Prickly Pear Margaritas are all the rage right now, but most of them are made with a prickly pear syrup. This recipe uses the juice from the tunas, or fruit of the cactus. While prickly pear juice does not have a strong flavor, it certainly adds a unique tang to the already refreshing flavor of a margarita.
To extract the juice from the tuna, you can slice it open lengthwise, spoon the fruit into a strainer. Hold the strainer over a bowl and push down with the back of a spoon or a bean masher . The seeds will be left behind in the strainer as the juice is pressed through to the bowl.
To make one medium shaker of margaritas (2 and 1/2 drinks) I used 3 tunas. There are many varieties of tunas available. The most widely available type of cactus fruit is the Cardona, which is deep pink in color. However, tunas range in color from green to pink to orange to yellow. There is an excellent article that explains the varieties at saveur.com. If you are lucky, you may find them with the fresh tropical fruits in the produce department of your local grocery store. If not, you can check local Latino markets and farmers’ markets. If you find a fruit that isn’t pink in color, but you want your margarita to have that gorgeous rose hue, just add a few drops of natural pomegranate juice or cranberry juice.
3 ounces tequila (I used Cazadores Reposado)
1/2-ounce Cointreau or other orange liqueur
1 1/2 ounces fresh lime juice
2 ounces fresh prickly pear juice
1 tbsp. turbinado sugar
sea salt and turbinado sugar for lining rim of glass
lime wedges for garnish
1. Place all liquid ingredients and the tablespoon of sugar in a medium cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until well blended.
2. Wet the rim of the serving glasses with lime juice by rubbing the lime wedge around the rim while lightly squeezing.
3. Invert glass into a dish of salt and turbinado sugar blend.
4. Pour drinks into glasses from the cocktail shaker.
5. Garnish each margarita with a wedge of lime.
6. Drink up!