This recipe for Purple Passion is a copycat of the classic bottle cocktail. Purple Passion was a grape-flavored Everclear-based ready-to-drink drink from the 80s. It was very fruity, a little bit sweet, and had a high alcohol content. The gorgeous color and yummy flavor had a cult following and now you can make it at home.
I believe due to the high alcohol content of Everclear, 26 proof, it didn't have a long history on our shelves and was no longer made. I am not exactly sure when it stopped being produced but it did come back for a guest appearance in stores around 2014 for a short period of time with a different recipe mostly of wine versus Everclear.
What is Purple Passion Drink?
This is a nostalgic copycat recipe of the ready-to-drink bottled cocktail that was popular in the 80s and 90s. It was made of Everclear, 190-proof grain alcohol. It is a pretty cocktail like my candy corn martini.
It has a deep purple color with a fruity taste. It packs quite a punch that is balanced with sweet & tart flavors. It was a favorite for myself and some friends long ago and I wanted to recreate the taste of long ago so I came up with this easy recipe.
Surprise Cocktail for Reunion Weekend
One of my best friends, Caroline, enjoyed Purple Passion back in the day and I really wanted to recreate this for an upcoming reunion weekend. Reunion weekend was just a few weeks ago and Caroline was surprised to see what I had planned for her. To this day her favorite color is purple, coincidence? Maybe? I pulled out the ingredients and she was able to guess right away what was about to happen.
I was happy to see that she loved it and a lot of laughs and reminiscing went down that fun reunion night. Including that infamous note left all those years ago banning this very drink. Thankfully I have no white carpeting in my house so we drank wherever we wanted!
Purple Passion Ingredients
There are several ingredients to make the purple color and yummy taste that makes Purple passion so fun. To make a Purple Passion drink you need the following:
- Grape Juice
- Grapefruit Juice
- Grape Kool-Aid
- Simple Syrup
What Kind of Alcohol is in Purple Passion?
The bottled Purple Passion was made with Everclear. This homemade cocktail at home does not use Everclear, though you could. This recipe uses vodka to make the recipe. It is easier to find and does not have as high an alcohol content.
How to Mix the Perfect Purple Passion
The ingredients for the Purple Passion include two important purple items: concord grape juice and grape-flavored Kool-Aid or Wild Purple Smash Hawaiian Punch. The Hawaiian Punch single packets that are added to bottled water are convenient when only making 2-4 cocktails.
Mix the packet with bottled water and shake to mix up the Kool-Aid. No sugar is needed when using the single-serving packet. Now if this was a block party, make a pitcher of Kool-Aid and get your party on!
Measure out the vodka, juices, and simple syrup. Combine all ingredients over ice in a martini shaker. Shake for about 15 seconds and pour into two prepared high balls or collins glasses filled with ice.
The company that bottled Purple Passion drinks was Luxco. The ready-to-drink cocktail was made with grain-alcohol, Everclear.
There are some retailers or mail-delivery liquor stores that sell a variety of Purple Passion Everclear.
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Purple Passion Cocktail
- Martini Shaker
- High Ball Glasses
- 3 oz vodka
- 4 oz Concord grape juice
- 4 oz grape Kool-Aid mixed, ready-to-drink
- ½ oz grapefruit juice
- ½ oz simple syrup
- ice cubes
- Mix the Kool-Aid as directed on the packet. I used single-serving packets that do not need added sugar. Simply mix it in a bottle of water and you are ready.
- To a martini shaker add about 8 ice cubes and all the ingredients.
- Close martini shaker and shake vigorously for about 15 seconds.
- Prepare two high ball or collins glasses by filling ¾ of the way with ice.
- Remove the top and pour through the strainer into each glass over the ice.
- Add a straw and enjoy. CHEERS!
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Tricia Snow says
I think I missed this one since my daughter was born in 89! I will definitely be trying this. It looks so yummy!
Better late than never.
A Brilliant Love says
Your blog is beautiful
Thank you, I appreciate that!
This sounds delicious and refreshing! I wonder if adding seltzer water would be good with it, too?
During our "Many" taste-testing sessions, we did try a bit of seltzer. It was unanimous to not use it in the final version but give it a try and see what you prefer. The beauty of mixology is you can create to your liking.
I must have been living under a rock in the 80s because I didn't try this then, but I definitely want to try it now!
Never too late to enjoy this one.
OH I’m gonna have to try this! I have a friend that loves purple and what a perfect drink for her! Loved you purple passion banned story by the way - too funny!
Yeah, a friend that loves purple is a great friend to have. I hope she loves this and you can sip and laugh about our "banned" story! haha - Cheers Natalie!
Lisa Manderino says
That is so cool that you create new recipes! so fun!
Matt Epley says
Oh boy...that looks a little TOO good, if you know what I mean. LOL!
Oh yeah, I know what you mean!
Yummy! You are taking me back...I must make this!
Candy K says
This sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing.
Wow this looks so delicious!!! Yummy!
This looks delish! I've pinned it for future reference 🙂
What a great friend you are, to recreate the drink and revive memories. Bet you had a wonderful reunion!
Thanks Cindy. It was so fun to recreate this and bring back some fun memories. I hope to do more of this in the future, food and memories are so important to my life!
Karla Petersen says
This looks delicious. Love the storytelling! LOL
Thanks Karla. That means a lot from you, I love your writing and your blog so much!
Melissa Jones says
That looks great!!
Jennifer Morrison says
What a pretty drink! I always think it is fun to build a delicious concoction!
Brittany O'Keefe says
I know I'm late to the game, but thank you so much for posting this! My mom turns 50 this year and has talked about purple passion for as long as I can remember. I can't wait to make this recipe and surprise her!
Happy Birthday to your mom! I hope she loves it and it brings back memories as fun as I had "back in the day" too! ENJOY!
Brittany O'Keefe says
Question as I prepare to make it... do you prepare the kool-aid with sugar? Want to make sure it isn't too sweet..
Thanks for asking, I updated the recipe also to make it more clear. YOu do make the Kool-aid as directed with water. I used the single packets that are just mixed with bottled water. (no sugar needed to be added)
Just mixed a batch of these and in love. So good and will make this again for sure.
Cheers to more purple passion cocktails in your future.
I luvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv'd purple passion.
I have not tried your recipe but will actually try it and with everclear.
Did you ever make one withe everclear and did it work out similar?
Thank you for taking the time to do this.
My heart is full.
I have not tried it with everclear. Let me know if you do - CHEERS!
Does it matter of it is ruby red grapefruit juice or regular? Also i have ever clear in the house, would you sub the vodka 1:1 as everclear is stronger.
Either grapefruit juice will work, ruby red may result in a deeper color. Everclear is the true Purple Passion ingredient so if you have it & like it, use it. I would use 2oz of Everclear instead of 3oz of vodka if you go that route. Let me know how it turns out.