Prickly Pear Margarita Recipe (Cocktail or Mocktail)


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This prickly pear margarita features a homemade prickly pear simple syrup mixed with non-alcoholic or regular tequila, and fresh lime juice, and topped with tonic water. A vibrant, refreshing summer beverage for any hot day. 

a prickly pear margarita in a glass with ice

What is Prickly Pear?

Prickly pear is a type of cactus native to the Americas. It has flat, pad-like stems with spines and small, hair-like prickles. Prickly pears produce vibrant flowers and edible fruits. The fruit, called prickly pear or cactus pear, is sweet and juicy, with a flavor similar to a cross between watermelon and bubblegum. 

Prickly pear is used in various culinary dishes, drinks, and traditional medicine due to its nutritional content and potential health benefits. Today, we’re turning a classic margarita into a prickly pear version by making our own prickly pear syrup, which is easy and makes such a delicious drink!

What Makes This Recipe Great

This Prickly Pear Margarita is an easy margarita recipe that can be made into a mocktail or cocktail. It’s made with prickly pear pulp and fresh juice turned into a simple syrup, then mixed with tequila (or tequila alternative). The resulting drink has a delicious flavor and the first sip will absolutely delight you! 

I love this drink because it’s a super refreshing summer cocktail that is easy enough to make, with a beautiful bright pink color and amazing taste. I think you’ll love it just like I do!

Ingredient Notes

recipe ingredients on a white background

Prickly Pear Syrup Recipe

  • prickly pear fruit: The star of the show! 
  • filtered water
  • granulated sugar
  • lime juice


  • prickly pear syrup
  • tequila or non-alcoholic alternative: I used Lyre’s for the mocktail version. Feel free to use any regular tequila blanco, reposado tequila, or alternative available. 
  • fresh limes
  • tonic water
  • coarse sea salt or kosher: For the rim of the glass.
  • lime slices for garnish. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

prickly pear syrup in a saucepan
  1. Prickly pear simple syrup: Add prickly pear juice and pulp, sugar, water, and lime juice to a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a low boil, stirring to ensure all of the sugar is dissolved, then lower the heat to a simmer and let cook for 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender and mix ingredients. Then push through a fine mesh strainer, and let cool. The sweetness of the syrup adds a delicious taste to the margarita. 
  2. For a salt rim: Use a lime wedge or agave nectar to coat the rim of a margarita glass, then dip the glass into a small plate of coarse sea salt. Set the prepared glass aside and make your margarita. 
  3. To assemble the drink: Add prickly pear syrup, tequila or alternative, and lime juice to a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake to combine, then pour this mixture between two glasses over ice. Top off with tonic water and enjoy. Garnish with a lime slice if desired. 

Expert Tips

  • To make a batch of these prickly pear margaritas, simply double or triple the recipe in the printable recipe card below. Add to a large pitcher of ice cubes, and stir. Pour into glasses with fresh ice, then top with tonic water. 
  • Use your favorite non-alcoholic tequila or any type of tequila you prefer. I recommend Blanco tequila for these margaritas. 
  • If making a regular cocktail version, feel free to add 1 ounce of orange liqueur like triple sec or Cointreau. 
  • Check the produce section of your local grocery store for fresh prickly pears. They’re usually in season in late summer from August to October. If you can’t find fresh fruit, you may be able to source them in the frozen section. 
  • To make a frozen margarita, add ingredients to your blender with fresh ice cubes and blend on high for 30 seconds. 
a prickly pear margarita in a glass with ice

Recipe FAQs

What does prickly pear taste like?

Prickly pear fruit has a juicy flesh with a sweet, mild flavor. The taste can be described as a mix of strawberry and watermelon, with subtle floral notes. Overall, it’s a refreshing and unique flavor that many people enjoy.

If you make this recipe, be sure to let me know what you think with a comment below! Follow me on Instagram for more delicious recipes!

Prickly Pear Margarita (mocktail)

Servings: 2 people
Prep: 5 minutes


Prickly Pear Syrup

  • 1/2 cup prickly pear fruit
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice


  • 2 oz prickly pear syrup
  • 2 oz NA tequila alternative I used Lyre's
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • Tonic water to top


  • Add prickly pear pulp, sugar, water and lime juice to a small sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a low boil, stirring to ensure all of the sugar is dissolved, then lower the heat to a simmer and let cook for 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender, push through a fine sieve and let cool. 
  • To assemble the drink, add prickly pear syrup, tequila alternative and lime juice to a shaker with ice. Shake to combine, then divide this mixture between two glasses over ice. Top off with tonic water and enjoy. 

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this recipe?Tag @veggiekins on Instagram and hashtag it with #veggiekins

About Remy Park

Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.

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