closeup of fresh prickly pear margaritas in a glass rimmed with sugar

Why I love this margarita recipe

I’m not usually pick about my margaritas, I love them all, but this beautiful margarita is hard for me to pass up. If there’s a prickly pear margarita on my menu, you can bet that I’m order one. Maybe even two.

Obviously, prickly pears are not grown locally. Thankfully, my favorite grocery store carries them pretty regularly, but it wasn’t until our recent trip to Arizona was derailed that I actually bought some.

If I couldn’t go to the desert, I figured I could bring the desert to me in the form of a cocktail.

hand taking a cocktail from a pink surface

Here’s what you’ll need to make them

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Typically, prickly pear margaritas are made with a prickly pear syrup, but I decided against it. Partially because I didn’t feel like making the syrup, and partially because we prefer our cocktails less sweet.

Ripe prickly pears are already sweet, and there’s plenty of added sugar in the triple sec anyway. If you want to add extra sweetness, or if your prickly pears are quite ripe enough, feel free to add the agave syrup I have listed in the recipe. Otherwise, you can leave it out.

How to make prickly pear margaritas

Make prickly pear juice. Peel and half your prickly pears. Add them to a blender and puree until smooth. Strain the liquid into a pitcher (or store it in a jar for later).

Mix the margarita. Add the prickly pear juice with the rest of the ingredients to a pitcher with ice. Stir until combined.

Add sweetener. Give the mixture a quick taste. If it needs some extra sweetener, stir in about 2 tablespoons of agave nectar and adjust from there.

Serve over ice. Rim your glasses with sugar (or salt if you prefer) and pour the margaritas into the glasses. Add extra ice if needed and garnish with a lime.

To make blended margaritas: Add the ingredients to a blender with about 2 cups of ice and process until smooth. Serve in sugar-rimmed glasses.

closeup of a prickly pear margarita

FAQs and tips for making the best prickly pear margarita

What is a prickly pear margarita?

A prickly pear margarita is a tequila cocktail made with prickly pear juice, triple sec and lime juice. It is bright pink in color and is generally sweeter than traditional margaritas.

Is triple sec necessary for margaritas?

You don’t have to use triple sec to make margaritas. You can substitute simple syrup or agave nectar, but a liqueur adds a little more flavor than sweeteners do while still adding sweetness. Triple sec is orange flavored, but you could swap it for a different flavor liqueur, such as Cointreau (orange), Chambord (raspberry) or St. Germain (elderflower).

How long does a pitcher of margaritas last?

A pitcher of margaritas can last for up to a week in the fridge, but I recommend not adding ice until you’re ready to serve or you’ll end up with a watered-down cocktail.

What is the best tequila for margaritas?

To make the best margaritas, you’ll want to use a decent quality tequila. Since you’re mixing the tequila with other ingredients, I recommend opting for middle of the road price point, something is still affordable without sacrificing too much quality. I prefer to use silver tequila in my recipes because I prefer the taste, but gold tequila will work, too.

overhead image of three margaritas

More margarita recipes you’ll love:

This drink would be great with:


Fresh Prickly Pear Margaritas

Prickly pear margaritas are one of my favorite fruity cocktails, and it’s so easy to make this vibrant, pink drink at home. You don’t even need to make a syrup. Serve them on the rocks or blended with ice for a refreshing summer cocktail.

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 margaritas 1x
  • Category: Cocktails
  • Method: Mixing
  • Cuisine: Mexican/American
  • Diet: Vegan


  • 8 prickly pears, peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups tequila
  • 1/2 cup triple sec
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar (optional)


In a blender, puree the prickly pears until smooth. Strain the juice into a pitcher.

Add the tequila, triple sec, lime juice (and agave, if using) and ice. Stir to combine.

Rim your margaritas glasses with sugar. Pour margaritas into prepared glasses, adding additional ice if needed. Garnish with a lime wedge.


To make a blended margarita, add about 2 cups of ice and blend until smooth.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 195
  • Sugar: 9.8 g
  • Sodium: 43 mg
  • Fat: 0.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 31.5 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 1.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: dairy free, vegan, gluten free, egg free, easy, cocktail, tequila, margarita, prickly pear

Last Updated on July 25, 2020 by Melissa Belanger

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