The prickly pear cactus thrives in the deserts of the American Southwest; its bulbous red fruit is prized for many Mexican and Tex-Mex preparations. This legendary margarita, which takes its distinctive flavor from the fruit, comes from bartender Ruben Bernal at Las Canarias restaurant in San Antonio, Texas. The Texas food writer Robb Walsh included this delicious drink in his roundup "Texas's Margarita Miles," part of our special Road Trip issue (June/July 2008).
For the Prickly Pear-Infused Tequila
- 10 prickly pear fruits
- 1 (750-ml.) bottle of silver tequila
For the Margarita
- 1 tequila-infused prickly pear
- 4 oz. prickly pear–infused tequila
- 2 oz. frozen limeade
- 1 1⁄2 oz. Cointreau
For the infused tequila, peel prickly pears; put into a glass jar. Pour in tequila, seal jar, and let steep for at least 2 days.
To make margaritas, mash 1 prickly pear through a mesh strainer into a bowl; discard seeds. Combine prickly pear–infused tequila, 2 cups crushed ice, limeade, Cointreau, and the mashed prickly pear in blender; purée until slushy.