Friday, February 18, 2011

The Lemonista's Prickly Pear Margaritas & A Giveaway!

Did you know that some cactus are edible?
Yep.  And one cactus in particular produces a delicious fruit~ 
The Prickly Pear Cactus.

Prickly pear cactus are very common in Phoenix and the fruit this cactus produces has the most AMAZING magenta color! 

This fruit is often made into a syrup and then the syrup is used to flavor foods.  Prickly pear syrup is simply dreamy.  It has a sweet-tart taste that reminds me of a Smarties candy.  I guess I could go through the trouble of making my own but I found a local product that is so darn good that I figure, why bother? 

Cheri's Desert Harvest makes the most delicious prickly pear syrup.
You can pick this up at AJ's grocery store in Phoenix, but if don't live in AZ, then you can purchase this online. 

**********Giveaway Alert**********  
I picked up an extra bottle of Cheri's Prickly Pear Syrup for my beloved blog followers.  So leave a comment on this post and I'll do a drawing on Sunday 2/20 and ship a bottle to the winner's front door.  :-)

There are many great recipe suggestions on Cheri's Desert Harvest website, but I find adding this syrup to anything with citrus results in the perfect harmony of flavors.  Being a margarita gal. I always order a prickly pear margarita whenever it's an available option. I've been playing around with my own perfect prickly pear margarita for a couple of years now. I'm happy to report that last summer I finally perfected it. (You can ask my neighbor Stephanie who suffered through the taste tests! LOL!! ) Not only is this drink amazingly delicious, it is also one of the prettiest drinks I've ever seen. Don't take my word for it, however. Make up your own batch and be the judge. This triumph of a drink will have you smacking your lips together and grinning from ear to ear.

The Lemonista’s Prickly Pear Margaritas
Yields one pitcher.

2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
2 cups margarita mix
the juice of one whole lime
1 cup Patron silver tequila
1/4 cup Cuarntro or Grande Mariner
1/3 cup Prickly pear syrup

Mix all ingredients.  Serve on the rocks with a salted rim glass.


***Updated with my favorite Margarita mix!  Thanks Corina for your question.
I LOVE Dr. Swami & Bone Daddy's Margarita Mix. 
Margarita Gourmet Drink Mix - 4 pack
I find this at Safeway or Vonns grocery store, but you can order online if you cannot find it at your local grocery store. 

~The Lemonista

*In full disclosure, Mike took my camera on his trip this week, so all of the photos on this post have been "borrowed" from the Internet. If I take any of the photos down, then you'll know I got dinged. Wink.


  1. Never heard of this drink!! Looks fantastic and would definitely try it.
    You are fab Erin!!

  2. Yum!!!! what brand Margarita mix do you use?

  3. Great post! Brings me back to my childhood. My dad had a good friend who worked at a great produce market, and he would always bring us prickly pears! Such an amazing fruit! Have to ask dad tonight if he still gets them!

  4. Thanks for the great question, Corina! I just updated the post with my favorite Margarita Mix :-)

  5. looks yummy! Have you ever sugared the rim, rather than salt? I love sugared rims with margaritas!

  6. i love prickly pear. i learned about a cocktail from that victory garden show on pbs...and would love to try prickly pear in MO :*(

  7. Allison, YES, you could certainly use sugar on the rim and lots of places serve it that way in AZ. I just prefer the salt, but both are good!

  8. Wow I would love to try your recipe and make it. SO yummy! Thanks for the great giveaway :)

  9. I would love to win some of this--I've never had it but it sounds DELICIOUS! Thanks for the idea!

  10. OMG - this looks delish! Can't wait to try the recipe!

  11. Never heard of this drink....but it sounds heavenly!!

  12. That looks so good erin! i could really use a margarita right about now!!!

  13. Yum-O! I fell in love with stuff when I spent 2 weeks there for your beautiful wedding!! I few times I have made it back since then, that is the first thing I go for:) Thanks for sharing!!! Maggie

  14. as always you are an inspiration - and those margaritas help too - yumm!!!

  15. Oooh, I have never had prickly pear anything, but now I definitely want to try! Sounds devine.

  16. Yummo!! Never had prickly pear anything, but it sounds divine!

  17. I am definitely making this when my aunt and uncle visit next. They love a good marg and how perfect for guests visiting the SW. The color is so cute too and I like how you added a fresh lemon slice from your tree!

  18. My husband loves these! I would love to make these so my best friend who just moved back from Arizona won't be too homesick! :-)

  19. I've never tried this but it sounds awesome!! Very few cacti in Alaska...

  20. I want it and I actually NEED it. A friend and I are hosting a canning party later this month and we are doing Salsa and Margarita mix. How awesome would it be to do PPM? Yuuuuuuuum.

  21. I would add a category for "drinks"