Happy Friday! Here is one of my fave new cocktail discoveries it's the prickly pear margarita! The prickly pear cactus was designated the official plant symbol of Texas in 1995. Found in the deserts of the American southwest, the fruits of most prickly pear cacti are edible, and have been a source of food to native Americans for thousands of years. ♥
Prickly Pear Syrup:
5 pounds of ripe prickly pears, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cups sugar
1/2 cup agave (you can sub sugar but I like the flavor)
2 ounces white (blanco) tequila (agave) like Espolon
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1/2 ounce prickly pear syrup (or more to your liking)
1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
Garnish: Lime, coarse salt, cayenne salt rim
Using a hand towel that is folded over many times for extra protection or dishwashing latex gloves carefully peel the prickly pears. I find the easiest way to do this is with a vegetable peeler, but a pairing knife can be used too. Roughly chop the pears up into large chunks and put in a small sauce pan with sugar and agave to macerate for five minutes. Once the sugar has drawn out some of the juice then gently simmer pears over medium-low heat until the fruit is completely cooked down and a glossy magenta syrup remains. The syrup should cook until it is thick enough to coat the back of of spoon – the consistencly of olive oil.
Strain the syrup through a small mesh sieve to catch all the little crunchy seeds. Using the back of a ladle or a spoon press the pulp down to release all of the juice. Chill syrup. This can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week in the refrigerator.
For the MARGARITA!
In a cocktail shaker combine white tequila, Cointreau, cactus pear syrup, lime juice and ice cubes. Shake, shake, shake for 10 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini or margarita glass with salt rim enjoy! ♥