Prickly Pear Margarita

You will delight in the fabulousness of this cocktail…is that even a real word? Well, it is when it comes to mixology at my house! The colors are vibrant, the flavors will make your mouth water, and everyone is instantly happy when they get their hands on one!  I concocted this libation almost a year ago in my kitchen with my pal Lauren, after we plucked a batch of prickly pears from my garden. We had fun doing the initial tastings…yes, we had fun.  I made my notes, saved them, and decided it was time to share it with Santa Barbara for my bi-annual recipe contribution to Santa Barbara Dining & Destinations magazine. Finally, this issue is out and now the recipe is ready for the rest of the world–that means you! It’s the perfect cocktail for Springtime and any special occasion…Easter and Cinco de Mayo are not that far off you know 
PS The handsome and award winning editorial photographer Matt Daykashot the photo~thanks for your eye!

Prickly Pear Margarita

Serves 1, Prep Time 5 minutes


2 oz Prickly Pear Juice (about 2 prickly pears)

2 oz Tangerine Juice (about 2 tangerines)

1 shot Silver Tequila

A splash of Cointreau or Triple Sec


Garnish with Tangerine Slice


Handle prickly pears with gloves. Slice prickly pears in half, scoop out fruit, seeds and all, and throw in a blender. Discard peels. Juice Blend for about a minute. Strain to remove seeds, set aside. Juice 2 tangerines, set aside–you may strain or keep the pulp in-your preference.  In a clear tumbler, add 3-4 ice cubes. Slowly pour prickly pear juice in. Then slowly the tangerine juice. Then the layer of tequila and a splash of Cointreau. The slow pouring method makes colorful layers for a beautiful presentation. Garnish with a tangerine slice.

NOTE: It is easier to make MORE prickly pear juice with at least 8 prickly pears–that way you have enough to have your blender function properly and to serve your guests.

Moscow Mule

Did you know that the Moscow Mule was invented in 1941?  Two alcohol distributors, one selling vodka, the other selling ginger beer, found that no one wanted to buy their products. The two sat down at the famed Cock n’ Bull restaurant on Sunset Blvd. in LA and conjured up a classic. Why the copper mug? Apparently a third person in the mix complained that she had a stockpile of copper mugs she needed to get rid of that were imprinted with a kicking mule…a drink was born!  We’re happy it’s made a comeback. It’s gingery kick makes it warming in the winter while the lime flavor makes it refreshing in the summer. Enjoy!

Moscow Mule
Prep Time: 2 minutes, Serves 1


1 shot of Vodka

Juice from half a lime
3-4 ounces Ginger Beer* (depending on size of mug/glass)
1 lime wedge
1 sprig of mint
Fill Moscow Mule mug or highball glass with ice~ I prefer crushed, but cubes with do. Add vodka and lime juice. Gently pour in ginger beer, garnish with lime wedge and mint. Serve.
*Recipe Note: I’ve made these with Crabbies and Gosling Ginger Beer. I preferred the flavor of Crabbies, but you’re welcome to shop around and pick your favorite.
Proud to have this recipe featured in the Fall/Winter 2014 issue of Santa Barbara Dining & Destinations Magazine!

Santa Barbara Sunset Cocktail

This week on my podcast, The Dish with Nancy Newcomer, I shared my favorite Summer Cocktails, including this one, the Santa Barbara Sunset. Super refreshing and truly an excellent libation that you may enjoy any time of year. This recipe is also in the Spring/Summer 2015 edition of Santa Barbara Dining & Destinations Magazine along with a couple of other fun summer dishes, Enjoy!

Nancy’s Santa Barbara Sunset

Serves 1
Prep time 2 minutes


1 shot of Campari

1 shot of vodka (We love Tito’s Handmade Vodka)

2 oz  fresh tangerine juice (great with blood orange too)

3-4 oz ginger beer

Squeeze of lime juice

Fill highball glass with ice. Pour one shot of Campari in, followed by 1 shot of vodka. Gently add tangerine juice, followed by a slow pour of ginger beer, squeeze in fresh lime. Serve.