Purple Passion was a grape-flavored Everclear based ready-to-drink bottled cocktail from the 80s. It was very fruity, a little bit sweet, and had a high alcohol content. 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.
Fast forward 30 years later, and I was on a mission to make a purple passion cocktail at home. I needed it to be grape-flavored, very purple, and vodka instead of Everclear. 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.
Nostalgia for Purple Passion – Parent’s Just Don’t Understand
There is an incident from back in the day, where she was “banned” from having Purple Passion in the house. At one party, some ended up on the ceiling. How it got there is a mystery still to this day and I wish I knew the funny story behind it.
All I know is that since that ceiling situation was discovered by “The Toads”, our slang back in the day for parents, Purple Passion was banned. Plus, the carpets were white in her house so any drop of grape juice cocktail goodness would mean big trouble! “Mother Toad” even went as far as posting a sign “No Purple Passion in the Living Room” when they next went out of town.
Did we obey the warning notice? I won’t tell but was Purple Passion on the ceiling or white carpeting that weekend – nope? Luck or good kids – you decide.
Surprise Cocktail for 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!
Fun While Recreating the Recipe & Taste Testing
Sometimes you just have to take one for the team. Recipe testing cocktails is one of those tasks for food bloggers that we all just must hate – oh sorry, who am I kidding! I spent a few weekends with friends and neighbors perfecting this recipe. It at first had too much grapefruit and the grape flavor was completely lost. I love grapefruit and loved it, do not get me wrong, but it just wasn’t making me feel like it was 1989.
The next weekend was reunion weekend so I had to act fast and try a few more versions on my neighbors. The addition of grape Kool-Aid is what ensured it was more grape flavored but not like a cough-syrup grape flavor. Just the concord grape juice alone was too strong so the grape juice, Kool-Aid, and a final splash of grapefruit was the winner! Good thing it only took 3 attempts or I was going to need to run to Costco for another giant vodka bottle, kidding.
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 is 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!
Combine all ingredients over ice in a martini shaker. Shake about 15 seconds and pour into two prepared high ball or collins glasses filled with ice.
PIN FOR SAFEKEEPING & SHARING!
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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
- 1/2 oz grapefruit juice
- 1/2 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 3/4 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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