IMG_20160718_133959358I know this is a travel blog but I wanted to write about a prickly pear margarita! After our recent hike in Zion we decided to stop somewhere to eat before the long drive home. The place was unexpectedly nice and we were dirty in hiking clothes; oh well, nobody seemed to mind. We all ordered a prickly pear margarita because it sounded refreshing.

It was so good that everyone had two, minus me, I volunteered to be the driver. I love margaritas so I already knew I would probably like it, but the color was so vivid I think I loved it before I even tried it. Our waitress told us the recipe: 1oz of white tequilla, a splash of club soda, enough sweet and sour to taste, and a spoonful of prickly pear puree.

I wanted to recreate the drink, but I needed a prickly pear. Where would I ever get one of those? To my surprise, the local farmers market sells them! Score! I love that market.  I bought the dark purple ones because I read that they are supposed to be softer and sweeter.

First, I made the puree by cutting the ends off the prickly pear off, cutting a slit lengthwise on the pear, then peeling the outer skin off. I was amazed at how brilliant the magenta colored flesh was inside. Then I just used a fork to mash them until a liquid forms. There were a lot of seeds inside so I use a strainer.

Using a lime, I wet the rim of the glass, then dipped the edge of the glass in salt or sugar. The first time we made these we used raw sugar, the second time we used salt flakes (I prefer salt). Then I just mixed all of the ingredients together in a shaker, I left the strainer lid on to get the seeds out, and poured it over ice. Viola! The bright prickly pear puree was my favorite part about it. Hopefully you can find some prickly pears near you so you can try this fun drink. Post a picture of yours if you try it! ♦

Tip: Be careful handling the prickly pear. Yesterday I got a few of the clear tiny spikes in my finger. I think the market does a pretty good job of removing them prior to selling, but somehow a few were still there. Good luck!


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