Sunset Cocktail Recipe

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Sunset 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 Sunset cocktail is a beautiful and refreshing drink that was first created in the tropical paradise of Hawaii. It is said to have been inspired by the breathtaking sunsets that can be seen from the island's beaches. This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy fruity and tropical flavors, and it is often enjoyed by beachgoers and vacationers alike.

  • The Sunset cocktail is believed to have been created in the 1960s
  • It was inspired by the beautiful sunsets seen in Hawaii
  • The drink is popular among beachgoers and vacationers

How Sunset Tastes?

The Sunset cocktail has a delightful blend of sweet, sour, and fruity flavors. It is a refreshing and light drink with a hint of tanginess from the citrus fruits. The combination of orange, pineapple, and grenadine gives it a tropical and exotic taste that is perfect for warm summer evenings.

Interesting facts about Sunset

  • The Sunset cocktail is often served in a hurricane glass, which is designed to resemble the shape of a hurricane lamp
  • The drink's vibrant colors are reminiscent of a Hawaiian sunset, with shades of orange, red, and yellow
  • The Sunset cocktail is sometimes garnished with a pineapple wedge, cherry, or orange slice to enhance its tropical appeal



The soul of our Sunset cocktail - Rum - is a versatile spirit that adds a sweet and sometimes spicy depth, depending on its variety. 1.5 oz is the perfect measure for that boozy kick without overpowering the tropical flavors. Less, and you might as well call it a mocktail; more, and you risk turning it into a pirate's grog! No rum? Try using a light vodka for a crisper but less complex flavor profile.

Emma Rose

Orange Juice

2 oz of orange juice provides a fresh and zesty base, lending a nice acidity to balance the sweetness. It's like the cool breeze of flavor your cocktail needs. Skip the OJ, and you'll find the cocktail loses its sunny disposition. As an alternative, try tangerine juice for a twist with a little more tang!

Alex Green

Pineapple Juice

2 oz is a golden ratio that brings tropical vibes straight to your glass. This juice adds a touch of exotic sweetness and contributes to the cocktail's refreshing nature. Without it, you're missing the tropical memo. Mango juice is a fun alternative, offering a richer and slightly earthy flavor.

Mary Mitkina


This sweet, ruby-red syrup is responsible for the signature 'sunset' skyline in your glass. At 0.5 oz, it sinks to the bottom to create a beautiful gradient and adds a hint of pomegranate tang. Leave it out, and not only is the sunset gone, but you'll also lose that touch of sweetness that balances the fruit juices. Pomegranate molasses could serve as a substitute for a more tart profile.

Emma Rose


1 cup of ice is the cornerstone for any chilled cocktail. It keeps your drink cool, dilutes the mixture to perfection, and provides the shaker something to rattle against—quite therapeutic, really. No ice? You'll have yourself a lukewarm liquid frown. Crushed ice can create a more slushy texture if that's the wave you're surfing.

Alex Green


A Pineapple Wedge, Cherry, and Orange Slice not only add a pop of color but also hint at the flavors within. They're the cherry on top—or, in this case, the cherry on the side. No garnish? It's not the end of the world, but why miss the opportunity to dress up your drink? Switch things up with a sprig of mint for a fragrant touch.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Sunset Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  2. Add the rum, orange juice, and pineapple juice
  3. Shake well to combine and chill the ingredients
  4. Strain the mixture into a hurricane glass filled with fresh ice
  5. Slowly pour the grenadine over the back of a spoon to create a layered effect in the glass
  6. Garnish with a pineapple wedge, cherry, and orange slice

Pro Tips

  • Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously to ensure all the ingredients are well combined
  • Pour the grenadine slowly over the back of a spoon to create a beautiful layered effect
  • Use fresh orange and pineapple juice for the best flavor

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Grilled Seafood: The light, tropical flavors of the Sunset cocktail complement the delicate taste of grilled fish or shrimp.
  • Poultry: Try it with grilled chicken or turkey that's been seasoned with citrus or tropical-inspired spices.
  • Fruit Platters: The sweet, juicy component of the cocktail goes well with a fresh fruit platter, enhancing the natural sweetness of both.

Drink Pairings

  • Coconut Water: For a non-alcoholic pairing, coconut water can match the tropical vibe without overshadowing the Sunset cocktail.
  • Light Lager: A crisp, light lager can be a refreshing complement, cleansing the palate between sips of the cocktail.

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What you could change in Sunset

  • Rum: Can be substituted with vodka or gin for a different flavor profile
  • Orange Juice: Can be substituted with grapefruit juice
  • Pineapple Juice: Can be substituted with mango juice
  • Grenadine: Can be substituted with a dash of cranberry juice

Explore all drinks starting with S here

And of course - twists🍹

Mango Sunset

  • Swap the pineapple juice for mango juice and use coconut rum instead of regular rum.
  • It gives the cocktail a more tropical depth with a creamy texture.
  • The taste will be richer and slightly more nuanced due to the mango flavor.

Spicy Sunset

  • Add a small slice of jalapeño or a dash of hot sauce into the shaker with the original ingredients.
  • This adds a surprise twist of heat that dances with the sweetness of the juices.
  • It alters the flavor by giving each sip an exciting kick that heating up the classic sunset.

Frosted Sunset

  • Use frozen orange and pineapple chunks instead of juice and blend with the rum and ice to make a frozen cocktail.
  • This twist creates a slushy experience, making it even more refreshing and enjoyable on a hot day.
  • The texture changes dramatically, offering a fun and frosty way to enjoy the Sunset.

In case you forgot basics how to make Sunset

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

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Frequently Asked Questions on Sunset

What is the best season to enjoy a Sunset cocktail?

The Sunset is best enjoyed during warmer months, such as spring or summer. However, it can still be a delightful treat during colder seasons when garnished with seasonal fruits.

Can Sunset be made without alcohol?

Yes, a non-alcoholic or 'Mocktail' version of the Sunset cocktail can be made by simply skipping the rum and adding a bit more fruit juice or soda instead.

Can I serve the Sunset cocktail in a different type of glass?

Yes, if you don’t have a hurricane glass, you can serve the Sunset cocktail in a pint glass or a large wine glass.

What other garnishes could I use?

Aside from the pineapple wedge, cherry, and orange slice, you could also add a sprig of fresh mint, a twist of lemon, or even edible flowers for a distinct touch.

Is there another sweetener that can be used instead of Grenadine?

Yes, if you don't have Grenadine on hand, you could use simple syrup or even honey which could also provide a unique flavor.

Is a cocktail shaker absolutely required to make the Sunset cocktail?

While a cocktail shaker does make the preparation easier and creates a better blend, you can still make the Sunset by thoroughly mixing the drink with a spoon.

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