I’ve been on the hunt for cactus pears for MONTHS. No exaggeration whatsoever. I’ve gone to farmer’s markets, all the ethnic markets I know, and all the basic markets just to be told they are out of season or not currently in stock. So irritating. At one point I got so desperate I even went to Bevmo and purchased prickly pear (kinda interchangeable) concentrate in hopes that it would get the job done (it didn’t).
Ok, so to be honest, the reason I’ve been dying for these damn pears is purely for the color. I love scouring Pinterest for fun spicy recipes and when I saw the magenta shade of the prickly / cactus pear drinks I obviously HAD to have it. Little did I know it would be months before I ever sipped such perfection in a margarita glass. I don’t know about you but I love a fruit-based cocktail that isn’t sweet. People often mistake my love for fruitiness for sweetness and that is most definitely not the case. I don’t like sweet drinks at all, actually. I also love a good smoky and spicy cocktail and this one covers all three. It’s fruity (not sweet), smoky (because of the mezcal), and spicy (because of the jalapeño).
I recently picked up these cactus pears from Vallarta (make sure you ask the produce specialist for the juiciest ones) in case you’re interested in trying out this drink. The recipe is fairly simple, take a look below.
WHAT YOU NEED:
- 2 ounces mezcal
- 1/2 jalapeño
- 6 ounces ginger beer
- 1 ounce cactus pear puree
- 1 lime
WHAT TO DO:
- Rim your glass with lime and salt, set aside.
- Gut the cactus pears and place into a blender or bullet. Mix until pureed. You might need to add water to break it up.
- In a shaker, muddle the lime juice and jalapeño.
- Add the mezcal, a couple ice cubes, and the prickly pear puree to the shaker & shake well.
- Pour the drink into your glass and add the ginger beer.
- Garnish the drink with a slice of jalapeño.
- Optional: strain the liquid into your glass to avoid seeds and sedatives from the pears if desired. I like mine a little chunky.