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Cactus Wine

Many years ago I had the opportunity to try a bottle of cactus wine. It had been home made by a friend of a friend. Now, I'm interested in trying it again but it seems to be extremely hard to find. Everyone I mention it to has never heard of such a thing or doesn't even believe that is real. I remember it to be very delicious and just sweet enough. Any chowhounders familiar with cactus wine?

Would love to be able to buy a bottle or four somehow!

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  1. That's a new one for me. Any chance it was pulque? Where did you have it, or where was it from?

    6 Replies
    1. re: Veggo

      No, nothing at all like pulque. It was a clear, rose color. Not milky at all. After a little google searching, I'm starting to think perhaps it was prickly pear wine.

      It was made here in Quebec, Canada. I'm starting to think I hallucinated the whole thing.

      1. re: rockability

        Ah, yes, Quebec, with lone and level farms of agave and prickly pear cactus, as far as the eye can see, stretching far, far away...

        1. re: Veggo

          Yes, well like I said, I was wondering if anyone was familiar with it and could help me out.

          1. re: rockability

            Sorry for sounding snarky. Making cactus wine in Quebec just seemed like an uphill battle and I hope you agree, a little humorous. But I agree, a cactus beverage somewhere between pulque and tequila or mezcal could be interesting.

            1. re: Veggo

              Didn't you have a few "cactus" cigar, last time we got together?

              I do think that while I had a Chardonnay, you had a prickly pear margarita, or was that Ernest Hemingway... ? I confuse you two, though he's no longer with us.

              To Rockability, any fruit/veggie with sugar, can be made into wine. It would not be impossible to imagine someone using either prickly pear, or even saguaro fruit, to make a fermented beverage. I just do not know of any commercial instances, but that does not mean that there are not some, and maybe even close to me.

              Good luck,

              Hunt

        2. re: rockability

          The "pink" color might be indicative of prickly pear, as the juice of the fruit is pink to almost red.

          Still, have not encountered any prickly pear wine - just margaritas, and similar.

          Good luck,

          Hunt

      2. What you need are the ripe (red) fruits of the prickly pear cactus. Ask for them at your local central american produce market. If you don't have wine making equipment, a gallon water jug and a large ballon firmly tied on will act as your air lock. Bakers yeast is sufficent.

        How much fruit you need per gallon depends on how ripe they are. Same with the amount of sugar and water to be added. Try 1/2 cup sugar per gallon to start.

        If you can't find the prickly pear, a large can of frozen welch's works for Ballon Wine.

        Enjoy

        1. Wow. I live in AZ, where cactus (cacti) are a dime a dozen, but have never seen any cactus wine. Even some of the local producers, who do fruit wines, either are not doing anything from cactus, or I have never seen them. Now, we have chili beer, and prickly pear margaritas, but have never seen cactus wine.

          I wish you luck, but if Veggo does not have a source, I kind of wonder if one exists?

          Hunt

          1. Yes, here in Arizona this is a very well know homemade wine. You will find the receipe on ehow wiki. Just google prickle pear wine