Beautiful to look at and refreshing to drink, this Tequila Sunrise cocktail recipe is a 3-ingredient cocktail that’s full of summer flavors. Grenadine and orange juice give this drink its vibrant color, and with a splash of tequila, you’ve got a drink that will make you feel like you’re on a tropical vacation!
This classic, old-school cocktail is so good that honestly, I don’t think it really ever went out of style. There’s just something magical about a drink that looks like a sunrise or a sunset. Even without the tequila, this cool beverage is a mood lifter!
A Little Bit Of History…
The drink was first served in Arizona at the Baltimore Hotel in the 1920s. Its popularity soared when served in Sausalito in the 1970s, by bartenders Bobby Lozoff and Billy Rice. The story goes that in 1972, Mick Jagger tried it at a party and liked it so much, that the band ordered it everywhere they played in the United States.
A Tequila Sunrise has been one of my favorite cocktails to enjoy during the warm summer months. It has just the right amount of sweetness from the grenadine balanced with the smooth citrus flavor of orange juice. But fair warning…you won’t taste the tequila. This beauty goes down easy and packs a punch.
Why We Love A Tequila Sunrise?
- it’s easy to make
- it’s beautiful
- it’s refreshing!
What Goes In A Tequila Sunrise?
- Orange Juice
- Cherries and Oranges for garnish
What Is Grenadine?
Grenadine syrup is made from fresh pomegranate juice reduced with sugar, making a simple syrup with a hint of citrus flavor and stunning red color. The name “grenadine” originates from the French word grenade, which means pomegranate. Grenadine is used in many cocktails and is a must when making a Shirley Temple.
How To Make A Tequila Sunrise
There are a couple of ways to make a Tequila Sunrise. One uses a spoon to help guide the grenadine into the glass, but I’ve found something much easier. My method is super simple and keeps the beautiful red color at the bottom of the glass, which gives this cocktail its signature look.
- pour grenadine into the bottom of a glass.
- fill with ice.
- pour in the tequila.
- fill to the top of the glass with orange juice.
- finish off with a garnish of maraschino cherries and a slice of orange Cheers!
Can You Make A Virgin Tequila Sunrise?
Absolutely! This is a fun, happy drink with or without tequila. Even though the tequila is the star of the show, you can just leave it out but make sure to follow the steps to get the beautiful colors of the sunrise. And don’t forget the cherries and orange slices!
Tips For Easy Cocktails
- Use fresh ingredients: For the best taste, use fresh-squeezed orange juice and freshly sliced oranges.
- Chill your ingredients: It’s important to chill your ingredients before making the cocktail, including tequila, orange juice, and grenadine. This will ensure a smooth and refreshing drink.
- Use quality tequila: Choose a good quality tequila for this cocktail. The better the tequila, the better the cocktail will taste.
- Layer the ingredients: To create the beautiful sunrise effect, you will want to layer the ingredients in the glass. Start with the ice, then pour the tequila over the ice. Next, add the orange juice and slowly pour in the grenadine to create the sunrise effect.
- Use a tall glass: This cocktail looks best in a tall glass, such as a highball or Collins glass.
- Garnish with an orange slice and cherry: After you’ve added all the ingredients, garnish the cocktail with a slice of orange and a cherry on top.
- Serve immediately: This cocktail is best served immediately after making it to enjoy the full flavor and beautiful presentation.
While fresh-squeezed orange juice is recommended for the best flavor, bottled orange juice can be used if fresh oranges are not available.
It’s recommended to use a good quality blanco or reposado tequila for this cocktail.
While the Tequila Sunrise Cocktail traditionally uses orange juice, you can experiment with different fruit juices to create your own variation of the cocktail.
Tasty Bites To Serve Alongside This Cocktail
This summertime sipper is sensational served with so many yummy appetizers. Whether you’re sitting by the pool, at the beach, or just watching the sunset from your backyard, a Tequila Sunrise and a good appetizer are guaranteed to put you in a fantastic mood.
- Southwest Ranch Dip
- Strawberry and Herb Goat Cheese Bruschetta
- Pimento Cheese Sausage Dip
- Pineapple Bacon Cheese Ball
- Spicy Cheese Cracker Snack Mix
Last but not least…
If you make this Tequila Sunrise Cocktail recipe, be sure to leave a comment and a rating. I always love hearing from you! Also, if you make it, snap a pic and tag me on Instagram. I’d love to see your photo.
- ½ ounce grenadine
- 2 ounces tequila
- 4 ounces orange juice
- maraschino cherries
- orange wedges
- Pour grenadine into a highball glass. Fill with ice.
- Add tequila then orange juice. DO NOT stir.
- Garnish with cherries and orange wedges. Serve and enjoy!