Party On with Kel’s Prickly Pear Margaritas

Pretty in Pink

This past Christmas while Brad and I were in Phoenix, I started thinking about what kind of margaritas I’d be making this year for Cinco de Mayo. Quite the little planner, aren’t I? Only for important stuff, though. Anyway, what actually happened is I ran across some prickly pear cactus syrup at one of the gift shops we visited and thought about Bobby Flay’s wonderful cactus pear margaritas, which I get every time we visit his Mesa restaurant in Vegas. Here’s a picture of the last one I drank:

Mesa Grill Cactus pear margarita

What exactly is a prickly pear cactus? Here’s a close up view of one I took while we were hiking.

Prickly Pear Cactus, up close

Prickly pear cacti have flat, fleshy, green-colored pads that are oval to round in shape. And prickles. Lots and lots and lots of extremely sharp prickles. That’s probably how it got its name.

Luckily, I found the syrup already bottled for me and didn’t have to worry about getting stabbed by one of those sharp prickles.

Prickly Pear Cactus Syrup

Not so luckily, this syrup is hard to find if you don’t live in a southwestern state, but you can always order some online. Or take a trip to Phoenix. Or make one of my other delicious margaritas, as mentioned at the end of this post.

Ingredients (Serves 2-4, depending on the size of your glass)

Kel's Prickly Pear Cactus Margarita ingredients

  • 8 ounces tequila (I prefer blanco, but choose your own poison)
  • 4 ounces orange liqueur
  • 2 ounces prickly pear cactus syrup (I used Cheri’s)
  • 3 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Lime wedges
  • Coarse salt (I used margarita salt in a silly little sombrero container, but any coarse salt is fine.)


Place a handful of ice cubes in a large cocktail shaker. Add the tequila, orange liqueur, cactus syrup and lime juice. Work those arm muscles and shake it up a bunch.

Rub a lime wedge around the rim of your glass. Dip your glass into the salt, twirling it several times so the salt will stick to the glass, and then fill it with ice.

Rim glass with salt and add ice

Strain the prickly pear margarita into the glass.

Kel's Prickly Pear Cactus Margaritas

Garnish with lime wedges, sit back, and enjoy!

As promised, here’s a link to a blog I wrote about tequila in general and includes recipes for melon margaritas and Charlie Murray-inspired strawberry margaritas:

Melon margaritas

Margarita Bottoms up

So celebrate Cinco de Mayo (or any day of the year) with one of these yummy and refreshing margaritas and please always remember to drink responsibly!

Bon appétit!

Eat, drink and be merry!

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