’s important that you use quality mezcal and cointreau. It will be an investment up front, but purchasing quality spirits to build your at-home collection is always a good investment. Enjoying cocktails at home is so much cheaper than purchasing out. Think of how many margs you can make at home for the amount of alcohol versus spending $10+ on one drink out!
- Salt the rim for balance: The Tajin salted rim perfectly balances out the sweet-sour-smokiness of the margarita. Don’t skip it!
- Use frozen passion fruit to save money: Frozen fruit is almost always a better deal than buying the same quantity fresh. I prefer buying frozen passion fruit for this recipe because it’s frozen at peak freshness and I can keep it in my freezer longer term for cocktail making.
Passion Fruit Margarita FAQs
Got questions about how to make this recipe? Here are the answers to a few commonly asked questions. Feel free to leave any other questions in the comments on this post and I’ll respond with answers.
Is This Margarita Shaken or Stirred?
Margaritas should always be shaken (unless you’re blending frozen margaritas, that is). Adding passion fruit and mezcal doesn’t change this.
What Type of Glass Should Margaritas Be Served In?
I recommend serving the passion fruit margaritas in either low ball glasses or margarita glasses if you want to stick with what’s classic.
We also have these fun tiki glasses that we enjoy using for beachy cocktails.
If you don’t have margarita glasses or don’t want to buy one-use cocktail glasses (I get it!), you can strain the cocktail into medium-sized Ball jars or another cocktail glass you have on hand.
Tip: If you struggle to keep your margaritas cold in the summer, I highly recommend investing in insulated margarita glasses! They are great for backyard patio parties since they prevent the ice from melting too quickly and watering down your cocktails.
Should the Passion Fruit Margs Be Served Over Ice?
Yes! Just be sure to use regular ice cubes, not shaved or crushed ice. You don’t want to dilute your margarita!
Margarita Garnish Ideas
I don’t like to add too many garnishes to my passion fruit margaritas because the flavor of the cocktail is perfect as is. However, some garnishes to try include:
- A slice or two of lime
- A cocktail umbrella
- A dried orange slice
- Half of a small passion fruit
Can This Be Made as a Pitcher Cocktail?
Of course! Making pitcher passion fruit margaritas is perfect for parties and cookouts.
You can male a pitcher of passion fruit margaritas up to 48 hours in advance. Store the cocktail mixture in the fridge until ready to serve but do NOT add ice to the pitcher.
You’ll want to add ice to the individual glasses and pour the margarita mixture over the ice. If you add ice to the pitcher, the margarita mixture will become watered down.
To prepare a pitcher of margaritas, measure out the ingredients below using ratios rather than ounces or tablespoons.
Can This Mezcal Cocktail Be Made as a Mocktail?
Alcohol-free spirits are a wonderful alternative if you’re sober curious or don’t consume alcohol.
I’ve never made this passion fruit cocktail with alcohol-free spirits so I can’t speak to the exact taste, but here are some highly rated non-alcoholic spirits you can try out:
You could also try using soda water in place of the mezcal and fresh squeezed orange juice and a little orange zest in place of the cointreau.
Safety tip: Depending on the brand you use, some alcohol-removed spirits may still contain trace amounts of alcohol. Check before using if you’re pregnant, serving the mocktails to kids, etc.
What to Serve with Passion Fruit Margaritas
Serve your passion fruit and mezcal margaritas with your favorite Mexican entrees for a full meal, or pair with appetizers for an unforgettable happy hour spread!
Here are some of my favorite Mexican mains and appetizers:
- Chicken, Black Bean & Spinach Enchiladas
- Chicken Enchiladas with Chili Gravy
- Flank Steak Fajitas
- Portobello Mushroom Fajitas
- Chicken Tacos
- Basic Guacamole
- Cinnamon Chips and Fruit Salsa
- Black Bean Salad
- Easiest Nachos
- Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
- Grilled Chicken Walking Tacos
Try This Passion Fruit Margarita Recipe!
Next time you’re looking for a fun mezcal cocktail, give this passion fruit margarita a try!
Did you think it was the perfect summertime drink? Leave a comment below and give it a review for others to see what you thought of this margarita recipe.
On Instagram? Share your photo and tag me with @goodlifeeats and #goodlifeeatsrecipes. I’d love to see a photo of your drink!
More Easy Summer Cocktails:
Pineapple, cilantro, and lime juice infuse this Pineapple Margarita with refreshing summer flavors. Make a small batch or prepare in a pitcher for parties!
This Lemon Margarita is another variation on the classic. Lemon juice cuts through tequila for a tangy cocktail with extra flavor dimension from a salted rim.
Strong, tart, and slightly sweet, a Mai Tai Cocktail is a classic rum cocktail that will transport you straight to the tropics!
If you love fresh strawberry cocktails, you’re bound to love this Strawberry Aperol Spritz! Aperol is infused with strawberries before being combined with prosecco and club soda in the classic spritz ratios.
Peach Sangria is a delicious and summer cocktail that’s easy to make. The peach flavors combine perfectly with the Rosé for a delightful drink you are sure to enjoy!
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For the Salt Rim:
- 1 tablespoon flaky Salt
- 1 tablespoon Tajín
For the Margarita:
- 1/2 cup chopped Frozen Passion Fruit
- 1 cup Ice
- 3 ounces Mezcal
- 6 tablespoons Passion Fruit Juice
- 1.75 ounces Cointreau
- 3 tablespoons Lime Juice
- Fresh Limes
To Make the Spicy Salt Rim
- Fill a saucer with salt and Tajín. Stir to combine. Set aside.
How to Rim a Margarita Glass
- Cut a small slice in a lime wedge and run the lime around the rim of your glasses.
- Then, dip the rim of the glasses in the salt mixture and spin around to coat the outer edge of the glass in the salt mixture.
Making the Passion Fruit Margarita
- Fill the glasses halfway with ice. Set aside.
- Add the passion fruit to the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Using a cocktail muddler or wooden spoon, muddle the passion fruit.
- Then, add 1 cup of ice, mezcal, passion fruit juice, Cointreau, and lime juice.
- Shake the contents vigorously for about 30 seconds. Strain the mezcalita into the prepared glasses. Serve.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 284Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 4316mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 9gSugar: 20gProtein: 2g
GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy. This provided information is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.