This recipe was originally published May 4, 2016. It has been updated and reposted in April, 2019.
So we have all heard of a Tequila Sunrise, but how about Sunset Margaritas? These…are dangerous. They taste so sweet and fresh, with a perfect balance of flavors. Freshly squeezed lime and orange juices with a little surprise at the end. No tequila was harmed during the making of this blog post. I’m lying. Whole bottle, gone. Let’s just call it experimental mixology. (I had help from my little brother, former bartender.)
Sugar Sunset Margaritas…because #margs.
No, really. Because we all need another reason to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, right?
Me and the margarita, we are good friends. Our favorite is the classic lime margarita, served in a big bowl glass on the rocks.
But sometimes you want a little something different. Something fresh. Something a little lighter and not as …what’s the word for that taste margaritas leave in your mouth after you have had a couple? Too tart? Maybe it is the triple sec that most margaritas call for.
In my imagination, when I think back to the genius that created the first margarita ….you know it had to be simple. I bet it was mostly fresh lime juice, some tequila, and salt. My quest for the fresher margarita starts at this point. No triple sec, no orange liqueur.
For our Sugar Sunset Margarita we went with fresh squeezed juices. No additives, not bottled, with the pulp. Love me some pulp. Don’t like pulp? Strain it, no worries.
The colors in this margarita cocktail are so pretty, like watching the sun set on the horizon on a hot summer’s day. (Yes, that’s the tequila talking. Hey, someone has to do the research + development around here.)
Ingredients Needed for Sunset Margaritas:
- Sugar + water (for the citrus-infused simple syrup)
- Tequila, chilled
- Club soda, chilled
- Fruit punch, chilled
- Sugar (or salt) for the rims
- Crushed ice
You really want to use FRESH citrus fruit for these margaritas. Trust me, it makes all the difference in the world. Pick a good juicing orange, like navels or valencia. We used the gorgeously sweet cara cara orange for the beautiful color.
TIP: If entertaining, juice the citrus and make the syrup ahead of time. That way you can kick back and relax your margaritas.
Please excuse the free pour that my renegade brother is demonstrating. Not recommended, and this is the primary reason why the entire bottle vanished.
Clearly a violation of Sugar Sunset Margaritas recipe.
How to Make Sugar Sunset Margaritas:
- First, combine equal parts sugar and water in a small sauce pan. Stir in the zest of one lime and one orange. Bring the mixture to a low boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat, cool, and strain into a small jar.
- Then juice the oranges and limes. I like to keep them in separate containers because I like the layered effet when mixing the margarita.
- Next, in a chilled glass, wet the rim with lime juice. Dip the glass into a shallow bowl of sugar. Add crushed ice to the glass.
- Then, in this order, add club soda, simple syrup, tequila, lime juice, orange juice. Swirl GENTLY with a spoon.
- Finally, top off the glass with a splash of fruit punch and serve.
Feel free to change up the amounts to suit your taste. Trust me, margarita experimentation is fun!
Why not dip the rim in traditional margarita salt? The first two versions of this drink we made had salt. But the combination of salt, orange juice, and lime juice gave it a grapefruit flavor. Tasted yummy, but it wasn’t the flavor we were going for. So we changed to sugar. But you do you.
TIP: I ultimately decided I like a blend of pink sea salt and white granulated sugar. Fun combo.
If you want, you can totally mix everything up in a pitcher using the same ratios. You will lose the “sunset effect”, but they will taste fabulous!
TIP: Using carbonated club soda and fruit punch adds the perfect sparkly touch to these lightly sweet margaritas.
Looking for more cocktail recipes? Try These:
We went through several “fruit juice” options…we tried blueberry pomegranate V-8, we tried a cranberry-pomegranate juice…but what made the perfect color and taste ?
The answer? Fruit punch. Yep. To all of that glorious, healthy, fresh, pure fruit juice…add carbonated fruit punch soda.
So who thinks it is time for Margaritas? Can’t wait for you to try this refreshing + fun twist on a classic cocktail. Drop us a line in comments to tell us what you think!
Sugar Sunset Margaritas are refreshing, sweet but not too sweet, bright, and easy to drink. (A little too easy, haha.) Also this is a great drink for the kids if you leave out the tequila.
Sugar Sunset Margaritas
- Sugar for the rim, or salt
- Crushed ice
- 1 ounce club soda chilled
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 2 ounces tequila chilled
- 1 ounce lime juice
- 2 ounces orange juice
- 1.5 ounces fruit punch more or less to taste
- To make a simply syrup, in a small pan, combine equal parts sugar and water over medium high heat. Add the zest of one orange and one lime. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Cool and strain.
- Juice all of the citrus fruit. For personalizing each drink based on preference of taste, keep the juice in separate containers.
- Wet the rim of a chilled glass with lime juice. Invert glass and dip into sugar. Fill glass with crushed ice.
- In order, pour the following over ice: club soda, simple syrup, tequila, lime, orange juice.
- Stir gently, and top with a splash of carbonated fruit punch soda.