Prickly Pear Margarita

Prickly pears also known as tunas in Spanish are a magical fruit that grow on the pads of nopales (cactus paddles). Pear-shaped in appearance, they can range in color from green (less sweet) to red (very sweet). The little spots on them are hair-like splinters that can be very painful to touch, so handle with care.

With Cinco de Mayo around the corner I wanted to share a refreshing cocktail that is exotic and flavorful. This spring margarita is served on the rocks and the tunas used are not vibrant pink but instead a pale pink — the reason is because these are actually a different variety called Xoconostle (pronounced: choko-nose-leh). You might remember this summer frozen prickly pear margarita made with bright pink tunas.

Cinco de mayo margarita

I first made agua de tuna (prickly pear agua fresca) as a mixer and combined it with orange liqueur, fresh lime juice, and the award-winning Exotico tequila reposado. Exotico is 100% blue agave tequila!

pink cocktail

This tequila reposado has hints of vanilla, fruit, spices, with an oak finish as well as hints of caramel and cinnamon. This margarita is an exotic combination that is refreshing, sour, sweet, and tropical.

exotic margarita prickly pear

My grandma had several nopales (cactus paddles) growing along the fence in her backyard in El Paso. Together we would pick the tunas (prickly pears) off the cactus, peel, and eat the sweet fruit. As a tribute to my Grandma—who loved her tunas and color de rosa (the color pink)—I dedicate this beautiful pink margarita in her honor.

Yvette holding a margarita

I’m thrilled to partner with Exotico® tequilas and will be sharing a couple more cocktails in the coming months. Their tequilas are crafted to raise your expectations of what tequila should be. Like the colorful sugar skull suggests, all good spirits and all good things shall rise.

This post is in partnership with Exotico. As always, thank you for reading and for supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.

Photography by Jenna Sparks

Prickly Pear Margarita served in two glasses

Prickly Pear or Xoconostle Margarita

5 (1 rating)
This margarita is an exotic combination that is refreshing, sweet, and tropical.


Agua de Tuna (Prickly Pear Agua Fresca):

  • 10 to 12 prickly pears , peeled - or Xoconostle cactus fruit
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • ½ cup granulated sugar

Prickly Pear Margarita:

  • 2 ounces Exotico tequila reposado, see notes
  • 1 ½ ounces orange liqueur
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 2 ounces prickly pear agua fresca


Agua de Tuna (Prickly Pear Agua Fresca):

  • Blend prickly pears with water, lime juice, and sugar. Strain into a pitcher and discard seeds.

Prickly Pear Margarita:

  • Combine tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and prickly pear agua fresca in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously to incorporate.
  • Serve mixture over ice and garnish with lime and prickly pear slices.


*This tequila reposado has hints of vanilla, fruit, spices, with an oak finish as well as hints of caramel and cinnamon. 
Serving: 1drink, Calories: 297.79kcal, Carbohydrates: 23.27g, Protein: 0.16g, Fat: 0.15g, Saturated Fat: 0.05g, Sodium: 8.13mg, Sugar: 20.88g, Vitamin C: 8.51mg