Prickly pear frozen margarita

Grocery stores are typically overflowing with prickly pears—known as tunas rojas in Spanish—in August and September. You can eat them plain, use them to make agua fresca de tuna roja, watermelon and prickly pear paletas, prickly pear sorbet or even margaritas! There are so many possibilities.

prickly pear frozen margarita

Prickly pears are full of pectin, which makes them ideal for jelly and jam-making. The pectin produces a syrupy consistency that’s also perfect for blending with ice to make a frozen margarita. I’m serving this margarita for our Mexican Independence Day celebration. It’s a sophisticated representation of the Mexican flag: red from the prickly pears, white from the tequila blanco and green from the lime.

¡Viva México!… 

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Jarritos fruity tequila cocktails

If you love to entertain and want to whip up some fun, fruity cocktails that are so easy to make, you’ll have plenty of time to spend with your guests, this is your cocktail! This is what I’ll be serving up to visitors during the Labor Day weekend while we hang by the pool and soak up the last of the summer sun.

Jarritos tequila blanco cocktail with lime

I typically stock the following flavors at home to make this easy cocktail: Fresa (strawberry), tamarindo (tamarind), mandarina (mandarin orange), piña (pineapple), guayaba (guava), limón (lime) and mango. For those who like to play bartender, you can try mixing some of the soda flavors to make more unique cocktails, such as pineapple-guava or strawberry-mango. If you like, you can also substitute rum for the tequila. Even when we’re not entertaining friends, I like to hang out on the balcony or by the pool sipping these fruity cocktails.

Note: If you use the toronja (grapefruit) flavor + tequila, you can make a version of my paloma recipe!… 

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CLASSIC MEXICAN COCKTAIL: La Paloma

It’s been a very hot summer here in Chicago, with July actually being the hottest on record according to local weather reports. Due to the heat, I haven’t been in the kitchen very much because I’ve been trying to keep our place as cool as possible. Most of what I’ve been whipping up has been cold treats and drinks, and I know I haven’t posted a recipe in awhile so I thought I’d share my version of a refreshing, classic Mexican cocktail known as La Paloma.

Some people call it a margarita, some don’t; I think it depends where you’re from. I’ve also heard it called a paloma tequila,“  Traditionally, it has tequila in it, but if you’re not a drinker, you can leave the tequila out for a homemade grapefruit soda—or I suppose you could call it a toronjada.”

The drink is often made with grapefruit-flavored soda such as Jarritos de toronja or Peñafiel toronja or even Squirt or Fresca, but I also like to make the classic recipe with freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and agua mineral (sparkling water) for a little fizz. 

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