Alcohol Free Prickly Pear Margarita
One of the best things about mocktails is how versatile they are. No matter what time of day or where you're at, you can sip on a delicious mocktail without scrutiny or fear of overindulging. When it comes to refreshing spring virgin cocktails, the prickly pear margarita is quickly becoming a fan favorite.
While most bars will serve a prickly pear with regular Tequila, we're opting to substitute this liquor for Durangold, a delicious Tequila alternative from Seir Hill. Whether you're living in the desert or just like a colorful and tasty mocktail, this prickly pear margarita recipe is sure to tickle your tastebuds!
A Brief History of the Prickly Pear Margarita
First things first - what is a prickly pear? The name stems from a cactus that grows throughout the American Southwest but particularly well in Arizona. In fact, this cactus is native to the region, with a range that spans from Mexico to Texas to California. If you think you haven't seen a prickly pear, you probably have. While these cacti are not as ubiquitous as the saguaros with curved arms, they are pretty ubiquitous.
You can tell a prickly pear by its wide, flat pads that have relatively massive spikes sticking out. Around each pad is a cluster of pinkish-purple nodes, which is where the cactus gets its name. As you might imagine, these fruits are not related to pears, but they can kind of resemble pears when picked and de-spined.
The fruits of a prickly pear are most ripe during the summer, but locals have a special way of extracting the best flavor from these Southwestern treats. Boiling the "pears" eliminates much of the sourness and brings out the delicious sugary flavor. Many people use these fruits for syrups and jams, but they also work well for virgin cocktails.
Technically, the origin of the prickly pear margarita dates back to the 1830s, but not in the Southwest region. Instead, the first mention of adding prickly pear juice to an alcoholic drink is from Colorado, from a place called Bent's Fort. However, the official margarita recipe is much more recent, originating at a restaurant called The Fort, which drew from Colorado's trading history to develop this cocktail.
Since its inception, prickly pear margaritas have taken Arizona and the rest of the Southwest by storm. In fact, according to the website hangovercure.org, this beverage is the most popular cocktail in Arizona, with Texas claiming the standard margarita (and for good reason).
What You'll Need to Make a Prickly Pear Margarita With Tequila Alternative
Don't worry; you don't have to go out and tackle a cactus to make this cold spring beverage. Instead, you can buy pre-made prickly pear syrup online and have it shipped to your front door for added convenience.
That said, if you have a need to find and boil your own prickly pear fruits, feel free to follow this recipe to make your own syrup. Once you're finished with that, join the rest of us in making the best spring mocktail around.
In addition to this unique syrup, you'll also need something in which to put sugar (or salt) on the rim of your margarita glass. Oh yeah, you'll need a margarita glass if you want the full experience. This type of glass isn't technically essential, but it goes a long way toward enhancing the look and taste of this beverage. Finally, you need a cocktail shaker to mix the ingredients.
As far as actual ingredients, this low alcohol recipe needs:
- 2 oz sweet and sour mix
- 2 oz Durangold Tequila Alternative
- 1 oz triple sec (use a non-alcoholic version for an alcohol-free mocktail)
- 1 oz fresh lime juice (can use concentrate if necessary)
- 1 oz prickly pear syrup
- Salt or sugar for the rim
- Lime wedge as a garnish
How to Make a Prickly Pear Margarita Mocktail
Wet the edge of your margarita glass with a lime and then dip the edge into either salt or sugar (your preference). If you want to stick with the theme, you can use Himalayan pink salt so it fits with the colorful aesthetic.
Next, add the rest of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well until cold. Strain the mixture into your margarita glass and add a lime wedge for a garnish. Bottoms up!
Variations of the Recipe for Prickly Pear Margarita
As with all delicious spring drinks, you want to try the original recipe before changing any of the ingredients or steps involved. Once you've tried the OG prickly pear, here are some ways to add variety to this mocktail:
- Make it Frozen - Adding more ice and blending everything in a blender can deliver a much more refreshing treat on a hot spring (or summer) day.
- Make it Bubbly - If you want a more distinct mouthfeel, you can add a 1/2 ounce of sparkling water to the mix. For best results, we recommend putting it on top so you get the bubbling sensation as you drink. Otherwise, shaking the carbonated water can make it taste flat.
If you want more mocktail recipes with Durangold Tequila alternatives, you can check out different options here. Seir Hill also sells alcohol-free rum and whiskey, so you can keep your bar stocked and your mind clear.