About Fassionola

Fassionola: The Torrid Story of Cocktails’ Most Mysterious Ingredient

MANY THINGS are lost to history — the memories of people, places, things, and their details. This book has been an endeavor to unearth and retell some of those lost tales. But, like many of those stories, it cannot be told in one voice. It is a detective work, a culinary and cultural history, a biographical review, and a cocktail book all centered around mixology’s most mysterious ingredient —P/Fassionola. 

I use the concatenation because, as we all do, this passion fruit concoction went through its own growth, blossoming, and evolution. Developed by a German immigrant druggist and his wife in the 1920s, the brand was coined Passi-flora, then Passionola in 1930, a passion fruit flavored syrup intended for soda fountains and ice cream sundaes. Fifty years and several scandals later, it was rebranded Fassionola, a commercial cocktail mixer offered in multiple flavors. Along its unsteady journey, the curious cordial touched the lives of music publishers, actors, dancers, soft-porn directors, suspected mob associates, and bartenders keen to keep the legend alive. As it was advertised, P/Fassionola truly was the “Taste Thrill of the Century.”

Our book is in production, and soon to be released. Sign up for updates!

Gregorio Pantoja and Martin S. Lindsay


The Syrup

Passionola display ad, Los Angeles Times, 1944
Newspaper display ad, 1944.
Fassionola book cover FPO

The Book

Fassionola: The Torrid Story of Cocktail’s Most Mysterious Ingredient

A new culinary history by Gregorio Pantoja and Martin S. Lindsay, with contributions by Daniel “Doc” Parks, and a foreword by Jim “Hurricane” Hayward. Full-color, 288-page softcover and limited-edition hardcover books illustrated with photos and ephemera, featuring new research and over 100 historical and contemporary cocktail recipes. To be published by Classic San Diego Books, December 2023.

Table of Contents


01 The Passion of Farmer Cottee
02 The Druggist’s Delight
03 By the Beautiful Sea
04 Volstead’s Folly
05 How About a Nice Hawaiian Punch?
06 Donn, the Beachcomber
07 Trader Vic
08 The Would-Be Sheik
09 The Taste Thrill of the Century, 1940s Cocktails
10 Hurricane Mario
11 Zombie Invasion
12 The Orchid Lady
13 Top of the Mark
14 The Untouchable
15 Lemon Hart, 1950s Cocktails
16 The Mai-Kai
17 Tiki-Ti
18 The Man Who Killed Tiki
19 Dunn with Passion
20 Popo the Contender, 1960s Cocktails
21 A Rose is a Rose
22 Jonathan English’s
23 Bali Hai
24 Contemporary Cocktails
25 Epilogue
Bibliographic Sources

Chapter Preview

“The  Druggist’s Delight.” Passionola was borne from the anything-goes origins of the American soda fountain, ice cream sundaes, and fruit syrups.

“By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea!” J Frank Cullen, Victor Kremer, and clients on the beach of their new real estate development, “Cardiff-by-the-Sea,” Summer, 1912. Kremer and his wife would soon plant acres of passionfruit in San Diego County for their new venture, Passionola. Photo, SDHC.

“The whole flavored with dashes of history,
mixed in a shaker of anecdote, and served with a
chaser of illuminative information.”

— Albert Stevens Crockett, 1935


Order now to secure your copy of our softcover edition, $39.95. Editing, September-November, 2023. Proofing, December, 2023. Printing, January-February, 2024. Shipping in Spring, 2024.

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Get In Touch

Have any information about Passionola or Fassionola, or a vintage recipe that contains either? We’d love to hear from you, we’re always looking for submissions! Contact the authors at [email protected], or by using this contact form.