Prickly Pear Juice Sparkling Lemonade is a fun way of using prickly pears in summertime when the thorny fruits are ripe. We’re using homemade prickly pear syrup, lemons, and sparkling water for this homage to the Mexican desert for a refreshing drink fit for the warmest days. I’ll also tell you how to make traditional prickly pear juice.
Hello my friends. Let’s start from the beginning; what are prickly pears? Well, these thorny fruits come from a cactus, and they’re just what you’d want to find when stranded in the Mexican desert; they’re incredibly watery and refreshing. They’re also packed with vitamin C and natural electrolytes, so they’re nature’s answer to today’s sports drinks.
What to do with prickly pears? The sky’s the limit as long as you’re comfortable handling the spiny fruit, check the Prickly Pear Syrup recipe post, where I have a video showing you how to handle and cut this cactus fruit. You can use prickly pears from salads to smoothies to juice; there are many ways of adding prickly pears to your diet. My favorite? The sparkling prickly pear juice lemonade.
Everyone loves homemade lemonade, especially in summer. Still, some lemonades are simply better than others, and this one with prickly pears might just be the most thirst-quenching mixed drink to come out of our kitchen.
How to make traditional Prickly Pear Juice?
So, below you’ll find a recipe for a lovely prickly pear lemonade, and we make it with homemade prickly pear syrup, sparkling water, sugar, and lemon juice. We’ve taken inspiration in the traditional way of making prickly pear juice, one that probably goes back for centuries down in Mexico.
Traditionally, prickly pears are used to make ‘agua fresca.’ And as you might know, these ‘fresh waters’ come in all colors and flavors, from rice-based horchata to ruby-hued hibiscus flower water. Well, prickly pears are also part of the enormous repertoire of fresh Mexican drinks.
Typically, people would peel prickly pears and blend them with sugar and plain water to make a pitcher of prickly pear juice or water. But what happens with all those seeds in the spiny fruit? People just don’t mind — it’s fiber, right?
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How Do You Make Sparkling Prickly Pear Juice Lemonade?
Although dietary fiber is good for you, I use prickly pear syrup for this lemonade, which I strained to preserve the spiny fruit’s purest essence. The rest is easy. I combine lemon juice, prickly pear syrup, and freshly squeezed lemon juice and gently stir the mix with sparkling water for one good lemonade.
You still need to add more sweetness to the mixture, and you have a couple of options like artificial sweetener, sugar, or honey. But I prefer to make an easy, simple syrup by adding ½ cup sugar and ⅓ cup water in a small saucepan and heat it until the sugar dissolves. I like syrup because it will incorporate better with cold liquids.
You can also try making yours with lime juice for yet another layer of Mexican flavor. Either way, serve this beauty over ice and sip your way through summer.
Prickly pears are not always available. They’re actually a hard find depending on where you live, so if you see them, snatch a few. Whatever you do with them, whether it's margaritas, agua fresca, or lemonade, you’ll be happy you picked some up.
Now, let’s head on to making today’s recipe. If you think you know lemonade, this one will surely give you something new to quench your thirst! I hope you get a chance to make this sparkling prickly pear juice lemonade.
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