Wet Bar Wednesday – Prickly Pear Margaritas

One of the side benefits of hosting relatively wealthy young women from around the world who are studying English in the US is that they leave behind an interesting amalgam of debris when they leave.  Our most recent student left behind one of those glitzy local magazines highlighting all the schwank and posh places to eat and shop in our area – of which there is no shortage, to be sure.  In between the fashion shots of happy shoppers and pouty-faced young women lounging seductively in thousands of dollars worth of skimpy clothing, there was a recipe for prickly pear margaritas.  My wife showed it to me the other day and we both agreed it looked delicious.

Hence my surprise when wandering into our favorite Mexican market the other day and finding a big bin of tunas!  No, not the fish (thankfully, since they weren’t refrigerated!).  Tunas is the Mexican word for prickly pear fruit.  Prickly pears are a type of cactus ubiquitous in the desert southwest.  After they bloom, the large seed pods that were at the base of the flower mature and are harvested (carefully!).  When you split them open, there is a magnificent orangey-red interior of pulp and seeds that you can scoop out with a spoon.  Once you’ve separated out the seeds, you’re left with a syrupy, gently sweet pulp.  

Tunas probably won’t show up in your local mainstream grocery store (unless you have a large Hispanic presence in the area).   But if you can find a Mexican supermarket, you’ll probably find them there.  They should be slightly soft when squeezed (and be careful!  While most of the spines are removed, prickly pear fruit is notorious for teeny, tiny, hair-like spines that will irritate and annoy you for hours afterwards!  


Prickly Pear Margaritas

  • Juice of two tangerines
  • Pulp of two tunas
  • 2 oz tequila (I made it with the requisite plata tequila, but next time I’m going to use reposado or anejo for a smoother finish)
  • Splash of Cointreau or Gran Marnier

 Split the tunas in half (again, carefully, or you’ll be picking spines out of your hands for hours!).  Use a spoon to scoop the pulpy interior into a blender.  Blend on low for a minute or so to help separate the seeds from the pulp, then strain through a sieve.  Discard the seeds.

Combine the tunas pulp, tangerine juice, tequila, and Cointreau/Gran Marnier into a shaker and shake.  Put ice into two glasses and pour the mixture into the glasses.  Enjoy!



2 Responses to “Wet Bar Wednesday – Prickly Pear Margaritas”

  1. Wet Bar Wednesday – Margarita | Living Apologetics Says:

    […] I haven’t dwelt on variations of the margarita, like the raspberry lime margarita, or the prickly pear margarita.  But I seem to have neglected the basic format.  Mea […]

  2. Wet Bar Wednesday – Avocado Margarita | Living Apologetics Says:

    […]  In the past couple of years I’ve posted three different margarita recipes (traditional, cactus, and raspberry).  I’ve experimented with probably half a dozen more recipes I haven’t […]

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