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Prickly Pear Juice

Also known as agua de tuna, this is a refreshing drink on ice. If it's cocktail hour, add tequila or mezcal. Once made, it will keep a few weeks in the fridge. Left on the counter, it will ferment in a day or two.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: prickly pears
Author: Hank Shaw


  • 3 pounds prickly pears
  • Water to cover
  • Citric acid or lime juice, to taste
  • Sugar or honey, to taste


  • Remove the spines from the fruit, as noted in the text above. Put the fruit in a pot and just barely cover with water. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, and when it cools enough to work with, mash everything with a potato masher.
  • Run the mash through a food mill, or of you don't have one, push it through a colander with a rubber spatula. You need to get rid of the many seeds. Once that's done, strain the mash through a fine sieve, pushing it through with a rubber spatula. If you want a very clear juice, run that one more time through a sieve with a paper towel set inside it, and do not push it through -- just let it drop through over the course of an hour or two.
  • Add sugar, plus citric acid or lime juice to taste. Enjoy over ice.