Smoky mezcal, prickly pear syrup and juice, along with lime juice makes this refreshing Prickly Pear Mezcal Cocktail.
What is Mezcal?
Mezcal is smokey cousin of Tequila. Mezcal is obtained from assorted different species of Maguey( Agave) it is more than a beverage.
70% of Mezcal is produced in Oaxaca and there are more than 30 varieties of Agave.
Each plants take different time to grow ranging from seven to 25 year. This makes Mezcal different from any other beverage in the world.
In Mexico, mezcal is generally consumed straight and has a strong smoky flavor.
Though mezcal is not as popular as tequila, it is made specifically from the blue agave. It is still made from the heart of the agave plant, called the piña, in much the same way as it was done 200 years ago
Despite the similar name, mezcal does not contain mescaline or other psychedelic substances.
This was inspired by my other recipe on this site.
Difference between Mezcal and Tequila
1) All tequilas are mezcals, but not all mezcals are tequilas. As tequilas and mezcals are agave-based cocktail however mezcal is made only from blue agave.
Both Mezcal and Tequila, are distilled differently. Tequila is typically produced by steaming the agave inside industrial ovens before being distilled two or three times in copper pots.
Mezcal, on the other hand, is cooked inside earthen pits which are lined with lava rocks and filled with wood and charcoal before being distilled in clay pots
Depending upon aging, tequila comes in three varieties: blanco (silver or plato which is 0-2 months), reposado ( which is 2-12 months) and anejo ( which is 1-3 years).
Mezcal is also grouped into three categories according to age, including joven (blanco or abacado which is 0-2 months), reposado (2-12 months) and anejo (at least one year).
Both Tequila and mezcal are about 38% to 55% ABV (Alcohol by Volume), which is 76-110 proof.
How to make Prickly Pear Mezcal Cocktail
To make this refreshing and colorful cocktail you need following ingredients.
- Prickly pear: I used fresh prickly pear and prickly pear syrup to enhance the fruity taste.
- Mezcal : Mezcal joven is used as they are best for cocktails
- Lime juice: Yes, prickly pear goes well with lime juice.
- Ice cubes
- Coarse salt : for rim
- Prickly pear syrup is made with fresh prickly pear juice, sugar, cinnamon, and all spice berries.
See recipe card for quantities.
While extracting the juice of prickly pear, you need to peel the outer covering and scoop out the flesh and using a strainer just mash with a spoon .
If you are going to use blender there is chance that some seeds will get ground also then you may need to strain twice before using it in the drink
Use fresh juice for make prickly pear syrup. Use 1: 1 ratio of sugar and juice. Adding lime juice and spices makes more colorful and flavorful.
When you are making the drink, first add prickly pear fruit, lime juice and prickly pear syrup and crush them to release the juice.
Then add Mezcal and shake all the ingredients with ice and strain it into a glass with ice. and strain it into a glass with ice
You need add fresh prickly pear fruit about 2 inch.
Then add freshly squeezed lime juice
Then to this add Homemade prickly pear syrup. Recipe is in the recipe card.
Then muddle everything add finally add Mezcal.
Add everything into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Then strain it into glass with ice.
1. To make this pretty drink, first thing is choosing prickly pear. Try to find the red colored one rather than green colored prickly pear .
2. Use gloves while handling the fruit also try to remove the skin.
3. Using a strainer and spoon works better than a blender as in latter there is chance of getting the seeds ground.
4. You can use either fresh lime juice or bottled one.
5. if you want extra smoky flavor, try to use aged Mezcal.
6. You can use tajin or chili salt or salt and sugar combo. One thing not to forget this part.
If you want to try tequila then see this Prickly pear Margarita
from this site.
Tools: you need a good cocktail shaker with strainer. if you wan you can use strainer
Glass used for this drink is old fashioned.
For salt the rim you can either use coarse salt like I used or use Sal de Gusano salt rim
You can make ahead prickly pear syrup and store it upto 2 weeks in referigerator.
Do you love more prickly pear recipes
Prickly Pear Mezcal Cocktail Recipe
- Cocktail shakers
- Old fashioned glass
- 2 oz. Joven mezcal
- ¾ oz. Prickly pear syrup
- 2- inch prickly pear fruit Roja pelona
- ¾ oz. fresh lime juice
- ½ cup red prickly pear juice ( roja pelona) about 3 prickly pear
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 2 all spice berries
- First in a cocktail shaker add prickly pear fruit, prickly pear syrup and lime juice and muddle to release the juice.
- To this add Mezcal.
- Combine all ingredients in a tin and shake well with ice. Strain into a salt-rimmed glass filled with fresh ice.
Prickly Pear Syrup
- Remove the skin with a knife and de-seed the prickly pears.
- In a strain using a spoon extract the juice.
- Place the juice a saucepan with water, sugar, all spice berries, and cinnamon stick. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes. Fine strain through a chinois or cheesecloth. Bottle and refrigerate. The syrup will last approximately 2 weeks.
This is Swathi ( Dr. Ambujom Saraswathy Ph.D) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.