Drinks,  Recipes

The Verdugo Sunset, a Tequila Cocktail

Verdugo Sunset cocktail
Verdugo Sunset cocktail

“It was delicious, and deceptively strong,” said my husband.

And it is. đŸ™‚

I’d made the drink for us as a wind-down on Friday night after work. We sat out on the backyard patio, enjoying the sunset and some cheese and bread on a warm night, and I knew what the name of the drink would be immediately. Our view is of the Verdugo Hills which are a precursor to the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California, and it faces northwest so the sunsets can be spectacular (see photo below). Given that the drink has Tequila (think, Tequila Sunrise, orange and a splash of something red), well, you get the inspiration, right? But this is no sickly sweet 70’s drink, I promise.

I’m not much for drinking holidays like Cinco de Mayo and St. Patrick’s Day. I think any day is a good one for making a decent cocktail. And you may have noticed that I’m not one of those food bloggers with a publication calendar full of holiday specific posts, but since Tuesday is Cinco de Mayo, I thought the timing was too good not to share this cocktail. Enjoy!

Some tips: The orange syrup used in this cocktail is the exact same recipe as the grapefruit syrup used in my Pisco cocktail, the Sacred Valley, just substitute 5 large oranges for the 3 grapefruit in the recipe. If you don’t want to make it, you can substitute fresh orange juice and simple syrup, but it won’t be quite the same.

If you can, use a large ice cube for the ice in the glass. The ice melts more slowly so the drink doesn’t get diluted as fast. I use an inexpensive silicone ice tray like this one; large cube silicone ice tray. Regular ice is fine (and preferred) in the shaker.

For this drink, you’ll need a cocktail shaker. My new favorite cocktail shaker is made by a company called Elevated Craft.

I don’t have a muddler (I used a narrow wooden spoon), but the right tool is probably more effective. (Some of the links above are affiliate links; you don’t have to buy, they’re there for example, but if you do shop, it helps support this blog and the cost is the same, regardless).

The Verdugo Sunset

Verdugo Sunset cocktail with grapefruit syrup and tequila.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cocktails
Servings: 1 each


  • 2 oz Tequila
  • .5 oz Fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz Orange Syrup *see link above for grapefruit syrup recipe
  • .25 oz fresh mint sprigs and leaves
  • 2 oz soda water
  • 1 teaspoon Campari
  • ice


  • Muddle 7 to 10 mint leaves in the bottom of the cocktail shaker with the lime juice.
  • Add the tequila, orange syrup and a handful of ice to the shaker. Shake for 20 seconds.
  • Pour the drink through the shaker's strainer into a rocks glass with a single large ice cube (or smaller cubes).
  • Add 2 oz of soda water and float the Campari over the top of the ice cube (pour slowly into the top of the drink so it layers at the top and trickles down the sides).
  • Garnish with mint sprig.




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