A Passion Fruit Cocktail We’ll Call Los Angeles

passion fruit mojito

I’d like to raise my glass and make a toast to Los Angeles. The glass I raise is filled to the brim with a passion fruit cocktail we’ll call a mojito. Los Angeles is a lot like a passion fruit cocktail. Exotic and muddled– always brimming. You have to be a passionate person to love Los Angeles. Actor. Model. Movie Star. Whore. Temperamental Genius. She takes a bit of work. But once she gets under your skin you’ll be constantly amazed by this great city.

Sure I get sick of the traffic, the $14 cocktails, the hipsters, the vegans, the valley– all of that and more. But 9,962,789 people can’t be wrong.

Still, the people who visit Los Angeles once or twice in their lives usually hate it. The people who’ve never been here love to hate it. Los Angeles doesn’t have the visual punch of San Francisco. Its energy is different than New York or Miami. It lacks the romance of Paris or Rome. It has no real history. All its history is make believe.

The trouble LA neophytes have is this: they simply don’t know what to do or where to go. There’s no real center like most of the great cities in this world. Our centers are far flung: the beach, the mountains or somewhere in that vast space between. The best parts of LA are behind closed doors.

I live in Los Angeles and I love it. But when friends visit from out of town and ask me what they should do I often draw a blank. Sure we have the Hollywood Sign, but it’s no Eiffel Tower. When they ask, I usually say, “it depends”. So then they ask, “well where should I eat?” Again I say, “it depends”. Most get irritated but some folks get it and start opening their own doors.

Passion Fruit Cocktail

Los Angeles is a mosaic made up of so many pieces you could never examine them all. But 8 or 12 in the palm of your hand are a beautiful sight to behold. Taken all together in their great multitude they make a helluva a great place to live.

One tiny piece in this mosaic I enjoy is wandering around old neighborhoods like the one I live in. I often find inspiration for these posts, and this passion fruit cocktail is no exception. Passion fruit vines grow along neglected wood fences all over the hills where I live. Some are behind closed doors– but some are right there, ripe for the picking. GREG

making a passion fruit cocktail

Passion Fruit Mojito 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 1Published

You may substitute good quality store-bought passion fruit nectar for the fresh juice called for in this recipe.

muddling passionfruit


  • 2 fresh, ripe passion fruit (lilikoi)
  • 2 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 5 large mint leaves (torn)
  • 2 ounce white rum
  • club soda (to taste)
  • 1 sprig mint (for garnish)


Cut the passion fruits in half then scrap out the seeds and pulp into a small mesh strainer set over an old-fashioned or similarly sized heavy bottom glass. Use a long handled cocktail muddle or the wrong end of the wooden spoon to scrap the seeds and pulp against the mesh of the strainer to extract the juice from the fleshy seeds, the juice will collect in the bottom of the glass. You should have about a generous 1 ½ ounces. Reserve the seeds as garnish.

Add the lime juice, sugar and mint leaves to the glass with the passion fruit juice. Muddle the mint, using the sugar as an abrasive until the leaves are bruised and the sugar in mostly dissolved. Fill the glass with medium ice cubes and pour the rum over the ice. Stir gently to combine, taking care to distribute the mint leaves throughout the glass. Top with an ounce or two club soda to taste.

Garnish with mint sprig and a few reserved passion fruit seeds. The seeds are tasty. Don’t be afraid to crunch them in your mouth as you enjoy the cocktail.