In a ranking of humankind’s greatest inventions, margaritas—refreshing, bright, boozy, and cooling—are high on my list! I don’t like margaritas that are too sweet. I like a margarita with a bit of tartness. When I was in Mexico, I sampled different kinds of tequilas and fell in love with an artisan-crafted tequila called reposado. It's subtle, distinctive, and 100% blue agave tequila distilled by Melly Barajas at her small distillery in Valle de Guadalupe in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. The bottles of reposado tequila are hand blown with recycled Mexican glass in Tonolá, an hour away from the distillery. That, plus passion fruit, is the best combination ever!
Passion fruit is one of my favorite foods from childhood since it’s grown locally in Taiwan. It is a pepo—a type of berry—either orange or dark purple at maturity, with a soft to firm juicy interior filled with seeds. Fresh passion fruit is sweet and aromatic. I love it! Every spring, I plant orange mint and pineapple sage in my herb garden. Those come handy when I need to make a mint simple syrup. My margaritas are a tangy mix of passion fruit, tequila, and the magical combination of orange mint and pineapple sage. It’s delicious!
Passion Fruit Margarita
- Cocktail Shaker
- Citrus juicer
- Professional Japanese Style Double-Sided Cocktail Jigger
For mint syrup
- 1 qt sugar
- 1 qt water
- 1 bunch orange mint other mints will work too
- 1 bunch pineapple sage optional
- 1 oz mint syrup
- 3/4 oz passion fruit puree
- 2 oz of reposado tequila
- 1 oz lime juice
To make the mint syrup:
- Add sugar, water, mint, and pineapple sage in a saucepan over medium heat and bring it to boil. Let cool.
To make the cocktail
- Shake the tequila, lime, passion fruit puree, and mint syrup together. Strain it into a glass of your choice. Garnish with mint.
Chief Entertainment Officer
Melissa is 100% MIT (Made in Taiwan), where she worked as a food writer. She’s also worked alongside renowned chefs like Ming Tsai and Joanne Chang, honing her craft and gathering stories along the way. Part story-teller, part educator, and part food lover, Melissa brings a special blend of experience, skill, and enthusiasm to her work. She blends her Asian background, her new home of New England, and love of food and culture to bring joy, optimism, and inspiration to food lovers and fun-seekers everywhere.
What sparked your passion for the industry?
The desire to make things by hand. The joy of sharing delicious, hearty food with students. The opportunity for people to get connected via cooking and baking. When a child smiled broadly and told me it’s the best scone he has ever made and eaten, it really made my day!
In your opinion, what’s the most important course?
Well, I usually take a peek at the wine list first. I like tapas style, so the course doesn’t really matter. Cheese and charcuterie are always a good place to start. And since I’m a pastry chef, there is always room for dessert!
Bill Gates is picking up your tab, where would you go?