Prickly Pear Margarita

Prickly Pear Margarita
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  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Infusion: 48 hrs
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)

The unique taste of a prickly pear margarita is welcome the change of pace from the average fruity margarita recipe. It offers the distinct taste of the fruit from Opuntia cactus plants and there are a number of ways you can capture that flavor in your margarita.

This recipe begins with a homemade infusion of prickly pear fruits into tequila. It's a fun little project that should take just a few days to complete. If you like, there are other ways to create a similar taste, with variations that offer the options of using prickly pear syrup or a muddle of the fruits themselves. However you choose to make this margarita, it's sure to be an entertaining experience!

Ingredients

  • For the Prickly Pear-Infused Tequila:
  • 1 750ml bottle blanco tequila
  • 6 prickly pears (peeled)
  • For the Cocktail:
  • 2 1/2 ounces tequila (prickly pear-infused)
  • 1/2 ounce triple sec
  • 2 ounces sour mix
  • 1/2 ounce orange juice
  • Dash grenadine
  • Garnish: lime wheel
  • Garnish: sugar or salt (for rim)

Steps to Make It

Make the Prickly Pear-Infused Tequila

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Cut the peeled prickly pears in half and place in a wide-mouthed infusion jar. Cover with the tequila.

  3. Seal the jar, shake well, and store in a cool, dark place. Check the infusion after 2 days to see how the flavor has developed. Let it infuse longer if needed, tasting it daily.

  4. Once the flavor reaches your desired intensity strain out the prickly pears—use a fine mesh strainer to catch all the seeds.

  5. Rebottled the tequila and store just like any other liquor.

Make the Prickly Pear Margarita

  1. If you like, add a sugar or salt rim to a chilled margarita glass; Use a piece of lime to wet the rim before rolling it in sugar or salt.

  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the prickly pear tequila, triple sec, sour mix, orange juice, and grenadine.

  3. Shake well.

  4. Strain into the prepared glass and garnish with a lime wheel.

  5. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Variations

  • If you prefer, serve this margarita on the rocks or blended with about 1 cup of ice.
  • Replace the prickly pear-flavored tequila with blanco tequila and use a prickly pear syrup instead (it's relatively easy to find or you can make the syrup from fresh prickly pears). For this variation, pour 1 1/2 ounces tequila and 1 ounce of the syrup. Keep the other ingredients the same.
  • Another option with unflavored tequila is to muddle a fresh prickly pear in the cocktail shaker before adding the other ingredients. You'll want to fine strain this drink—use your regular cocktail strainer while pouring through a fine mesh strainer—to catch all those pesky seeds.
  • Finally, you can pour a prickly pear-flavored distilled spirit instead of the syrup. These are rare, but distilleries like the Texas Moonshine Company offer it. Apparently, the taste of this one is reminiscent of tequila, so you could even pour the Texas Prickly Pear Cactus Spirit instead of tequila.

How Strong Is a Prickly Pear Margarita?

As with most shaken margaritas, don't expect this one to be a light drink. When made with 80-proof tequila, it should mix up to an alcohol content around 20 percent ABV (40 proof). That's half the strength of a shot of tequila.