It's Lilikoi season in Kona, or passion fruit for you mainlanders. This fruit has a strong sweet and sour flavor that makes it a great addition to pastries, desserts and drinks. Lilikoi flowers (in the photo on the left) are absolutely beautiful and depend on honeybees and carpenter bees for pollination. As a last resort, some people hand pollinate these flowers to ensure that they fruit. Here on the Big Island, you'll find Lilikoi vines growing everywhere including up telephone poles and along the side of the highway.
The recipe below is for a cocktail made with Lilikoi juice and a simple syrup made from honey. There are lots of uses for simple syrup and its easy to make. Adding simple syrup instead of pure honey ensures a more even distribution of sweetener to your beverage and prevents most of the honey from falling to the bottom of the glass.
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Simple Syrup Ingredients:
- 1 cup of Macadamia Blossom honey
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of fresh torn mint leaves
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp honey simple syrup
- 4oz white rum
- 1 ounce lilikoi (passion fruit) juice
Simple Syrup Directions:
- Warm 1 cup of Macadamia Blossom honey with 1 cup of water in a small sauce pan over low heat.
- Simmer until honey is dissolved.
- Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup fresh torn mint leaves and 1 tsp lime juice.
- Allow to cool to room temperature and then strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve. Store in clean glass jar in the refrigerator.
- Add white rum, simple syrup and lilikoi juice to cocktail shaker with cracked ice.
- Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Add more syrup if desired.