Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Nice Arizona cocktail for the summer

Okay, I admit it, I'm a great fan of Rachel Maddow, whose show is on MSNBC. She's bright, funny, sarcastic, and she does two things on her show I love: Moment of Geek, which is all about great science and nerdy stuff, and her Cocktail Moment on Fridays, which I adore. the spirit of Rachel Maddow's Cocktail Moment, I'm going to post my take on an Arizona summer cocktail that is cool, comforting, and has just the right amount of spice to make your day interesting.

Arizona Prickly Pear Vodka Lemonade

1 oz vodka (something good; you don't need top shelf but always use good vodka)
6 oz lemonade
1 tbsp prickly pear syrup (recipe follows)
2-3 slices of jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and de-veined

Fill a cocktail glass with ice. Pour the vodka into the glass, then throw in the jalapeno slices. Pour the lemonade into the glass, and then spoon in the prickly pear syrup. Stir and serve. And don't drink too many!

Prickly Pear Syrup

You can probably buy this commercially but if you live in the Southwest U.S., you can get a couple of prickly pear cactus fruits and make your own.

2 prickly pear cactus fruit, peeled and chopped into quarters
Juice of 1 lemon
2-3 tbsp sugar
1/4-1/3 cup water

Make sure you peel the prickly pear fruit. If you buy it in your grocery store (it's usually with the exotic fruit, even in Arizona!) it's not too big a deal but if you pick it from your own cactus WEAR GLOVES. These fruits have tiny needles and you don't want them in your fingers. You can scrape the fruit with a vegetable peeler while wearing the gloves to get the needles off as well as peel them.

When they are peeled and cut into quarters, throw all the ingredients into a blender, blend on the "puree" setting for 30-60 seconds. You can use it right away for the drink and you can save it in the refrigerator for a few days. 

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