Get ready to jump into your 1989 Era because this Passion Fruit and Elderflower “Wildest Dreams” Martini is as ethereal and whimsical as the song it’s inspired by.
It’s a harmonious blend of bold and delicate notes, and it’s sure to transport you to a dreamlike state with every sip.
Just as Taylor Swift captures hearts with her lyrical storytelling, this martini aims to captivate your senses from before the first sip.
From the vibrant color and floral garnish to the dainty coupe glass, it’s as pretty as it is delicious.
Blending zingy fresh passion fruit with the floral whispers of elderflower liqueur, you’ll fall in love from the aroma alone.
Add some tropical pineapple juice to enhance the fruity flavors and a splash of Cava to give it bubbles, and it’s the perfect Taylor Swift-inspired cocktail for Valentine’s Day - or any occasion when you need something sweet, boozy, and pretty as a picture.
Passionfruit and Elderflower Martini
The first Taylor Swift-inspired drink I created was the Love Story cocktail - a sweet, fruity, and bubbly drink best served with fresh strawberries in a Champagne flute.
Then I came up with the Kansas City Old Fashioned - a robust yet fruity twist on the classic cocktail designed as an ode to Travis Kelce and the Chiefs going to the Super Bowl.
Next up was the Pomegranate “Red” French 75 - another bubbly twist on a Champagne cocktail with a burning red color and plenty of berry flavor.
But this drink? I wanted something light, bright, and dreamy.
It’s something I imagine enjoying in a nice dress, staring at the sunset. Specifically on a beach, if possible.
As you might’ve guessed, this Passionfruit and Elderflower Martini is sweet, fruity, and delicately floral.
I make it with gin because I think the botanicals work well with the elderflower. But you can use vodka if you prefer.
Here’s what you need to make the drink:
- Gin or Vodka - Gin can be dry, sweet, floral, and/or herbal. So it adds a ton of complexity to this cocktail. Vodka, on the other hand, is crisp and clean, allowing the other flavors to shine.
- St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur - It’s got a delicate floral sweetness, and adds a layer of sophistication.
- Fresh Lime Juice - Most cocktails need citrus, and in this one, I used lime. You could use lemon, but I prefer the light sweetness you get from limes. It brings plenty of zesty kick without the sourness you get from lemons.
- Passion Fruit Juice - This is the heart of the drink, so I recommend a good quality juice or puree. It brings a punch of tropical sweetness and exotic flavor.
- Pineapple Juice - You could leave this out, and it would be a super tasty drink. But this mellows the tartness in the passionfruit and rounds out the fruity flavors.
- Cava or Sparkling Wine - Again, this is technically optional, but I enjoy the bubbles. Plus, it offers a subtle crispness and slight dryness to the otherwise fairly sweet cocktail.
- Fresh Passion Fruit Seeds and Edible Flowers - I think passionfruit cocktails are best served with fresh passionfruit pulp. And the edible flowers really make this dreamy, don’t you think?
Passion Fruit Juice vs. Pulp
For my last passion fruit martini, I used passion fruit vodka and passion fruit juice. I chose not to use pulp because the fresh fruit isn’t always available.
For this recipe, juice or puree is a terrific option, and the drink will be gorgeous when it’s done. But if they’re in season, fresh fruit is a no-brainer.
If you’re not sure which to choose, here’s a few things to keep in mind:
- Store-bought passion fruit puree or juice is usually very concentrated, and the flavor is consistent no matter when you buy it. That means your Wildest Dreams martini will be the same great drink every time. That said, it can often contain added sugars.
- Fresh passion fruit pulp (and the seeds) guarantee the freshest flavor and an authentic tropical experience. When ripe, there’s no substitute. But they can be expensive and hard to find. Plus, the taste varies greatly from sweet to sour so you can’t always guarantee how the drink will taste.
- Pre-made juice or puree is obviously far more convenient - especially when making multiple drinks.
- Fresh passion fruit is exotic and seasonal, which means you can’t make this drink whenever you like.
- Juice and puree are bright, and the drink will be super colorful. But you won’t have the same fresh feel.
- The inclusion of passion fruit seeds adds a unique visual element to the cocktail.
Ultimately, the choice between passion fruit puree/juice and fresh pulp depends on personal preference and the availability of ingredients.
Gin vs. Vodka
If you’re a big cocktail drinker, you likely already have go-to spirits and brands.
For example, I’m a huge fan of Empress 1908 Gin and Tito’s handmade vodka.
But if you need some inspiration, check out these brands.
Best Gins for a Passionfruit and Elderflower Martini
As mentioned, I like Empress 1908. But the color is all wrong for this one. Instead, you want a gin that’s a little dry, since the rest of the drink is sweet.
- Hendrick’s Gin: With its infusion of cucumber and rose, Hendrick’s enhances the floral and refreshing character of the elderflower and balances the robust passion fruit flavors.
- Tanqueray No. Ten: Thanks to the fresh citrus fruits, Tanqueray No. Ten brings plenty of bright and zesty character to the cocktail.
- The Botanist Islay Dry Gin: Made with 22 foraged island botanicals, this gin is as complex as they come. The herbal profile mellows the floral and sweet notes, adding depth and earthiness.
- Bombay Sapphire: It’s citrussy, balanced, and readily available.
Best Vodkas for a Passionfruit and Elderflower Martini
Tito’s is my current favorite vodka for every drink I make. It’s super smooth and very clean, making it ideal in this recipe.
If you’re not a fan of (or can’t find) Tito’s, here are a few other choices.
- Grey Goose: It’s famous for a reason, right? This French vodka is a little pricey, but its smooth and subtly sweet finish is more than worth it.
- Ketel One: Crisp and very clean, Ketel One brings warmth without killing the fruit flavors.
- Absolut Elyx: If you’ve ever had cheap vodka and hated it, try Absolut Elyx and get back to me. It’s somehow silky on the tongue and makes the cocktail very luxurious.
Wildest Dreams Cocktail Recipe Variations
Passionfruit and pineapple are sweetly tart and very tropical. They’re also pretty strong-tasting, which is why this martini also includes elderflower liquor. The floral notes balance the drink wonderfully.
But if you want to jazz this up and make it your own, I do have a few fun recipe variations:
Frozen Passionfruit and Elderflower Slushie
- Blend the passionfruit puree, pineapple juice, lime juice, and St. Germain with ice.
- Serve in a chilled glass with a splash of Cava.
Passionfruit and Elderflower Martini Mocktail
- Leave out the gin or vodka, and use elderflower cordial or syrup instead.
- Top it off with club soda, lemon-lime soda, or ginger ale.
Spicy Passionfruit and Elderflower Martini
- Muddle a few slices of fresh jalapeño in the cocktail shaker before mixing.
- Top it off with ginger beer instead of Cava.
Passionfruit and Elderflower Cream Martini
- Add a splash of coconut cream or half-and-half to the cocktail shaker.
- Skip the Cava.
Passionfruit and Elderflower Sour
- Keep the recipe the same, but dry shake the ingredients with an egg white before adding the ice.
- When foamy, shake with ice to chill and serve with a fun foam on top.
Passionfruit and Elderflower “Wildest Dreams” Martini
- 45 ml Gin or Vodka (1 1/2 oz)
- 20 ml St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur (3/4 oz)
- 15 ml Fresh Lime Juice (1/2 oz)
- 20-30 ml Fresh Passion Fruit Juice (3/4 - 1 oz - use the larger amount if using fresh fruit)
- 15 ml Pineapple Juice (1/2 oz)
- 30 ml Cava or Sparkling Wine (1 oz)
- Fresh Passion Fruit Seeds and Edible Flowers, for garnish
- Place a coupe glass in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. Or, fill it with ice water and set aside.
- Half-fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the gin or vodka, St. Germain, lime juice, passion fruit juice, and pineapple juice.
- Shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds, until chilled to the touch.
- Get the glass out of the freezer or discard the ice water. Strain the drink into the cold glass.
- Add the Cava, garnish with passionfruit pulp and edible flowers, and enjoy!