Sunburn Cocktail Recipe

Jump to Recipe ⬇️

Sunburn Nutrition Facts






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 Sunburn cocktail is a refreshing and vibrant drink that originated in tropical beach bars. It is a favorite among sun-seekers and beach lovers who enjoy sipping on a delicious and colorful beverage while soaking up the sun. The Sunburn cocktail has evolved over time, with various bartenders putting their own spin on the recipe, but the core ingredients have remained the same.

  • The Sunburn cocktail is believed to have been created in the 1980s
  • It is a popular choice for beachgoers and vacationers
  • The drink has a reputation for being both visually appealing and delicious

How Sunburn Tastes?

The Sunburn cocktail is a delightful mix of sweet, sour, and fruity flavors. It has a tangy citrus taste from the orange and lemon juices, combined with the sweetness of the grenadine and the refreshing taste of pineapple. The vodka adds a subtle kick, making it a well-balanced and enjoyable drink.

Interesting facts about Sunburn

  • The Sunburn cocktail is named after its bright red color, which is reminiscent of a sunburn
  • The drink is often served in a tall glass, allowing for the layers of color to be clearly visible
  • The Sunburn cocktail is sometimes garnished with a slice of pineapple, a cherry, or an orange wheel to enhance its tropical appeal


A few good options for Sunburn are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


Vodka is the backbone of this drink, providing a smooth, almost neutral alcohol base that lets the fruit juices shine. 1.5 oz is just the right amount to get a buzz without overpowering the other flavors. Too much, and your Sunburn might turn into a fiery burn; too little, and you'll miss the sunset.

Emma Rose

Orange Juice

Sweet and tangy, orange juice brings a sunny vibe to the cocktail. It's like that friend who lightens the mood at a party. If you leave it out, you'll lose part of the cocktail's soul.

Mary Mitkina

Lemon Juice

Half an ounce of lemon juice adds that zesty zing, which cuts through the sweetness and balances the drink. Without it, the Sunburn could be a sweet overload. If life doesn't give you lemons, try a dash of lime juice for a similar tart twist.

Alex Green

Pineapple Juice

Tropical pineapple juice gives this cocktail its beachy feel. It's like a mini vacation in a glass! Skimp on it, and you'll wonder why your taste buds aren't wearing flip-flops.

Emma Rose


Grenadine, our sunset-in-a-bottle, gives the Sunburn its signature blush with a half-ounce pour. It adds sweetness and that gorgeous layered effect. Without it, you'd miss the Instagram-worthy gradient.

Mary Mitkina


Ice is here to keep things chill, because nobody likes a warm drink on a hot day. Skimp out on the ice, and you might as well be sipping sunbeams.

Alex Green

Pineapple Slice and Maraschino Cherry

Every drink needs its beachwear! These garnishes are the finishing touch that adds an extra pop of flavor and makes your glass look as good as it tastes.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Sunburn Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  2. Add the vodka, orange juice, lemon juice, and pineapple juice to the shaker
  3. Shake well to combine and chill the ingredients
  4. Strain the mixture into a tall glass filled with ice
  5. Slowly pour the grenadine over the back of a spoon to create a layer at the bottom of the glass
  6. Garnish with a pineapple slice and a maraschino cherry

Pro Tips

  • Chill your glass before serving to keep the cocktail colder for longer
  • Use freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice for a more vibrant flavor
  • Pour the grenadine slowly to create a beautiful layered effect

Perfect Pairings


Try pairing with a grilled shrimp skewer or a crab salad. The acidity of the cocktail cuts through the richness of the seafood perfectly.

Salty Snacks

Salted nuts or pretzels make a great contrast with the sweet and citrusy flavors of the Sunburn cocktail.

Fruit Based Desserts

Complement the fruity notes with a slice of lemon tart or a pineapple upside-down cake. A match made in heaven!

🍹 Discover the Top 50 All-Time Recipes! 🍹

Enter your email, and we'll send the exclusive list straight to your inbox.

We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously

What you could change in Sunburn

  • Vodka: Can be substituted with white rum for a different flavor profile
  • Orange Juice: Can be substituted with grapefruit juice for a more tart flavor
  • Grenadine: Can be substituted with a dash of cranberry juice for a less sweet option

Explore all drinks starting with S here

And of course - twists🍹

Spicy Sunburn

Add a small slice of jalapeño or a dash of hot sauce to the shaker before mixing. This twist will bring a fiery kick to the cocktail, perfect for those who like to play with fire in their drink.

Sunset Cooler

Swap the vodka for coconut rum to dive deeper into tropical vibes. This twist will make you feel like you're sipping on a cocktail at a beachside cabana.

Berry Burn

Infuse the vodka with raspberries or strawberries for a few days before making the cocktail. This twist adds a fruity depth to the Sunburn, transforming it into a Berrylicious experience.

In case you forgot basics how to make Sunburn

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

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

Find the cocktail you'd love!

If you want to drink something else - you can use our AI-augmented search to find the best cocktail for you!
Completely free!

Frequently Asked Questions on Sunburn

Who is suitable for this cocktail?

The Sunburn cocktail is suitable for anyone of legal drinking age who enjoys fruity, tropical flavours.

Why is it called a cocktail?

The term 'cocktail' originally referred to a mixture of spirits, sugar, water, and bitters. Today, it is used to refer to any mixed drink with at least two or more ingredients if at least one of them contains alcohol.

What other cocktails use similar ingredients?

Cocktails like the Hawaiian Sunset, Tequila Sunrise, and Sex on the Beach also use similar ingredients like orange juice, pineapple juice and grenadine.

How do I know if my grenadine is of good quality?

Good quality grenadine should be rich in flavor and not overly sweet. It should have a thick, syrupy consistency but not be overly sticky.

Can I make a mocktail version of this?

Yes, you can easily make a non-alcoholic version by replacing the vodka with more fruit juice or soda water.

What is the significance of the garnishing?

Apart from adding visual appeal, garnishes like pineapple slice and maraschino cherry can add flavor to the cocktail and enhance the overall drinking experience.

More similar recipes to Sunburn!

Explore new cocktails you'd love!

Please rate this recipe