I've inherited a few distinctive traits and tastes from my Afrikaans father, Sarel Petrus.
Along with his all cap penmanship. Impatience. Love of the city of London and fancy watches...
Peanut butter & bacon sandwiches. Condensed milk in coffee. Liquorice (particularly ice cream). Marzipan. Turkish delight. Green melon preserve. Figs.
But I never understood his love of prickly pears. He would sit outside, handling them with precision to avoid the thorns, peeling away the skins with a sharp knife and slicing off pieces of shocking pink flesh.
They're in season now and when I saw them at the farmers market over the weekend I couldn't resist. I still can't eat them like he did, but they make a delightful and pretty pink mojito.
For the last day of summer, I'm using up the wild mint, concocting a prickly pear syrup and mixing it with smoky Izo Mezcal.
Dad, strictly a red wine man, would think this palava too fussy.
700 miles away in Cape Town. Another season changes. Miss this man and his wit by the bucket load everyday.
Fresh mint leaves
1 ounce prickly pear syrup
1 ounce lime juice + 3 slices of lime
2 ounces IZO Mezcal
1. Muddle mint leaves and prickly pear syrup in a glass.
2. Add lime juice and lime slice to the glass and muddle.
3. Add mezcal and stir.
4. Fill glass with ice and top off with sparkling water.
5. Garnish with a slice of prickly pear.
Prickly Pear Simple Syrup
3 prickly pears, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, add prickly pear, lemon juice, water, and sugar.
Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Strain syrup and bottle. Syrup will keep refrigerated for several weeks.
Add to cocktails, lemonade or sparkling water.