Prickly Pear (5)
Tequila Recipe

Prickly Pear Margarita

What could be more desert-inspired than a prickly pear margarita? Try this delightful cactus margarita recipe and enjoy the taste of summer in the desert.

Time to make: 10 minutesServes: 1
Prickly Pear (5)

What sort of drink reminds you of summer in the desert? Maybe a margarita? How about a prickly pear margarita? With tequila and this delicious cactus fruit, the prickly pear margarita is a refreshing-tasting drink that will make you feel like you’re sipping a cocktail while watching the sun set on the desert. 

Prickly Pear (9)


  • 1.5 oz. Blanco Tequila
  • 0.75 oz. Lime Juice
  • 0.5 oz. Prickly Pear Syrup
  • Lime Wedge Garnish
  • Salted Rim (optional)


  1. If desired, wet the rim of a margarita or rocks glass using a lime wedge or lime juice in a dish. Dip in salt and set aside.
  2. Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  3. Shake until thoroughly chilled and strain into the prepped margarita or rocks glass filled with fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Prickly Pear Syrup


  • 20 oz. Granulated Sugar
  • 9 oz. Water
  • 13 oz. Prickly Pear Pulp


  1. In a medium size pot, heat the sugar, water and pulp for 15-20 minutes on a low simmer until the sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally and muddling the fruit to prevent caking.
  2. Once sugar is dissolved, remove from heat.
  3. Strain into a container for storage (tea or fine mesh strainer for larger fruit pieces; cheesecloth for smaller fruit pieces), and label, date and refrigerate for later use. Good for 3 months. Yields 20 oz.

What’s in the Prickly Pear Margarita?

The traditional margarita is composed of three main ingredients: blanco tequila, lime juice and a sweet orange syrup or liqueur. The result is tangy, citrus-y and full of agave flavor from blanco tequila. This prickly pear margarita uses lime juice, and instead of orange, you’ll find sweet, vibrant prickly pear. 

What does the Prickly Pear Margarita taste like?

This isn’t quite like any margarita you’ve had before. So, what can you expect? 


  • The star of the show is prickly pear. If you haven’t tasted this fruit before, it can be difficult to describe. Taste descriptions range from melon to kiwi to strawberry, with some noting a hint of bubblegum. It is known for its sweet fruity flavor.
  • A prickly pear flavored simple syrup adds sweetness without altering the taste. 
  • Blanco tequila provides the classic agave taste of a margarita, with citrus and pepper notes. A quality tequila is key to a quality margarita. If you’re looking for a tequila to use, we recommend the premium taste of Casamigos Blanco Tequila, Don Julio Blanco Tequila or Astral Blanco Tequila for this drink. 
Prickly Pear Pour

What is prickly pear?

A prickly pear, or nopal, is any of several species of cacti that have flat, pancake-like pads covered in spines. You’ll find prickly pear in their native landscape all over the Western Hemisphere and imported beyond. The fruit and young paddles can both be consumed. 


In jellies, jams and, in this case, margaritas, you’ll find the fruit of the prickly pear used for its delicious honey-sweet fruit. When harvesting fresh, you’ll need to watch out for hair-like spines, or glochids, but you can also buy this fruit pre-prepared or pureed. 

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How to customize the Prickly Pear Margarita

Want to create a variation on this margarita variation? A bold choice. We have a few suggestions to get your creative juices flowing. 


For a more orange-inspired drink

The traditional margarita includes an orange liqueur. For the prickly pear margarita, you can add a touch of orange as well as a burst of other spices with two dashes of orange bitters. 


If you can’t make prickly pear syrup

Try using agave nectar with 0.5 oz. of prickly pear puree for even more desert goodness. Or, to make your own simple syrup to use with the prickly pear puree, mix one-part sugar with one-part hot water. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then let cool. Now you have your own homemade simple syrup. 


Switch up the spirits

Smoky and sweet more up your alley? You might want to try replacing tequila with mezcal. This smoky liquor is also made with agave, so you won’t be straying too far from the original. In fact, tequila is just a type of mezcal. We have a lineup of quality mezcal options on The Bar. 


Just like a classic margarita, this variation uses blanco tequila. However, if you want a spirit that has notes of vanilla, oak and caramel, you might want to try replacing blanco with reposado tequila. We have a variety of high-quality reposado bottles to choose from on The Bar. 


Get in the mix

Love this recipe? Shaking up cocktails at your next soiree? We'd love to see it. Follow us on Instagram and tag @thebardotcom to show us your serve.

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