Our occasion was one of our Foodie Group dinners held a few months ago. The theme was Desert Flora and Fauna, so the prickly pear syrup in our drink fit the bill marvelously. Your blogger will not be documenting that meal as too much time has passed, but it lives on in fond memory especially when raising a glass of Smokey and the Pear. Salut!
Bar Chef Ilise also used orange vincotto in place of bitters (easily swappable if necessary); this is a reduction of non-fermented grapes. Together they create a flavor that is deep, dark, tangy, and refreshing.
Hard to describe but oh so easy to keep on a-sippin'.
Recipe source: Ilise Goldberg
- 1 oz Mezcal
- ½ oz Tequila
- ½ oz Orange Liqueur such as Cointreau
- 1½ oz Prickly Pear or Xoconostle simple syrup*
- ½ oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
- ¼ Teaspoon Orange Vincotto (if you can’t find this use a couple of drops of orange bitters)
- Add ice to a cocktail shaker and then add mezcal, tequila, Cointreau, prickly pear simple syrup, lime juice and orange Vincotto. Shake to blend.
- Pour the beverage over a couple of solid ice cubes in a rocks glass and garnish with fresh or candied prickly pear.
* Prickly Pear or Xoconostle Simple Syrup
Note: Xoconostle is a specific type of prickly pear
- 1 pound of prickly pears or xoconostles (a species of prickly pear), cut into cubes
- 1 cup of water
- ½ cup of sugar (if using a sweeter variety of prickly pear, you may not need as much sugar)
Combine the water and sugar in a pan over high heat and cook until the sugar dissolves. Add the prickly pear or Xoconostle chunks and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and let it simmer for 15 -20 minutes until fruit is soft. Once the fruit is nice and tender use a potato masher and mash the fruit to release as much juice as possible.
Remove the mixture from heat and allow it to cool. Strain the syrup into a container and use cheese cloth with the remaining fruit to squeeze out as much juice as possible. Store for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. If making far in advance the simple syrup freezes well.