Passion Fruit and Mint Cooler

We’re dedicating this post to our beloved passion vine that died last month (8/2018). It gave us beautiful foliage and fruit for over 10 years. Today we’re republishing this passion fruit and mint cooler recipe with a new video, new photos and a thank you to our beautiful vines! 

Passion Fruit And Mint Cooler Recipe | @whiteonrice

This recipe is a testament to why gardeners should never give up to quickly on their favorite plants. A couple years ago, we determined we had to grow passion fruit. As anxious gardeners and lovers of fresh passion fruit, we didn’t just invest in one vine. After all, in addition to our own personal garden fruit greed and long list of passion fruit recipes we wanted to explore, we had an extensive list of friends who were equally devoted to fresh passion fruit.

So, to satisfy our needs, as well as needs of friends who live in double fleece layer-cold weather climates, we bought 4 vines. Three vines for us, and one for friends. We’re always thinking of sending fruit to out of state friends. One vine would be plenty. During the first year, the vines were nurtured with organic fertilizer, consistent water, plenty of sunshine and lots of sweet talk. When the first alien looking flowers appeared, we were like silly, happy kids who inherited an endless supply of quarters for the gum-ball machine. We geek-ed out in the privacy of our green garden escape.


Video of our Passion Fruit and Mint Cooler: 

Passion Fruit Cooler Recipe Passion Fruit Recipe @whiteonrice

Passion Fruit Cooler Recipe Passion Fruit Recipe @whiteonrice

We waited with anticipation for signs of fruit. Our cocktail shaker was ready and waiting. But, no fruit appeared. The flowers dropped. Again. And again. And again.  A ton of flowers, all dropped like a bad date. We felt defeated. We felt like the nursery lied to us. There was no ” prolific fruiting” like the tags had promised. Liars. Liars.

What happened? Why did all the flowers drop? Neither of the 4 vines, which we planted in different parts of the garden could produce one passion fruit. So we researched, read, googled and looked up everything we could find. What turned up in some garden forums were  mentions about  passion fruit vines taking a few seasons to fruit.

Passion Fruit Cooler Recipe Passion Fruit Recipe @whiteonrice

Passion Fruit Cooler Recipe Passion Fruit Recipe @whiteonrice

Passion Fruit Cooler Recipe Passion Fruit Recipe @whiteonrice

When the second fruiting season rolled around, our fingers were crossed tightly, hoping that this was the year we’d be rolling in perfumed seeds and nectar. Passion fruit curd, passion fruit tart, passion fruit martinis, passion fruit cooler … here we come! Again, just like the previous season, every single passion fruit flower bloomed beautifully, then withered away without any sign of fruit. Fail. Here we went again, researching, thinking that we bought the flowering variety instead of the fruiting variety.

At the end of our gardening patience and after two failed seasons to fruit, we thought about giving up and growing another variety that might be more adaptable to our climate. Or something.  We didn’t know what was wrong.  It must be a bum variety.  Yeah, that’s it. Luckily, this was an incredibly busy year for us and we didn’t get to pour as much attention to the garden as we had hoped we could. Trees were left a little un-trimmed, some vegetables got the chance to spread their own seeds, and the passion fruit vines were spared the big yank.

Passion Fruit And Mint Cooler Recipe | @whiteonrice

Then early one morning in July, we walked past the passion fruit vines and there it was. The very first, one and only passion fruit dangling above our heads, green and camouflaged amongst the leaves. It was the cutest thing, ever. Score! From that point on, almost every single flower set into fruit. We started counting. One, ten, twenty,  twenty two…..twenty five passion fruits!! We’re now about 30 passion fruits richer and that’s the end of the story. The little guys took forever to ripen but we were in no hurry.  What is a few months to ripen compared to a couple years just to get the damn sweet vines to fruit. Here’s a passion fruit cooler to celebrate!

The moral to all this? Don’t give up too easily. Sometimes the wait is certainly worth the reward.

happy drinking,

diane and todd

More Cocktail Recipes

3 from 3 votes
Passion Fruit & Mint Cooler
Total Time
20 mins

This is based off of fresh passionfruit juice from our garden.  Fruit will vary in sweetness/tartness so adjust amount and sugar amount to taste.  This is pretty tasty as a cocktail with the addition of rum and a bit more lime. 

There are different varieties of passion fruit, some much less tart and sweeter than others. Adjust sugar for different varieties and to taste.

If you are a pulp-free type, make a mint simple syrup (see Note 2) instead of muddling the mint leaves and sugar.

Servings: 2 servings
  • 6-8 whole Mint Leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 ounce fresh Lime Juice (30ml)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Passion fruit Juice *see note 1 for extracting
  • 12 ounces Water (360ml)
  1. Muddle the mint leaves, sugar, and lime juice together.
  2. Add passion fruit juice and water to the muddled mix. (Add passion fruit seeds if you are so inclined)  Divide into 2 glasses filled with ice.

Recipe Notes


*Note 1: Extracting Passion Fruit Juice

Cut the passion fruit in half then scrap out the seeds and pulp into a small mesh strainer.  Over a small bowl to catch the juice, scrap the seeds and pulp using the back of a spoon in order to separate the pulp and juice from the seeds.  Reserve the seeds if you enjoy them in your drinks or other recipes.

*Note 2: Mint Simple Syrup

(keeps quite well, so make more than needed and use for iced tea, making lemonade, cocktails, etc...)
Combine 2 cups (480ml) water, 2 cups (400g) sugar, and a large handful of mint leaves in a medium saucepan.  Heat just until a light simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar.  Remove from heat and allow mint to steep for 15-20 minutes. Strain and store in refrigerator until ready to use.

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Tara

    In case you can’t wait 3 years for your juice – DaVine Hawaii has puree year round from Hawaii!! It is delicious – no additives!

  2. Mel

    Thank you for sharing this story and recipe. I’m going to make this for Christmas.

    1. Mel

      Just an update. I finally got to making this recipe and it is so delicious! Thanks again for sharing. This is one I will be making again and again.

  3. Irena

    I loved the story and that you did not give up on the vines. I do grow passion fruit myself ( I have the yellow verity)and my vines produced on the first year but I did pollinate with a brush every single one of them.(you do increase the chances of having more fruit this way.)

  4. SpicyHot

    Hi, I stumbled on to your post when I was researching whether passion fruit is suitable to grow in Orange County/Southern California. Do they prefer full sun, partial sun or shade (like under another tree)? Did you grow your 4 vines in the same area, or in different locations to see what works best? Love your pictures by the way.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      We aren’t experts on what is best, but for us we reduced our vines down to one vine, the roots are planted on the shade side of a shed and the vines have climbed over the top and thrive and grown towards the sun. We would probably avoid full shade.
      Thanks for the compliment!

  5. Barbara Dunn

    Was ready to give up on my passion fruit vine until I read your comments. This is the second growing season for mine so I’ll wait a while before yanking. I came to your site looking for ideas on using the flower, not the fruit, but didn’t find anything. I’d love to make jam (like geranium jam). Any recipes?

  6. Avi

    Sometime in the next year or two, you’ll have more fruit than you know what to do with. 5 years ago, I planted one vine, and estimate that we had about 300 fruits last summer. Now I’m searching for [not-too-decadent] recipes for things to do with the fruit – that’s how I found your site. Your recipe looks great!
    (When it becomes relevant, and it will, I’m starting a dedicated Pinterest board, here –

  7. Sheryl B

    You know what, it only took one post for me to become a fan of you guys. First, I think the name of your blog is ABSOLUTELY hilarious. Second, I think I’ve found a kindred spirit in people who will grow a passion fruit vine so that they can enhance their cocktails. (ok, and other stuff too). I would TOTALLY do that. Keep up the good work- you have a new follower!

  8. Raj

    Can we get the above (passion) fruit in India..?

  9. Veronica for Muy Bueno Cookbook

    I have never had a passion fruit…I’ve eyed them from a distance and everytime I want to try them I can’t get passed the gooey interior…I will have to try one now…seeing this recipe makes me want to give passion fruit a try…loved your story…don’t give up…all too true for soooo many things…thanks Diane

  10. Joanne

    Now, 5 years later, we have HUNDREDS of fruit (early September in Southern California). The vine travels about 40 ft in each direction and makes a 8′ tall screen. It fruits for about 4-5 months from late June through November. We pick the dropped ones off our lawn every morning and afternoon and are always searching for more ways to use them (and more friends to give a bag full to). Of course we love the flowers too!

  11. Michael

    I lived in Queensland from 74 to 82 and missed passionfruit for years after moving back to CA. But I got one passionfruit from a generous man at the OC Fair about 6 yrs ago that was working in an exotic fruit exhibit. From that one fruit we now have two vines that provided a lot of fruit for a couple of years and used some of those seeds to produce three more vines that this year have literally hundreds of passionfruit. We share with family and friends and have made ice cream, etc. Anxious to try your recipe. Good story! They are worth the effort!

  12. Vibin' Vixen

    Looks delish!!! Can’t wait to make that this summer. So refreshing.

  13. Nam @ The Culinary Chronicles

    Goodness—your story just tugged at my heartstrings. And isn’t it just so ironic that it took people so passionate about passion fruit to grow the beauties??

    Congrats, congrats! Lilikoi is just so delicious that I cannot wait to see what other goodies come out of your kitchen!

  14. Dana Zia

    Oh dear, this one strikes close to my heart! Thank you so much for sharing. I am so envious that you can grow passion fruit in your back yard! I am simply crazy about it. We are off to Hawaii in a few weeks and passionfruit is top of my list of thing to find and roll around in at the farmer’s market. We’ll be making this!

  15. Mei Teng

    I love passionfruit. I usually eat it on its own. Serving it in drinks is a great way to enjoy passionfruit.

  16. Bertha

    I can’t even begin to tell you how excited and how much envy I have after reading this :). I absolutely ADORE passion fruit and been dying to get the plant. I think I fainted a little when my friend gave me fresh passion fruit at work and I’ve been on a mission to plant the tree. Where did you get your vine? I live in San Jose, CA and I really hope they can grow up here.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Bertha- most good nurseries will have the vine. You should check your local nursery and see if they have it. Then ask them how best to grow it in your area.

  17. Grace

    Interesting Passion Fruit and Mint Cooler, I would definitely try that out this weekend. I was making another drink last week and I thought I should share it, its called the Chlorophyll Thirst-Quencher, a special and tasty taste, recipe could be found on

  18. Katie | GoodLife Eats

    This looks so tasty!! I love passion fruit, but like a lot of things we don’t get that out here. I saw star fruit for the first time this year and it was $4 for one fruit.

    We are feeling this way with our grapes. They are supposed to grow really well here, yet two years…still no grapes and mostly likely only one more summer in this house.

  19. Sues

    Wow, I’m super jealous! I would die to have passion fruit vines within easy access to me 🙂 Your photos are absolutely stunning and this drink looks so refreshing and delicious. Perfect!

  20. Quyen

    Wow – those passion fruit & mint coolers look so refreshing!! As always your photography is beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

  21. Shaina

    I most definitely live in one of those “ass-cold weather climates.” (Perfect description, by the way.) Tonight it is a mere -3 degrees out there.

    I’m so glad you didn’t yank the vines. Those gorgeous little fruits look absolutely delightful. I can’t wait to see the other recipes you explore.

  22. anh

    amazing! I adore passionfruits. We are so spoiled in Australia to have them fresh, and at very adorable price during summer time.

    Also I would love to grow more stuff in my small garden. Never had luck! But like you put Diane, never give up ;). At least now I have a really good supply of Laksa leaves for my salad. I need to start somewhere.

  23. dario @ foodpixels

    Bellissimo ! I struggle to find the words – great looking passion fruit, great colour palette !

  24. jackhonky

    Oh how lovely! Those look fantastic! One of these days, I’m going to visit you guys down there and see your magnificent garden in person! I love that the vines had fruit on year three! Sounds like it was worth the wait!

  25. Sukaina

    Oh wow…how refreshing does that look! I love the pictures especially the second one! My mum makes a standard passion fruit juice but adding mint just takes it to another level!

  26. susan

    your fruit looks so luscious. i am a horrible gardner and always give up. i need to master the art of gardening and you two are inspiring me to do so!

  27. Chef Louise

    i love it when the stems of the fruit curl up like that and pose for the camera…

  28. Susan @ SGCC

    So glad you didn’t give up. Those passion fruits look gorgeous! I’m going through the same thing with my Fuju persimmon tree and my lychee tree. They’ve both been in the ground for over 2 years and nada. You’ve given me some hope that eventually I will get something from them.

  29. Lucy Lean

    Looks delish – congrats on crop – time to add that rum and party?!

  30. sally

    So glad you didn’t pull those vines out! These drinks look fantastic!

  31. deeba

    I love this post. Even though we don’t get passion fruit here, I love the ‘don’t give up’ bit! I am eagerly waiting for the tangerines on my little shrub to completely ripen. Then it’s giddy happiness while I make bitter orange marmalade! Small joys, but oh-so-worth every moment. Your passion fruit cooler is A M A Z I N G, and so are your pictures!

  32. bunkycooks

    Wow! Another plant full of fruit! Congrats on your success. 🙂 I wish we lived in Southern California where we could grow fruit, too. These drinks look like Springtime! 🙂

  33. Carolyn Binder

    Hurray! I love to hear about gardening successes. Patience is a virtue that I try to practice in my garden, too. I am hoping for my first big harvest of figs this year. And lemons. Please, please, please!

    Enjoy your passionfruit cocktails. So good!


  34. alison @ Ingredients, Inc.

    Absolutely stunning and my mouth is watering

  35. TheKitchenWitch

    Dang, those are gorgeous looking fruits! And as for the drink, you can’t even imagine how much I want one–my month of teetotaling is darn near killing me. Stunning!

  36. Jessica @ How Sweet

    This looks so incredibly refreshing!

  37. Jen Yu

    Your passion fruits are the prettiest ones ever! Jeremy and I are grateful that you didn’t give up. I swear your garden is the nexus of all that is good and green in the world. Hurray and thank you 🙂 You guys are THE BEST. xoxo

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