We’ve been thinking about prickly pears a lot lately. The fruit of the beautiful paddle cactus, it’s not something you’d want to pick and rub on your face. But it turns out, the prickly pear skin benefits are plentiful; it’s filled with nourishing and antioxidant benefits that are amazing for even the most sensitive skin, which is why it’s a key ingredient in our PURENESS Skincare Collection. There’s another secret to the prickly pear though: its juice is one of the most vibrant and beautiful ingredients you could imagine. Here, chef Jane Coxwell shares a prickly pear recipe, showing step-by-step how to make it into a refreshing — and stunning — summer cocktail.
Summer in a glass! Prickly pears may seem like a lot of work, but after preparing the first one, you’ll realize that it’s a pretty quick process and well worth the effort – the color of the juice is so beautiful and vibrant.
The taste is mild but similar to watermelon, so it works really well with lime and mint.
The most important thing to remember when prepping a prickly pear is to use gloves and a towel to hold them! The tiny thorns will definitely get into your fingers, no matter how much you wash them.
To make a refreshing non-alcoholic version of this drink, remove the mezcal and add a touch of sparkling water.
Prickly Pear & Mezcal Cocktail
2 oz of prickly pear juice (about 1- 2 prickly pears)
2 sprigs of mint (reserving a couple of leaves for garnish)
½ tsp brown sugar
2.5 oz mezcal
2 oz fresh lime juice
- To prepare the prickly pear, cut the ends off the fruit and make a slice (about a ¼ inch deep) down the length of the prickly pear. You’ll then be able to peel the skin off in one go.
- Put the fruit in a blender with a splash of water and blend for about 10-15 seconds, then strain it through a sieve.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with a few ice cubes (use a jar with a lid if you don’t have a shaker), and shake well for about 20 seconds.
- To serve, strain the cocktail into a glass with fresh ice, and garnish with mint leaves and lime slices.
Jane Coxwell is a chef, author and consultant, and has earned her reputation as one of the most sought-after private chefs with a style that’s as elegant as it is unpretentious.
Equally comfortable working over open fires on the beaches of Papua New Guinea as she is in the kitchens of the biggest names in fashion, media and entertainment, Jane has cooked her way around the world, cultivating an approach to food and travel that is uniquely her own.
Born in Zimbabwe and raised in South Africa, Jane was one of the youngest chefs ever appointed to run the kitchen of a Camper & Nicholsons yacht. At just 23, she joined Hall Wines in California’s Napa Valley as Executive Chef and Culinary Manager, where she cooked for prominent guests including Hillary Clinton. For the last near-decade, Jane has served as Diane von Furstenberg’s chef, both on Eos, the 305-foot sailing yacht she and Barry Diller own, and in New York and Connecticut.
Her experiences on and off Eos — ranging from meals in the villages of Southeast Asia to the vibrant open-air markets of the Italian Riviera — inspired her first book, Fresh, Happy, Tasty: An Adventure in 100 Recipes. Now based in New York City, Jane continues to develop food-and travel-centric content while working on her second book. She also consults for large events, including the creation of the first sustainable meal for the 2017 CFDA Awards.