My friend Stephan gave me this recipe, which was inspired by a few poor days of dove hunting. Having no luck with bird hunting, he collected some of the prickly pears from a cactus plant as he ambled through the goatweed. Once home, he pureed the prickly pear (tuna) into a cocktail with a South Texas signature. The sweet raspberry-like flavor of the pureed tunas and the bracing tang of tequila naturally go together. I can just imagine him serving these to his hunting buddies and laughing about that day, as they watch the doves dart across the clear orange October sky.
Margaritas de Tuna Recipe
- Salt for rims of glasses, plus a piece of cut lime (optional)
- 4 ounces tequila
- 4 tablespoons cactus pear puree (see below)
- 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 ounces orange-flavored liqueur, such as Cointreau
How to Make a Prickly Pear Margarita
Salt the rims of your wine glasses if you wish: fill a saucer with salt; run the cut lime around the rim of each glass, then dip the rims in the salt.
Fill a cocktail shaker with 2 or 3 ice cubes, or 1/2 cup crushed ice. Pour in the tequila, puree, lime juice, sugar, and orange liqueur, and cap the shaker. Shake for about 15 seconds. Strain the cocktail into your prepared glass.
You'll need two prepared glasses for this recipe.
You'll need about two fresh prickly pears. You need to peel the cactus pears by using a fork and knife, never touching the skin of the cactus pears with your bear hands (invisible thorns!). To do this, hold the pear in place with the for and cut off one end of the pear, then the other. Lay the pear on its side and slit the pear vertically. With the fork, pull the skin of the pear down and hold the skin against the cutting surface with the fork as you roll the fruit out of the skin with the knife. Place the whole skinned fruits in a blender with enough water to facilitate blending about 1/4 cup. Puree well and strain out seeds with a mesh strainer. The puree is now ready for use!
Simple Tip: You can make a larger quantity of puree simply by increasing the number of prickly pears and the water. Store the extra puree in the freezer by pouring it into ice cube trays. When you need it, you can pop out a cube of frozen puree, which is approximately 2 tablespoons.