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 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!
Passion Fruit Margarita with Li Hing Mui
- 2 ouces passion fruit purée
- 1.5 ounce Tequila
- 1 ounce Triple sec
- 3/4 oz Grand Marnier
- 1/2 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.