Mexican Sunset Cocktail Recipe

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Mexican Sunset Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:14%

Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Mexican Sunset is a popular cocktail that originated in Mexico. It's a vibrant, fruity drink that's perfect for a hot summer day. It's a favorite among those who enjoy sweet, refreshing cocktails. The name 'Mexican Sunset' comes from the drink's beautiful gradient of colors that resemble a sunset. The cocktail became popular in the 1980s and has remained a favorite ever since.

  • Origin: Mexico
  • Popularity: 1980s
  • Ideal for: Hot summer days, parties

How Mexican Sunset Tastes?

The Mexican Sunset is a sweet, fruity cocktail with a hint of sourness from the lime. It's a refreshing, light drink with a strong taste of tequila.

Interesting facts about Mexican Sunset

  • The Mexican Sunset is often served in a highball glass to showcase its beautiful colors.
  • The cocktail is named after its resemblance to a sunset.
  • Despite its sweet taste, the Mexican Sunset has a strong alcohol content due to the tequila.



The Tequila (2 oz) is the foundation of this cocktail, providing a robust and earthy base that echoes the spirit of Mexico. It's a perfect amount to keep the drink strong but not overpowering. Without it, you'd lose the fiery soul of the drink. If you're out of tequila, you could substitute with mezcal for a smokier flavor, although you'd be veering into a completely different cocktail territory.

Mary Mitkina

Orange Juice

Orange Juice (4 oz) lends a bright acidity and sweetness, marrying well with the tequila. It makes the drink vibrant and refreshing. Use less, and you might find the cocktail too strong; use more, and the drink becomes a bit too tame. Feel free to use freshly squeezed orange juice for a purer taste.

Mary Mitkina

Pineapple Juice

The Pineapple Juice (2 oz) adds a tropical twist and a bit of tartness, which complements the orange juice's sweetness. Like a good supporting actor, it doesn't steal the show but enhances the overall experience. Substitute with mango juice for a different kind of sweetness or omit it for a less complex flavor profile.

Alex Green


Grenadine (1 oz) provides depth with its rich, red color and a hint of pomegranate sweetness. It's the sunset in your Mexican Sunset, giving that gorgeous gradient when poured correctly. Too much grenadine can make your drink overly sweet; too little, and you might miss that beautiful color transition. No grenadine on hand? A splash of raspberry syrup could do the trick.

Mary Mitkina


A Lime Slice garnish adds a final zesty touch. It's not just decorative; a squeeze of lime juice can brighten up the whole drink, offering a counterpoint to the sweetness. Without it, the cocktail might feel a tad less complete. If you're adventurous, swap it for a lemon slice for a slight difference in citrus 'attitude'.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Mexican Sunset Drink

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
  2. Pour the tequila, orange juice, and pineapple juice into the glass.
  3. Slowly pour the grenadine into the glass. It will sink to the bottom and create a beautiful gradient effect.
  4. Garnish with a slice of lime.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Pro Tips

  • For the best visual effect, pour the grenadine slowly.
  • Use fresh lime for garnish for the best taste.
  • Chill the glass before making the cocktail for a more refreshing drink.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Grilled Seafood: The citrus notes of the Mexican Sunset complement the savory flavors of grilled shrimp or fish.
  • Spicy Tacos: The sweetness of the cocktail balances out the heat from tacos with a kick.
  • Citrus Salad: A light, citrus-based salad can echo the fruity components of the drink.
  • Cheese Platter: A selection of cheeses, particularly those that are milder like mozzarella or Monterey Jack, would go nicely with this refreshing cocktail.

Drink Pairings

  • Club Soda: For those who want to stay hydrated or alternate between alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks, club soda is a neutral choice that won't conflict with the flavors of the Mexican Sunset.
  • Pale Ale: The hoppiness of a pale ale can contrast pleasantly with the sweetness of the cocktail.

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What you could change in Mexican Sunset

  • Tequila can be substituted with rum for a different flavor profile.
  • If you don't have grenadine, you can use a splash of cranberry juice for a similar effect.

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And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Sunset

  • Replace tequila with mezcal
  • Add a pinch of smoked sea salt

Create a smokier version of the Mexican Sunset by substituting the tequila with mezcal. Just float a pinch of smoked sea salt on top after adding the grenadine to enhance the smoky experience. This twist takes you from the beach to a bonfire under a starry desert sky.

Spicy Sunset

  • Add 1/2 oz of jalapeño-infused simple syrup
  • Rim the glass with chili salt

Turn up the heat with a jalapeño-infused simple syrup. The spiciness will add a kick that contrasts with the sweetness. Rim the glass with chili salt to intensify the Mexican vibe. It's perfect for those who love a little spice in their life.

Berry Sunset

  • Substitute grenadine with raspberry syrup
  • Garnish with fresh berries

For a berry twist, switch out the grenadine for raspberry syrup. It will still provide a lovely color gradient and a different kind of sweetness. Add some fresh berries as a garnish to tie it all together. This version is like a fruity vacation in your mouth.

In case you forgot basics how to make Mexican Sunset

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Mexican Sunset

What type of Tequila should I use for the Mexican Sunset cocktail?

While you can use any type of Tequila, it is often recommended to use a quality Reposado or Blanco Tequila for their smoother flavors.

What are some variations of the Mexican Sunset cocktail?

Some variations include adding a splash of club soda for a fizzy twist, pineapple rum instead of juice for extra punch, or even a dash of hot sauce for a spicy kick.

Is the Mexican Sunset cocktail ideal for any specific occasions?

While the Mexican Sunset is perfect for hot summer days, it's also a great choice for celebrations, beach parties, or BBQs due to its refreshing nature and colorful presentation.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Mexican Sunset?

Yes, for a non-alcoholic version, simply omit the Tequila and replace it with more fruit juice or soda water.

What food pairs well with a Mexican Sunset cocktail?

The Mexican Sunset pairs well with a variety of foods due to its sweet and fruity flavors. It goes particularly well with grilled seafood and spicy Mexican dishes.

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