Spicy Passion Fruit Martini

This is my favorite cocktail recipe – the habanero & Passion Fruit Martini. It’s spicy, sweet and a cinch to throw together!

A Spicy Passion Fruit Martini - my all time favorite cocktail!

I finally found the recipe to my favorite cocktail, the Passion Fruit Martini. But before we get to that…


The email came in last night just as Alan and I were settling in to watch some television. I sat up and yelled “Holy #&@*”! before grabbing the phone.

“We just got the official acceptance!” I said to my mom, who I’d woken up (at 8:40 pm WI time ;)

And so it has finally arrived, the elusive email that we’ve been waiting on since last spring. They got the house and, assuming the inspections go according to plan, they’ll be living here by Christmas.

I haven’t lived near my parents for many, many years. When I left Wisconsin at the ripe old age of twenty and headed for sunny California, I vowed I’d never return. I was seeking adventure and independence and was absolutely certain that I would always feel this way. Flash forward twenty years. No longer craving adventure but instead security and family, I would give anything to live near them again.

When Alan and I decided to move our family out of California we put Wisconsin at the top of our list. Alan applied for any jobs that fit his experience but unfortunately there aren’t many jobs in defense in that part of the country. With a sister in McLean, VA and a bounty of available positions, we made our move to the east coast.

Although we hadn’t made it back to Wisconsin, this was still a vast improvement since now my parents had just one coast to visit and no longer had to split their time between them. We’ve seen them much more often than we have in years, not to mention our girls have grown up much closer to cousins they’d have barely known otherwise.

But now, at long last, we’ll all be together again. There are so many things I’m looking forward to: holiday dinners top the list, but things like popping in for coffee, Sunday afternoon dinners and knowing that my girls will have their grandparents near are all things that fill my heart with joy.

And so I’d like to propose a toast (I have my Passion Fruit Martini in hand, of course): “To my parents, who have always stood by my side and have loved me unconditionally, and just happen to be two of the brightest, kindest and caring people I know. Thank you for all that you have given to all of us through the years. Here’s to many more wonderful years and memories!” {clink}

Now about this Passion Fruit Martini. My regular readers might be wondering, “Is this the cocktail that she’s been gushing about for weeks?!!” And the answer is YES. This is THE ONE and THE ONLY. And it’s fabulous!!

This is the Passion Fruit Martini that I raved about a few weeks ago while in Portland. I found the recipe posted at Portland Monthly and could not believe my luck! It’s called the Sacsayhuamán and they actually link to the actual passion fruit puree they use. I was thrilled that I could replicate their cocktail exactly…but then I saw the price of the puree. $25 for 30 oz.!! I thought about buying it anyway since there were recipes swirling in my head (and not just for cocktails), but it’s an additional $30 to ship it. UGH. So I did what I always do – I checked my beloved Amazon to see if they had it any cheaper. Sadly, they didn’t…but what they did have are their reviews (which I always read since they’re so much more helpful than any other part of the product posting, don’t you agree?). And one reviewer (thank you, Sebba!) had this to say:

You can buy passion fruit concentrate for your Passion Fruit Martini at mexican stores, it is called MARACUJA. It is in Portuguese, in a yellow plastic bottle. It only costs $3.00. I forgot the name of the brand, but just write it down in a piece of paper and take it to the store and a clerk can help you out. don’t waste your money with this.

Although I was doubtful, I really had nothing to lose (except enjoying my favorite Passion Fruit Martini at home whenever I’m in the mood) so I went in search of some MARACUJA. I could have bought it on Amazon but I was pretty sure our international market would have something pretty close (I’m always looking for an excuse to make the drive there so it was a win-win even if I left empty-handed). Have it they did – a product by dafruta that looked darn close to what I needed.

I intended to make my Passion Fruit Martini the very second I arrived home but it didn’t quite turn out that way. It was days before the opportunity presented itself (there are really only so many appropriate hours in the day for martini making, after all). We had some friends over for an impromptu barbecue who were the perfect guinea pigs friends to taste test out the first Passion Fruit Martini made! The first batch didn’t go so well as I’d assumed the passion fruit juice would be sweet and tried to follow the recipe I’d found to a t. The change in ingredient definitely had a significant impact on the flavor so I played around with it until it was just right. And it was, and is, just right. It’s a bit sweet with a lingering spice that encourages another sip, and another sip, and another sip… I sipped so often that I had four!! Granted, that was over the entire length of the barbecue, but let’s just say that I was feeling no pain! :-)

It was a really nice night spent with friends. We ate, we drank lots of Passion Fruit Martinis, we had a fire and roasted marshmallows. It was a perfect fall night with the perfect cocktail to go with it. I can’t wait to make it for my parents. I’m looking forward to many nights just like that one that, finally, will include them, too.


  1. says

    Oh boy, I know this feeling. I totally know this feeling! When Paul and I decided to move back to CA from many years in Minnesota, it was a grand gensture. My kids get to see their grandparents and Aunt/Uncle ALL the time. It is glorious. I have never ever looked back. YAY for you!!

  2. Ashley - Baker by Nature says

    Happy for your good news! And this cocktail!!! Girl, I need to make this asap! We love a good spicy/sweet martini over here;)

  3. says

    You are a girl after my own heart…I love infused vodkas and that addition of some heat? Perfect.

    I’ve found so many things that are overpriced at the ‘regular’ grocery as staples at ethnic markets. Most notably for me was pomegranate molasses; besides that I just love those trips, it’s a bit like visiting a foreign land!

    Cheers and congrats. My sis lives in WI and I in Denver. We seldom see each other so I can imagine your joy.

  4. says

    Many congrats!!!

    I’m not a gal for super spice (aka habeneros scare me? – totally irrational, I know). However, I would definitely entertain the idea of this with, perhaps, a jalapeno flavored vodka – yup, you guessed, I’m a spice wuss!

    Thank god for Amazon – amazing the info you can find on there.

  5. says

    Congratulations!! Sometimes it takes time and distance to make us realize the importance of family (quirks and all).

    This martini is sexy! It’s just what’s needed as I sit here in stretchy pants and Kleenex stuffed into the sleeves of my hoodie. #allergies

  6. says

    Really nice looking cocktails. And I do know something about cocktails. ;-) Passion fruit puree is a real pain to find. Mexican groceries are the best bet, as you suggest. Look in the freezer section – that’s where you’ll find the best quality. You can also make your own, but passion fruit is awfully expensive in most supermarkets. So glad your parents are moving close to you. Really nice post – thanks.

    • says

      Great advice, KR! I’m slapping my forehead wondering why I didn’t think to ask you for advice (the cocktail king himself)! I’ll check the freezer section the next time I’m there. Thanks so much!

  7. says

    this cocktail sounds incredibly delicious! I’m a little scared to try it as I’m sure I will end up a state from over consumption!! yay for your parents house! I only live 20 miles away from mine and though I long to spread my wings a little more I can’t imagine not being close to them when I settle down and have my own family!

  8. says

    Well not make you miss California as much as you miss Wisconsin, but FRESH passion fruit juice is available at my Latin market $5.00 for a huge glass. Fresh made to order! GREG

    PS why do I have to check 2 boxes to say I am not a spammer?

  9. karie says

    For some reason I can’t view this recipe. i have been dreaming about this cocktail ever since a trip to andina…can you advise?? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Karie, We were transitioning to a new recipe system so some recipes were down temporarily. We’re back up now and you should be good to go!

      I’m excited that you loved this cocktail from Andina as much as I did. Cheers!! :)


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