What the Hell is a Cactus Pear?


I looked at the little ugly fruit. Not one to have food remorse, I tossed one in my basket. Unloading groceries with my spouse, he held it up and laughed “You bought one sad prickly pear?” I smiled, “Yes- culinary challenge.” He continued to put away groceries and retorted “Well, you want boil it, smash it, and then make simple syrup for cocktails. Want me to help?” This was my culinary challenge, so I declined his offer but informed him he could make dinner. Cheers!

Simple syrup

  • ½ cup cactus pear juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water


  • Prickly pear syrupy
  • 4 mint leaves
  • half one lime
  • 5 ounces vodka
  • Pineapple juice
  • ice cubes

Put the fruit in a pot and add enough water to cover.Place a lid on pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let steep for 30 minutes. Mash the fruit with a potato masher, then push it through a fine-meshed strainer. Measure the strained juice and pour it into a pot. Add equal amounts of sugar and water and a few leaves of mint, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Let it simmer for five minutes. Let it cool for 15 minutes. Muddle together pineapple juice, lime, vodka and syrup in a shaker. Rim glasses with lime juice and place sugar on a plate. Press the rim of a chilled martini or rocks glass into the mixture to rim the edge. Strain cocktail into glass.


The verdict. I am in love with the color- a beautiful magenta. I will warn you, during the straining process it is like slime and one pear gives you barely enough simple syrup for two cocktails. I was sorely reminded of my pomegranate cider, though I would purchase this fruit again. I love the fruity scent, the color, the taste, and the message- don’t judge something on appearance.

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9 Responses to What the Hell is a Cactus Pear?

  1. These are good. We’ll have to try them prepared this way. We’ll let you know how they turn out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. @vapor_sage says:

    San Pellegrino makes a prickly pear Orange with 17% juice if I drank alcohol I would try a cocktail with that

    Liked by 1 person

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