Not too sweet, slightly floral, and full of fresh flavors, a prickly pear margarita is a fun twist on the classic tequila cocktail.
Some of my favorite Mexican restaurants offer prickly pear margaritas, but when I try to make them at home, I find myself stuck. Finding prickly pear juice - to use in the drink or to make prickly pear syrup - has proven to be a bit of a challenge. So when I was sent some Prickly Pear Liqueur from the team at Thatcher’s Organic Spirits here in West Michigan, I was thrilled. Prickly Pear Margarita problem solved!
The eastern prickly pear cactus grows natively in Michigan (more about that in this post), so you might see it growing in the woods or on the sides of trails. But since it’s a cactus, even the pink fruit that gives this drink its gorgeous color is covered in little spines. Unless you can find it peeled and cleaned in a store, don’t touch it and don’t even think about using it for garnish.
Keep it super simple and garnish your Prickly Pear Margarita with a lime wedge or lime wheel. This drink is such a pretty color that you don’t need much to make it stand out.
What You Need
- Silver tequila
- Fresh lime juice
- Prickly pear liqueur
- Simple syrup
- Triple sec or orange liqueur
How to Make a Prickly Pear Margarita
Pour salt into a shallow dish. Run a wedge of lime around the rim of a glass. Dip the glass rim in salt. Fill the glass with ice and set aside.
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Shake well and strain into prepared glass.
Tips on Prickly Pear Margaritas
Prickly pear has a slightly floral taste, and comes sweetened - whether in liqueur, juice or syrup form. It’s a nice balance to the lime and compliments the flavors of silver tequila. It’s also pink, which gives these prickly pear margaritas their fun color.
I use Thatcher’s Organic Prickly Pear Liqueur, which is made right here in West Michigan. (Find it near you using their website.) There are several other brands of prickly pear liqueur out there, so if Thatcher’s isn’t available near you, a quick Google search should help you find your options.
Silver tequila or blanco tequila is my choice for these margaritas. Pick your favorite brand when making your drink. Gold or amber tequila is aged in oak barrels and it doesn’t go well with the floral flavor of prickly pear.
Any kind you want! I used coarse salt for the rims in these photos, but I often use table salt for rims if I don’t feel like getting out coarse or flake salt. Use what you have on hand. The point is adding that salty taste to your margarita.
Yes. Take the time to squeeze a couple limes for your drink. There’s only 5 ingredients in this cocktail and lime juice plays a big part, so don’t use bottled juice.