Charred Cactus Cocktail

Black charcoal cocktail garnished with sorrel greens
The charred cactus cocktail from Campfire Restaurant in Carlsbad, CA.

It's no secret that the folks at Campfire in Carlsbad, CA like to play with fire: their bar program is built around a culinary approach to cocktails using kitchen techniques like grilling, roasting and smoking to add depth to their drinks. Here, they share one of their recent creations: a smoky, charred cocktail with activated charcoal, tequila and a cactus-peach syrup.


  • 2 ounces charcoal-infused tequila blanco
  • 1 ounce charred cactus and white peach syrup (see note)
  • 34 ounce lime
  • sorrel salt for rim


Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake hard with ice. Strain onto fresh rocks in a rocks glass rimmed with sorrel salt.

Charcoal Tequila: combine 25 grams of activated charcoal per one liter tequila.

For Charred Cactus and White Peach Syrup:

1. Cactus: Cook (cleaned) prickly pear cactus paddles over wood fire (Campfire is currently using red oak) until cactus begins to blacken and is about fork tender. Slice cactus into strips. Add 1/2 lb. of cactus to 32 oz. water and 32 oz sugar. Bring to a boil, then simmer 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Blend until mixed and strain through chinois.

2. Peach: Combine 30 oz. white peach puree (Campfire uses Perfect Puree) with 64 oz. water and 48 oz. sugar. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and stir until combined.

3. Combine 3 parts cactus syrup to 1 part peach syrup.

Sorrel Salt:

Dehydrate sorrel leaves plucked from stems and parsley (stems and all). Blend with Kosher salt.