Like a desert-dwelling version of some multi-limbed sea coral, the prickly pear cactus has long been synonymous with the American Southwest, though the plant likely originated in Mexico and has since become naturalized in arid climates on nearly every continent. The paddles of the cactus, called nopales, are edible and often used in Mexican cooking. In late summer, the cactus’ blossoms give way to a crown of vibrantly hued fruit that are sweet, juicy and similar in consistency to kiwi. The fruit is a natural match for the flavors of agave spirits, but it also works with grassy rhum agricole. Here are a few recipes to experiment with.
A simple mix of mezcal, lime and prickly pear.
Hearts & Minds
Rhum agricole anchors this surprising mix of prickly pear, lemon, Fernet and sparkling wine.
The Prickly Pear
Habanero tincture and a cactus infusion sets this recipe apart.
Maximot Bistro Margarita
Muddled prickly pear lends a little sweetness to the classic margarita.
Mezcali mi Banana
Banana, mezcal and grapefruit make for an irresistible combo.
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