Do we have all our ingredients for a Southwest-inspired cocktail? Prickly pears, check. Tequila, check. Fresh limes, check. Agave, check. Oh, and spicy cayenne, check!! Top all this off with some sparkling water and you’ve got yourself a sip of the Southwest. This spicy prickly pear margarita is super zesty with the most vibrant colors and is made with classic Arizona ingredients. It doesn’t get more colorful than this! When the summer Arizona rains give you prickly pears, make margaritas. Isn’t that how the saying goes? Well, it does in my kitchen!
Using the freshly picked prickly pears from a recent adventure to Arizona Cactus Ranch, I wanted to make a drink that was light and refreshing with a splash of tequila. Prickly pears are so iconic to the Arizona landscape, I couldn’t help but make a Southwest-inspired drink from this gorgeous cactus fruit. This prickly pear margarita is full of freshly squeezed limes, zest, and warm spicy cayenne heat. This margarita is flavorful on its own, but add the spicy lime zest sugar rim and you’ve got yourself the best pink tequila drink of the season!
Taking a bite out of a raw prickly pear is like eating a watermelon and a strawberry, all in one mouthful. And while this cactus fruit might be flavorful on its own, it actually takes on the flavor of other ingredients when used in recipes. In this margarita, the prickly pear fruit becomes almost flavorless but provides some major color! As you can see, describing this prickly pear margarita as vibrant pink is an understatement! If you are skeptical that a margarita could really be this beautiful, you might just need to see and try it for yourself. Now, let me show you how …
Spicy Prickly Pear Sparkling Margarita
Recipe Yield: 4 margaritas, 6-8 oz each
If you can’t find prickly pears near you, you can order some prickly pear nectar from Arizona Cactus Ranch. As a substitute, add a teaspoon of this antioxidant rich nectar to your margarita for a really pretty color.
Now, excuse me while I go sip on a glass of Arizona summer!Print
Prickly Pear Margarita
Celebrate the flavors of the Southwest summer harvest with this Spicy Prickly Pear Sparkling Margarita! The flavors of freshly squeezed lime juice with a splash of tequila, and a dash of cayenne all come together to make this refreshing, vibrant pink prickly pear margarita. Cheers!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 drinks, 6-8 ounces each 1x
- Category: Cocktails
- Method: Mixing
- Cuisine: South Western
2 medium prickly pears
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 4 medium limes)
8 tablespoons agave
6 ounces of silver tequila
1 1/2 cup ice cubes
1 bottle sparkling water (16 ounces)
Glass Sugar Rim & Garnish:
1/5 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime zest (1 medium lime)
pinch of cayenne
Additional limes for garnish
- Prepare prickly pears by slicing each in half, lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out all prickly pear meat and seeds, discarding the skin (see notes of using foraged prickly pears). Using a fork, mash the pulp and seeds into a semi-puree consistency. The total yield is 4 tablespoons of puree.
- In a medium bowl or large pitcher, mix together prickly pear puree, fresh lime juice, agave, and tequila. Stir well and set in refrigerator to chill.
- Prepare the glass sugar rim by blending sugar, lime zest, and cayenne together in a food processor* for 1-2 minutes or until well blended. Transfer the sugar mix to a plate, then smooth and flatten the sugar until level. Rub an 8 ounce glass rim with lime, then turn the glass rim upside down and place the lime rubbed rim on the sugar plate. In a circular motion, rub the glass rim into the sugar mix until the rim is completely covered in sugar. Repeat until each glass has the sugar, lime, cayenne mix around the rim.
- Take the prickly pear margarita mixture out of the refrigerator and completely strain with a fine mesh sieve* into a serving pitcher. Make sure to separate and remove all prickly pear seeds and chunky pulp. Add ice to each sugar rimmed glass, then pour the strained margarita mixture filling about 3/4 of the way. Top off the rest with sparkling water and garnish with a lime slice.
- If you are using foraged prickly pears (like me), only handle the prickly pears with tongs when halving and scooping out the pulp. The quills on the outside of the fruit are extremely painful when touched and may not come out for a few days. Some quills are visible and others are not, so always handle with care.
- If you like spice, add additional cayenne – just remember, a little goes a long way!
- May substitute sugar for salt if you prefer a salty glass rim.
Each margarita provides 1/4 serving of fruit
- Serving Size: 8 ounces
- Calories: 305
- Sugar: 31 g
- Sodium: 6 mg
- Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 42 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 1 g
Keywords: prickly pear margarita, prickly pear cocktail
*The Amazon products linked on this page are products I used to make this prickly pear margarita recipe. If you purchase any of the items through the Amazon affiliate links I have provided, I receive a small commission on the items purchased. This in no way influences the items I recommend or raises the price of the items for you. I only add items to my posts that I use and think you will love just as much and I do!