Home » Cocktails » PRICKLY PEAR MARGARITA: A Unique Variation


Prickly Pear Margarita is one of the most unique variations to the original lime margarita. It’s sweet and juicy taste and appetizing looks are sure to leave you asking more for it. The characteristic pink color of this drink comes not from any artificial coloring but from the Prickly Pear Cactus. This version of the drink uses Prickly Pear syrup, which is magenta in color, along with the classic margarita ingredients – the tequila, triple sec and lime juice. 


Prickly Pears are a staple in Mexican culture. Prickly Pear is a fruit that grows on a Cactus called the “Opuntia” and is widely found in Mexico and the deserts of the American Southwest. The fruit has a vibrant pink color with notes of watermelon and raspberry to its flavor. You may even find the taste resembling a little bit to that of bubblegum.

The name “prickly” pear comes from the sharp glochids present on its skin which are, however, removed when the fruit is sold in grocery stores and market vendors. The fruit is rich in fibers and essential antioxidants and is widely used in desserts, drinks, jams and syrups for its refreshing sweet taste. 



  • Prickly Pear Syrup – 1 ounce
  • Tequila – 1½ ounce or 44 ml

(Blanco or reposado)

  • Lime juice – 1 ounce or 30 ml
  • Triple Sec – 1 ounce or 30 ml
  • Ice cubes 
  • Lemon slices for garnish


Prickly Pear Margaritas can be prepared using the regular prickly pear syrup, also known as tuna fruit syrup, which can be easily found in your market. You can either use that or follow these steps to make your own syrup at home.

The Prickly Pear Syrup :

  1. Take 2-3 prickly pears and cut them in halves. 
  2. Take out the tiny hard seeds. As many as you can.
  3. Scoop out the flesh of the fruit using a spoon.
  4. Put the flesh in a pan and simmer it with some water and sugar. Simmer until the fruit releases its juice and thickens a bit.
  5. Strain the juice in a container using a mesh sieve. Press the remaining pulp using a spoon to squeeze out the remaining juice.
  6. Allow the juice to cool by refrigerating it before consumption.

The Cocktail :

  1. Put the ingredients – tequila, triple sec, lime juice, prickly pear syrup and ice in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake until cold.
  3. Strain the drink in salt rimmed margarita glasses. To know more about the salty rim, check out our original recipe.
  4. Add some ice cubes and garnish with a slice of lemon.

Tequila Recommendations :

While you can choose from the wide variety of recommended tequila brands from the original margarita recipe, we’ve also got some specific tequila brands that’ll do the magic for the prickly pear margarita. These range from mid range to premium tequilas with smooth texture and agave forward notes :

  1. Espolòn Tequila Blanco – $26.99
  2. DeLeón Blanco Tequila – $39.99
  3. El Tosoro Blanco Tequila – $46.99

Additional Tips :

  • The seeds of the fruit are difficult to chew. There is no harm in swallowing them and it’s entirely your preference to either keep them or remove them.
  • Using prickly pear syrup from stores is an equally good option.
  • Prefer using ripe ones, which are green or red in color and heavy for its size. Hold the fruit from the stem-end and the blunt end to avoid touching the spines.

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