We just returned from our spring break vacation in Arizona. I grew up there and I relished the idea of showing my 11 year old all the things I loved about such a beautiful state. Like this sunset:
And this blooming cactus:
Are you kidding me? Where else do you see things like this? We had the best time traveling from the valley to the Grand Canyon and back again. We were there eight days and could have been there for weeks and weeks. But we hit some of the best parts and most important of all, my daughter came back appreciating the same things I do about Arizona. Like the food (oh my gosh the Mexican food). And the stunning desert landscapes. And the way the pine trees up north smell like vanilla.
One thing I brought back from Arizona that my daughter didn’t was a love for Prickly Pear Margaritas (yes it’s in caps. They are that good). I mean, she’s 11. Funny story: our first night in Arizona my husband ordered a prickly pear margarita. It came out hot pink. He was secure enough in his masculinity to enjoy every sip. Anyway, I procured a bottle of prickly pear syrup so that I could recreate these sensational margaritas (and any other cocktail I deem fit) anytime I wanted.
I think it’s my duty to inform you that in Mexico prickly pear is used widely as an anti-hangover remedy. It’s also high in vitamin C and is full of anti-inflammatory compounds. A very tiny study seems to show that it might also help lower your LDL (the bad) cholesterol levels. Do with that what you will (I write a wellness blog after all, I think you should know these things). As always, don’t take my word for it. Talk to your doctor about this stuff.
Anyway, I think this will be the drink of the summer.
3 ounces tequila of your choice
1/2 ounce Cointreau
2 ounces lime juice (Or more to taste. I squeezed another wedge of lime in my glass)
2 ounces prickly pear syrup (I like Cheri’s Harvest because it’s all natural and doesn’t use preservatives or artificial colors or flavors)
Margarita salt for garnishing the glass
Combine the tequila, Cointreau, lime juice and prickly pear syrup in a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Use a wedge of lime to wet the rim of a margarita glass and dip into the margarita salt that you’ve poured onto a plate. Pour margarita into glass over ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Keep an eye out for more prickly pear syrup recipes, because YUM!