Bored of margaritas and gin and tonics? We hear you. If you want to impress your backyard party guests this summer, swap old favorites for fruit cocktail recipes that are refreshing and bursting with juicy, instantly recognizable flavors of tropical fruits and berries everyone associates with summer vacations.
Cocktails have had quite the rollercoaster ride in recent years. All but forgotten and considered old-fashioned until a few years ago, cocktails are once again a must-have for the sophisticated party host. But the trend for the classics like the Manhattan or the Margarita is definitely shifting towards tropical cocktails bursting with fresh, concentrated fruit notes.
Fruit is almost endlessly versatile, combining easily with many different kinds of alcohol. And if you don't want any alcohol at all, fruit will work really well for making mocktails instead.
The great news is that fruit cocktail recipes are super easy, requiring few ingredients. Even better is that tropical cocktails with fruit look gorgeous in your brand-new cocktail glasses.
The fruit cocktail recipes below are our favorites, but you can always experiment with tropical fruit or fruit purees of your choice.
1. Passion Fruit Martini
The zingy, fruity cousin of the classic Martini, the passion fruit martini is a tropical cocktail that's as delectable as its simple to prepare. You will need:
- 1 ½ oz vodka
- 1 oz Passoa
- Two tablespoons passion fruit puree
- A large passion fruit (halved)
- Prosecco or champagne to top up as desired
Simply mix the vodka, Passoa, and the fruit puree in your cocktail shaker, strain into your cocktail glasses and top up with your sparkling wine of choice. The passion fruit is traditionally squeezed into the drink for even more zing. It's a timeless summer fruit cocktail recipe best served in a traditional martini glass or a champagne coupe.
2. Honey Berry Sour
This is one fruit cocktail recipe for grownups, perfectly balancing sweet, sour, and fruity flavors. You can make it with Creme de Cassis and plain syrup, but it also packs a powerful punch if you make it with concentrated blackberry puree added to the Cassis. You can double the berries for extra character. You will need:
- 1 ½ oz Krupnik
- 1 oz Creme de Cassis
- Two tablespoons blackberry puree
- One egg white
- Juice of one lemon
Mix the Krunik, the Creme de Cassis, egg white, and the blackberry puree and shake well for at least 10 seconds. You have to shake this one without ice, or the egg white will not emulsify. Now add a little ice to your shaker and shake again for several seconds until well blended. Add crushed ice to tumblers and pour in the mixture. Stir in the lemon juice, then top off with fresh blackberries if you have them.
Tip: If you want to make this cocktail even more naughty, add a shot of Jack Daniels. Just don't have more than two. There, we warned you.
3. Mango Vodka
This has to be our favorite fruit cocktail recipe of the lot — it’s such a crowd-pleaser because you can really taste the mango. It’s almost like a very boozy summer dessert in a fancy glass. All you need is:
- 1 oz mango juice from a can
- 1 ½ oz vodka
- Two tablespoons mango puree
Just shake them all together for a stunning, deep flavor. You can add other spirits or liqueurs to this one if you like, but mango is such a strong flavor that it deserves to be showcased on its own, supported by the neutral-flavored vodka. Serve this tropical cocktail in a shallow cocktail glass for maximum pleasure.
You can also enjoy this recipe with guava puree or fresh watermelon — both intense flavors that can easily carry a tropical cocktail on their own. Mango is also the perfect companion for passion fruit, so you can combine the two for the perfect tropical pairing.
The beauty of these tropical cocktails is that they all have strong, single-fruit flavors, which is way trendier than the traditional fruit-medley-style cocktail that combine lots of ingredients until you’re not really sure what you’re drinking. As a test, if you want to know if your cocktails is on-trend and contemporary or a bit old-fashioned, look at the color. A strong, bright color that instantly suggests the fruit you used for making it is the hallmark of a cool tropical fruit cocktail. If what you have is that strange, almost-neon orangey-red color we all remember from the '90s? Nope, keep mixing.
To really get the most out of these tropical fruit cocktail recipes, we advise using fruit purees in all of them, because they really intensify the flavor. And if you're using the puree in combination with a matching fruit liqueur, you are doubling up on the fruit, creating a really memorable drink.
Try these fruit purees for your next mixer. We can bet you anything your backyard party will be a roaring success.