Passion fruit margarita is a true sip of the tropics! Inspired from the flavors of Hawaii, tropical passion fruit puree is shaken with the classic flavors of a margarita. And the best part is the sweet and tart li hing mui rim.
Growing up in Hawaii, I was lucky to be surrounded by big, juicy and aromatic passion fruit. There is a farm stand up the mountain in Captain Cook on the Big Island that will sell just the passion fruit juice or passion fruit butter. It's worth seeking it out.
Passion fruit is called lilikoi in Hawaiian and is fantastic in all sorts of recipes and cocktails, such as passion fruit mojito and passion fruit bars
Passion Fruit Margarita
The flavor of passion fruit is robust, slightly tart and tropical. Passion fruit is perfumed and works so well with other tropical flavors, such as orange and lime.
This passion fruit margarita has the classic margarita ingredients, including triple sec, grand marnier, a bit of simple syrup and of course, passion fruit juice.
The best part of this margarita is the li hing mui rim. I'll chat more about what li hing mui is, but it offers a stunning tart puckery flavor that works so well with the passion fruit cocktail.
What is Li Hing Mui?
Li hing mui is dried plum and is very popular in Hawaii.
You can buy li hing mui as seeds in a bag that is coated with salt, sugar and sometimes food coloring. Li hing mui also comes as a powder, which is what I used to rim the passion fruit margarita with.
The flavor of li hing mui is salty, sweet, tangy and tart. Often, you'll find dried mango and other dried fruit coated with li hing mui that are sold as snacks and one of my personal favorite treats.
Passion Fruit Puree or Juice: Fresh passion fruit is hard to find on the mainland, so I recommend using passion fruit juice or the Goya brand frozen passion fruit puree. You can often find frozen passion fruit juice in Latin or Asian markets.
Fresh passion Fruit: If using fresh passion fruit, scoop out the pulp from 1-2 passion fruits and use that in the margarita. You can also scoop out the passion fruit to use as garnish, as the seeds have a lovely contrast in flavor and texture.
Tequila: When making a margarita, a light tequila is prefered.
Grand Marnier: This is an orange liqueur and a home bar must have. You can substitute cointreau instead.
Triple Sec: Another citrus liqueur that has more sweetness.
Simply Syrup or Agave: You can make your own simple syrup by gently boiling equal parts sugar and water. Once the sugar dissolves, let cool and pour into a mason jar and keep in the fridge for cocktails.
Li Hing Mui Powder: Found all over Hawaii, li hing mui is dried plum that is ground into a fine powder. The flavor is salty and sour and pairs very well with the sweetness of the margarita. Instead of traditional salt, li hing mui powder is rimmed onto the glass.
Make a Frozen Passion Fruit Margarita
Instead of having a margarita on the rocks, make a frozen passion fruit margarita.
Add all of the margarita ingredients to a blender with ice and blend until smooth and thickened.
If you have frozen passion fruit puree, keep it frozen and add that into the blender.
Rim your glass with li hing mui powder, pour the lilikoi margarita in and enjoy!
More Hawaiian Recipes:
Passion Fruit Margarita with Li Hing Mui
- 2 ouces passion fruit purée
- 1.5 ounce Tequila
- 1 ounce Triple sec
- ¾ oz Grand Marnier
- ½ ouce simple syrup or agave
- Li hing mui powder for rim
- Orange and lime slices/wedges for garnish
- Run an orange wedge or lime wedge around the rim of your glass and dip into li hing mui powder. Fill with ice.
- In a shaker, add passion fruit puree, tequila, triple sex, Grand marnier and simple syrup and shake for at least 10 seconds.
- Strain margarita into glass and garnish with more passion fruit pulp, if desired and orange and lime slices.
This post was originally published in February, 2014 and updated in July, 2022.
GORGEOUS!!! And now I want to try li hing mu...what a fun twist!
Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere says
These sound delicious! And, I agree, we should share margaritas every day!
What a unique and stunning margarita, I adore your pictures!!
Thank you Tara! Such a compliment from you!
Heather // girlichef says
Samantha, these are seriously gorgeous! What I wouldn't give to make this party more than virtual. And of course, now I'm dying to try both lilikoi and li hing mui... 😉 Cheers!
Thanks so much Heather!!
oh wow! so tropical and exotic sounding. I've never heard of lilikoi before. Now I will be on the lookout so I can see what they're all about 🙂
Hi Danielle! lilikoi is also called passion fruit! A lot of Hispanic markets carry the frozen pulp!!
Lauren @ Healthy Delicious says
I've never heard of lilikoi or i hing mu but now I really want to try them. These are gorgeous!
Thank you so much Lauren! They are also called passion fruit and you can find the pulp frozen in most Hispanic markets if you can't find the fruit!
Your pictures turned out stunning! I had a feeling lilikoi was passion fruit but figured I'd wait until your reveal!
These are so bright and beautiful! I have never had lilikoi and I'm not sure I've ever even seen it. Must get looking for it!
Leslie @ La Cocina de Leslie says
Oh my goodness gracious! These margaritas are gorgeous! And I'm very curious about li hing mui. It sounds like a childhood favorite snack of mine called "saladitos", which are dried salted plums with or without spice. So good!
It does sound similar Leslie...thank so much!
pam (Sidewalk Shoes) says
This sounds amazing and your photos are gorgeous!
Thank you so much, Pam!
Renee - Kudos Kitchen says
I love that I learned about a new ingredient today. What a fun recipe, and that color is amazing!!
Thank you so much Renee! I hope you try passion fruit (aka lilikoi) someday! Its so beautiful!
Gah, that color is so pretty! Great margarita idea!
Sam, your drink and photos are absolutely GAW-GEOUS! I've never been able to photograph drinks this beautifully. I need to learn your secrets! I also need a pitcher of this drink! I think Chinese people have dried plum that's very similar to li hung mui. It sounds just like our version, it's dried up and is salty/sour/sweet. I loved it as a kid.
Yes it does sound the same! salty/sweet/sour kinda thing...love it!! And honestly...I just get lucky with the photos thing!!..for real lol
Ashley @ Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen says
This. Is. GORGEOUS!!!
Laura @ Tide & Thyme says
These are absolutely beautiful. Will have to try to find some passion fruits next time I'm up towards civilization again!
Julie @ Texan New Yorker says
How unique! (And educational). 🙂 Gorgeous color, too, wow! I may try these with passion fruit sometime. Thanks!
Delaware Girl Eats says
Now this is one I'm definitely going to have to try!
Erin | The Law Student's Wife says
LOOK at the color! I need one of these to help me ward of winter. One or, you know, three.
Thanks Erin! Ya you guys are having a rough winter!
Lucy Parissi says
Thanks for your comment on my passionfruit martini - glad I discovered your blog! Have some catching to do. Love this cocktail - pinning and planning to make ASAP!
Jill Roberts says
This Lilikoi Margarita with Li Hing Mui is perfect drink for hot summer! I'll try it! Also i'll try chocolate margaritas and margarita cupcakes! Thx for sharing recipe and links!
Yesss both sounds soooo good!!!
Julia Stearns @ Healthirony says
Fantastic photos, and amazing looking Lilikoi Margarita with Li Hing Mui! I am obsessed with margaritas! I'll definitely try it! Thanks a lot for sharing!