If you love the Brazilian national drink—the classic lime Caipirinha—you’ll love this passion fruit version. This 3-ingredient passion fruit cocktail, called a Caipirinha de Maracuja in Portuguese, is sweet, tart and perfect for any time of the year. Like any other flavor of caipirinha, just pair this Passion Fruit Caipirinha with churrasco, grilled dishes, friends and fun, and you’re all set for a memorable day full of the best tropical vibes. Recipe makes 2 servings, but is easily doubled.
Caipirinha de Maracuja – Another Classic Brazilian Cocktail You’ll Love!
Caipirinha de maracuja is a whole vibe!
And if you’re new here, or you’re new to Brazilian food culture, Bem vindo! Ahem, I mean welcome!
Let’s start you off on how to say this whole thing, yeah? kai-pee-reen-ya de ma-ɾa-ku-ˈʒa – See? It’s fun to say! Wait ’til you’ve had a few of these because it gets even more fun!
Anyway, the caipirinha is the mother of all Brazilian cocktails and can be made with essentially any fruit you want. Today, I’m showing you how to make it with passion fruit!
If you don’t already know, the classic caipirinha recipe is made with limes, lime juice and cachaça, a Brazilian distilled liquor made by fermenting raw sugarcane juice. Of course, I have that recipe for you here! Try that, too!
If you love summer vibes or drinks that make you feel like you’re on vacation, you’ll fall deeply in love with this simple tropical drink.
Cheers, amigos! Or as we say in Portuguese, saúde!
Where to Find Passion Fruit
Passion fruit is thought to be native to Brazil, coming from the Amazon. In the United States, passion fruit is grown in California, Florida and Hawaii, and globally, it’s also grown in Australia, South Africa, and other countries in South America, like Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador…
Generally speaking, you should be able to find passion fruit close to year-round in countries where it grows. But depending on where you live, you may only find it imported, and the availability and price can vary greatly.
In California, I’ve found it often in places like Whole Foods or in Latin supermarkets. Here in Texas, I can find them at Central Market and HEB, but ooofff, they can cost up to five dollars for each small fruit. Yikes! Luckily, they are well worth the price!
There are two varieties of passion fruit—the smaller, less acidic purple variety, which is what I usually find here in the US, and the bigger yellow passion fruit, which is the variety I grew up with in Brazil.
You can learn more about passion fruit in this Food Network article.
How to pick passion fruit at the store
You want the passion fruit to look wrinkly and bright in color. If it looks like it’s browning, it’s been there a while and it’s turning, so don’t pick that.
Hold it, give it a shake to feel for the contents inside and then, you just “feel” for weight.
How do you do this? Pick up a few that look right on the outside and compare them to each other. If it’s too light, it may be hollow and might not have as much pulp. The more it weighs, the more fruit the passion fruit has inside.
Caipirinha de Maracuja Ingredients
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- Fresh passion fruit pulp—you’ll need about 5-6 (or maybe a couple more) small purple fruits or about two large yellow ones to get the right amount of pulp for this recipe. I’ve attempted this recipe from frozen pulp, and it’s just not the same, so please seek out the fresh passion fruit.
- Cachaça—a Brazilian distilled liquor made from the fermentation of raw sugarcane juice. If you cannot find it, use the same amount of vodka to make a Caipiroska. No one will be upset—this is a very common thing to do, even in Brazil!
- Granulated white sugar—this is our sweetener in this cocktail. There is no substitute.
In addition to these ingredients, you will need a few tools to make this passion fruit cocktail, too:
How to make a Passion Fruit Caipirinha
Measure your fruit. Slice the passion fruits in half, then, scoop out the pulp with a spoon, seeds and all, into a measuring cup. You want about 3/4 of a cup of the pulp total to make this drink.
While frozen passion fruit is more readily available and cheaper than fresh passion fruit, I really DO NOT recommend it to make this passion fruit cocktail.
Make it sweet. Measure the sugar into a cocktail mixing glass, or mason jar and add in the passion fruit pulp. Stir gently until the sugar has dissolved.
Bring in the booze. Pour the cachaça into the passion fruit mixture, and stir gently, a good two minutes, to combine.
Serve. Fill two glasses with ice and add the Passion Fruit Caipirinha on top of them. Garnish with mint sprigs, if you want some color, and enjoy immediately!
Frequently Asked Questions
Caipirinha, pronouced kai-pee-reen-ya, is Brazil’s national cocktail! It’s made with limes, sugar, ice and cachaça, a Brazilian distilled liquor made from the fermentation of raw sugarcane juice.
You can read more about the history of this cocktail in my How to Make Caipirinha post.
This Caipirinha de Maracuja is a twist on the classic, replacing lime with passion fruit pulp.
Officially, cachaça is a type of rum. Although they’re both made from sugar cane, the main difference between the two is that cachaça is made from the fermentation of fresh/raw sugarcane juice, while rum is made from sugarcane byproducts like molasses.
A classic Caipirinha is a lime-forward cocktail using Brazilian cachaça. A mojito combines limes with mint and rum.
Cachaça is pretty reasonably priced. In California, it is fairly easy to find in liquor stores such as BevMo, and even smaller local ones, too. I’ve also seen it in grocery stores.
There are plenty of online stores who sell it, too, so search where to buy cachaça and you’ll be shown stores where you can order this spirit from. Also, when in doubt, your local Brazilian markets should have it!
In Brazil, there are a number of cachaças to choose from varying from artisanal to industrial. Internationally, we have less availability, but Leblon is one of my personal favorites. 51 Cachaça is a classic, and is what I used in this recipe.
Ypióca has been in the business of making cachaça since 1843, being one of the oldest, most traditional brands. They were also the first brand to ever bottle the drink in liter bottles in the 1900’s, making them more widely accessible.
Other cachaça cocktails:
Other Passion Fruit Cocktails You’ll Love:
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Passion Fruit Caipirinha
- 3/4 cup Fresh Passion Fruit Pulp from about 5-6 small (purple) fruits, or 2 large (yellow)
- 1/2 cup Cachaça*
- 2 Tablespoons sugar or more if you prefer it sweeter
- Slice the passion fruits in half and scoop out the pulp, seeds and all – you'll want about a 3/4 of a cup of pulp
- Add the sugar to a cup and mix in the passion fruit pulp. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
- To that, add the cachaça and stir gently to combine – approx. 2 minutes.
- Fill 2 cups with ice, and top them with your passion fruit caipirinha!