Latin Twist: Passion Fruit Champagne Cocktail

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If you haven’t had the amazing pleasure of enjoying the aroma of passion fruit, you are  in for a treat with this cocktail. I remember the first time I tried fresh passion fruit; I was living in Peru, and my friend Cynthia showed gave me a shiny, orange-shelled fruit which she bought from a street vendor. Under her guidance, and the smiles of the vendor, I cracked it opened it and wow, it was love at first waft! (The texture on the inside didn’t match the intoxicating aroma…but that’s a different story!) Since then, I’ve found various ways to bring passion fruit (and passion, always!) into my life; this drink is one of my favorites!

AND speaking of different stories, my friends, if you haven’t been to La Casa Azul Bookstore in NYC, I so encourage you to go (Yes!!! An independent bookstore—with a great collection of books + more!) and they’ve got my two cocktail/appetizer books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, on sale! They’re all signed, and waiting to find homes. They make great host, house-warming, birthday—any-day gifts!  In fact, I was inspired to share this recipe because of La Casa Azul’s amazing founder, Aurora Anaya-Cerda, whom I hope you will have the immense pleasure of meeting when you visit. (Please do tell her I sent you…and don’t forget to tell me about how you enjoy her store!)

Back to this recipe—and it’s ingredients, I have found frozen passion fruit (a.k.a. maracuya or parcha) here in New York, but they are unsweetened. There is also excellent-quality passion fruit nectar available in many large and small markets (again, New Rochelle friends, Viva Grande always has a few different brands!). These are great to serve with several previously published Latin Twist recipes, including Arepas—and Brazilian Cheese Puffs, and more. Passion Fruit Champagne Cocktails marry well with so many summertime treats. In fact, I’ll be making them to start off my Sunday barbecue this week. Oh—and these days I’m combining my nectar with Mionetto Prosecco. Yum! ¡Buen provecho! Enjoy!

 

Passion Fruit Champagne Cocktail 

Adapted from Mambo Mixers, © 2005 Arlen Gargagliano, Stewart Tabori & Chang

(Photograph by Dasha Wright)

 

Serves 2

 

4 ounces chilled passion fruit nectar (or your favorite tropical fruit blend)

4 ounces cold Spanish sparkling wine or dry Prosecco

2 o 4 raspberries or diced strawberries for garnish

 

Pour the fruit nectar into two 8-ounce chilled champagne flutes or wine glasses. Top with the champagne. Stir lightly, garnish, and serve!

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About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

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