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Last Updated on August 11, 2023 by Lisa Johnson
This iconic Tequila Sunrise recipe is a vibrant blend of flavors and colors that creates an absolutely gorgeous drink. It is the perfect combination of tequila’s warmth mixed with tangy orange juice, and a hint of grenadine sweetness!
This beautiful drink is super easy to make and the perfect way to cool down on those hot summer days!
What is a Tequila Sunrise Cocktail?
It is a classic cocktail made with tequila, orange juice, and grenadine syrup. It’s known for its visually appealing gradient of colors resembling a sunrise.
Tequila Sunrise ingredients
- Blanco tequila like Casamigo or Jose Cuervo
- Orange juice – fresh squeezed or store-bought
- Grenadine syrup to create the sunrise effect
- Highball glass
- Ice cubes
- Orange slice and maraschino cherries to garnish
Be sure to check out the detailed printable recipe card below
How to make a Tequila Sunrise drink
Fill a tall glass almost to the top with ice cubes. Pour in the orange juice and tequila.
Using the back of a spoon, gently pour grenadine into the center of each glass. It will sink to the bottom, then slowly rise back to the top to create a beautiful sunrise effect. Do Not Stir!
Garnish with a half orange slice and a maraschino cherry.
Generally, a blanco or reposado tequila works well for a Tequila Sunrise. The choice depends on your preference for a smoother or slightly aged tequila flavor.
Absolutely! Freshly squeezed orange juice can enhance the flavor of your delicious cocktail. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a more natural taste.
Grenadine adds both sweetness and the signature red layer at the bottom of the glass to the cocktail. While it’s a key component of the classic recipe, you can adjust the amount based on your sweetness preference.
Certainly! The easiest substitution, that I actually used for these drinks, is the maraschino cherry juice in the jar. It is just as sweet as grenadine, but not quite as dark. A raspberry or cherry simple syrup will work as well.
While it’s best to serve the cocktail immediately after layering to maintain the visual effect, you can prepare the components (tequila and orange juice) in advance and layer them just before serving.
It is known as a long drink, so a tall and narrow highball glass or a hurricane tulip glass is commonly used to showcase the beautiful colors and layers.
Yes, Tequila Sunset is a variation of the classic tequila cocktail. Instead of the iconic sunrise gradient where the colors go from dark to light, the Tequila Sunset features a sunset-like effect, where the colors transition from light to dark.
Start with a base of orange juice and tequila. Add a splash of grenadine, which will sink to the bottom and gradually blend with the other liquids, creating a gradient effect similar to a sunset.
More popular tequila drinks
Did you know that the original tequila sunrise was created by Gene Sulit in the 1930s or 1940s, at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona? The original version contained tequila, creme de cassis, fresh lime juice and soda water!
The more popular version (with orange juice and grenadine) was created by Bobby Lozoff and Billy Rice in the early 1970s while working as young bartenders at the Trident in Sausalito, north of San Fransisco in 1972.
Check out this Wikipedia article to find out how Mick Jagger, the Eagles, and a movie made this fruity cocktail a hugely popular drink!
Recipes in this month’s Libra meal
This month’s cooking with astrology meal ended up being a combination of Spanish and Mexican recipes, and they are all amazingly delicious!
- Zucchini Fritters with Pine Nut Sauce
- Chicken Fajitas
- Caramel Custard
- Huevos Rancheros served with this beautiful Tequila Sunrise for breakfast!
If you love this recipe, please rate it five stars and help me share on facebook and to help other readers in our community!
Tequila Sunrise Cocktail
- ice cubes
- 1.5 ounces high-quality clear tequila Casamigos, Jose Cuervo, Cabo Wabo
- 3 ounces fresh squeezed orange juice or store-bought
- 0.5 to .75 ounce grenadine syrup use more or less depending on your tastes
- half orange slice to garnish – I used Cara Cara
- maraschino cherry to garnish
- Fill a tall, highball glass almost to the top with ice cubes. Pour in the orange juice and tequila.
- Using the back of a spoon, gently pour grenadine into the center of each glass. It will sink to the bottom, then slowly rise back to the top to create a beautiful sunrise effect. Do Not Stir!
- Garnish with a half orange slice and a maraschino cherry.
- Reposado tequila can also be used in this drink. It is aged and has a darker color and enhanced flavor.
- The maraschino juice in the jar, raspberry or cherry simple syrup will work as a replacement for grenadine if needed.
- It’s best to serve the cocktail immediately after layering to maintain the visual effect, you can prepare the components (tequila and orange juice) in advance and layer them just before serving.