sundaze drink

Ray of Light

Palm Springs move inspires SunDaze drink creation for desert audiences.

Derrik J. Lang Current Guide, Restaurants

sundaze drink

A veteran of the beverage industry, part-time Palm Springs resident Arthur Gallego beams with pride for SunDaze, his new line of fermented canned cocktails inspired by pool-time vibes.

How did you come up with the idea for SunDaze?

Interestingly, I met my business partner during the pandemic. We were connected by venture capitalists. He had this formulation for an alcoholic, fermented orange juice, which ended up becoming the foundation for SunDaze. He had a formula but not a brand. That’s where I came in.

What was the idea behind the can design?

SunDaze was really inspired by my time in Palm Springs. There’s something really beautiful about the way light ripples on the water here. The colors on the packaging are also inspired by midcentury architecture. Traditionally, in beverage design, you’d put a splash around a piece of fruit to be your cue that it’s refreshing, but I wanted to do something that was more wild and reminiscent of having a good time.

Arthur Gallego, Co-Founder, SunDaze.

How do you describe the beverage?

My opening line to people is: “Hey, do you like mimosas?” If they say no, they’re gone. But if they say yes, I’m like, “This is not a mimosa. But it sorta tastes like a mimosa!” Then, I start describing our patented process that naturally transforms the sugar in the juice into alcohol at the same time that it’s burning off the sugar. We only have 7 calories in a can. It’s a flavorful alternative to that glut of hard seltzer. There’s too much hard seltzer out there.

Did launching the brand during the pandemic affect business?

We had to be creative. At first, no one could sample SunDaze in stores. I didn’t meet most of our team for eight months. It’s tough to build rapport with people under those conditions. Also, it’s a tired topic, but the supply chain troubles were rough. We had a delay with one production run because there was no ink. I was like: How do you run out of ink?!

Why did you move to Palm Springs?

My father retired to La Quinta in 2013. I wanted to be closer to him. He refused to move to Los Angeles, where I was based. In 2019, I bought a small place here. He died one month after I moved down. It actually soured my relationship with Palm Springs. Flash-forward to 2020. COVID hit. I kept my place in L.A. but was spending most of my time here. I totally fell in love with Palm Springs. It’s so peaceful and meditative here. I love that you can go to Whole Foods, and there’s three women wearing Lilly Pulitzer in line in front of you.

Where is SunDaze available?

We’re in more than 300 retailers in California and Texas, including Total Wine & More in Palm Desert.

Arthur Recommends

“I always tell people they have to drive through Joshua Tree when they visit. The landscape and architecture are so extraordinary. It’s not like anywhere else in the world. My other recommendation is Sandfish [Sushi & Whiskey]. It’s such a beautiful restaurant.”

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