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Drink Up: A Prickly Pear Mocktail Perfect for Brunch

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Photo by Willow Arlen

At The Watershed in Bryan, Texas, Food & Beverage Director Garrett Kaneshiro makes prickly pear syrup in-house to flavor this refreshing, no-alcohol sparkler. It’s not hard to make, but it does require some patience to strain out the seeds and hair-like spines. Note: if you find the syrup (or finished drink) too sweet, add a squeeze of lemon juice to balance.

The Smooth Pear

Ingredients:

2 oz. prickly pear syrup*
Club soda
Lavender sprig

Instructions:

1. Pour syrup into Collins glass. Scoop in ice, then top up with club soda.
2. Stir well to mix and chill
3. Garnish with lavender sprig

*Prickly Pear Syrup Recipe

(makes about 3 pints of syrup, but depends on the size of the fruit)

Ingredients:

3 lbs. prickly pears
Water to cover
About 3 cups sugar

Instructions:

1. Place prickly pears into large pot, cover with water.
2. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Cover the pot, remove from heat and let stand for about an hour.
4. Place ingredients (pears and water) in a food processor, process into a puree
5. Strain well with a fine sieve, cheese cloth, coffee filter, etc.
6. Measure liquid as you will use an equal amount of sugar (by volume) to finish the syrup.
7. Pour liquid into pot. Add sugar and simmer until sugar has dissolved (about 5 minutes).
8. Set aside to cool. The syrup can be kept in sealed Mason jars, refrigerated, for several weeks.

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