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The prickly pear margarita is the best festive cocktail! The shocking pink color in this recipe is all natural, from prickly pear syrup.

Prickly pear margarita

Here’s a must-make margarita that’s 100% worth seeking out a unique ingredient. It’s the Prickly Pear Margarita! Its shocking pink color is all natural, and comes from the prickly pear cactus. You’d think this bright of a drink would require artificial dyes, but this hue comes straight from nature. The flavor is even better than it looks: it’s sweet and fruity, with notes of raspberry and watermelon. Since we had one at a restaurant in Arizona a while back, we’d been meaning to recreate it! Brightly colored drinks are our jam (like red, green, pink and even blue!), and this one has easily solidified a spot in our hearts.

Ingredients in a prickly pear margarita

The margarita is one of the top classic cocktails of all time, and it has hundreds of variations. The classic version was invented in Mexico in the 1930’s, and is made with just tequila, triple sec and lime juice. A prickly pear margarita is a margarita made with prickly pear syrup, a syrup derived from the fruit of the prickly pear cactus. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make one at home:

Prickly pear syrup

What is prickly pear syrup?

Prickly pear syrup is a syrup made from the juice of the prickly pear fruit. This fruit is harvested from the type of cactus called Opuntia, which grows in the Southwestern US (like New Mexico) and Mexico. Prickly pear fruit is also called tuna (in Spanish) or sabra. The paddle of the cactus is called a nopal. You may have had nopales in Mexican cuisine, and the fruit is widely used from salads to candy. Here’s what to know about getting ahold of prickly pear syrup for this margarita recipe:

  • What does prickly pear syrup taste like? It’s beautifully sweet and fruity, and has a bright magenta color. Some people say it tastes like bubble gum. It’s sweet tart with notes of watermelon and raspberry.
  • Where to buy prickly pear syrup? You can find it at some liquor stores, but it’s easiest to find online. Try this 7 ounce bottle of prickly pear cactus syrup.
  • Can you make prickly pear syrup? You can, if you happen to have prickly pear fruit! Here’s a recipe.

Make a prickly pear margarita, or a pitcher!

Getting ahold of the prickly pear syrup is the hardest part of this prickly pear margarita recipe. Once you’ve got it, it’s easy to make! Head to the recipe below. But first: decide whether you’d like to make a single drink or a pitcher. The single drink is great for one offs, but if you’re entertaining you can make 8 servings at a time. It’s much easier than shaking them all up. Mix together the following in a pitcher:

  • 1 ½ cups tequila
  • 1 cup Cointreau
  • 1 cup lime juice
  • ½ cup prickly pear syrup (this will use 4 ounces of the 7 ounce bottle)
  • 3 handfuls ice

Add them together and stir. Then pour into glasses and serve! We’re 99% sure your guests will be over the moon about the color and flavor of these margaritas. We were, at least!

Prickly pear margarita recipe

More unique margarita recipes

This is one of our top unique margarita recipes that are unexpectedly delicious! Here are a few more that we’ve discovered recently that have been hits:

When to serve a prickly pear margarita

The prickly pear margarita is simple and stunning! It works as a:

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The Prickly Pear Margarita

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


The prickly pear margarita is the best festive cocktail! The shocking pink color in this recipe is all natural, from prickly pear syrup.




  1. Cut a notch in a lime wedge, then run the lime around the rim of a glass. Dip the edge of the rim into a plate of salt (or for a festive look, use Margarita Salt).
  2. Single drink: Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill it with ice. Shake until cold. Strain the margarita into the glass with the salted rim. Fill the glass with ice and serve.
  3. Pitcher (8 servings): Place 1 ½ cups tequila, 1 cup Cointreau, 1 cup lime juice, and ½ cup prickly pear syrup in a pitcher. Add 3 handfuls ice and stir until cold. 


*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Prickly pear margarita, Prickly pear margarita recipe

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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