Tequila Sunrise Cocktail Drink

Tequila Sunrise

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

If you want a new drink, the Tequila Sunrise recipe is the way to go. Gather the ingredients and make this classic cocktail in no time.

Tequila Sunrise Recipe Card

Try out this simple Tequila Sunrise recipe! Made with tequila, orange juice, and a splash of grenadine, it's the perfect summer drink.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

220 kl

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Tequila
  • 4 oz fresh orange juice
  • ½ oz grenadine
  • Ice cubes
  • Orange slice and Maraschino Cherry, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Fill a highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Pour 2 oz Tequila into the glass.
  • Add 4 oz fresh orange juice.
  •  Slowly pour ½ oz grenadine into the glass, allowing it to settle at the bottom.
  •  Garnish with an orange slice and cherry.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Tequila: I've used white rum when I don't have tequila on hand. It gives a different flavor profile but still tastes great.
  • Orange Juice: Freshly squeezed is best, but in a pinch, store-bought works. If you want a twist, use blood orange juice for a richer color and taste.
  • Grenadine: If you're out of grenadine, a mix of pomegranate juice and simple syrup can work as a replacement.

Making a Pitcher of Hot Toddy:

  • Scale: For a pitcher serving 8, you'll need 16 oz of whiskey, 32 oz of hot water, 8 tablespoons of honey, and 8 lemon slices.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine whiskey, hot water, and honey. Stir until the honey dissolves.
  • Serve: Pour into individual mugs, add a lemon slice to each, and serve while hot.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Tequila Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic tequila substitute or sparkling water for the base.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use the non-alcoholic substitute instead of tequila and follow the original steps for a refreshing non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

Ensure the grenadine you use doesn't contain animal-derived ingredients, as some grenadines use food colorings derived from insects. Opt for a vegan-certified brand or make your own at home using pomegranate juice and vegan sugar.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
220
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.2
g
0
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.03
g
0
%
Sodium
 
6
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
21
g
7
%
Fiber
 
0.2
g
1
%
Sugar
 
16
g
18
%
Potassium
 
232
mg
7
%
Protein
 
1
g
2
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
0.04
g
Vitamin A
 
227
IU
5
%
Vitamin C
 
57
mg
69
%
Calcium
 
13
mg
1
%
Iron
 
0.3
mg
2
%

 

Tequila Sunrise Cocktail Drink

Tequila Sunrise Recipe Card

Andrea Ottaiano Written by Andrea Ottaiano
Jump to Video
Try out this simple Tequila Sunrise recipe! Made with tequila, orange juice, and a splash of grenadine, it's the perfect summer drink.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 220

Ingredients
 

  • 2 oz Tequila
  • 4 oz fresh orange juice
  • ½ oz grenadine
  • Ice cubes
  • Orange slice and Maraschino Cherry - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Fill a highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Pour 2 oz Tequila into the glass.
  • Add 4 oz fresh orange juice.
  •  Slowly pour ½ oz grenadine into the glass, allowing it to settle at the bottom.
  •  Garnish with an orange slice and cherry.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Tequila: I've used white rum when I don't have tequila on hand. It gives a different flavor profile but still tastes great.
  • Orange Juice: Freshly squeezed is best, but in a pinch, store-bought works. If you want a twist, use blood orange juice for a richer color and taste.
  • Grenadine: If you're out of grenadine, a mix of pomegranate juice and simple syrup can work as a replacement.

Making a Pitcher of Hot Toddy:

  • Scale: For a pitcher serving 8, you'll need 16 oz of whiskey, 32 oz of hot water, 8 tablespoons of honey, and 8 lemon slices.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine whiskey, hot water, and honey. Stir until the honey dissolves.
  • Serve: Pour into individual mugs, add a lemon slice to each, and serve while hot.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Tequila Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic tequila substitute or sparkling water for the base.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use the non-alcoholic substitute instead of tequila and follow the original steps for a refreshing non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

Ensure the grenadine you use doesn't contain animal-derived ingredients, as some grenadines use food colorings derived from insects. Opt for a vegan-certified brand or make your own at home using pomegranate juice and vegan sugar.

What is a Tequila Sunrise?

A Tequila Sunrise is a cocktail that combines tequila, orange juice, and grenadine. Many associate its name with the gradient of colors resembling a morning sky. While its origins are debated, there’s no doubt about its popularity in the cocktail world. The drink is officially acknowledged by the IBA(International Bartender Association) which list it under “Contemporary Classics”.

A side shot of a Tequila Sunrise cocktail in a highball glass on a brown coaster placed on a beige table with two half oranges behind and a orange background-colour.

What are the Tequila Sunrise ingredients?

To make your own Tequila Sunrise, pick these ingredients:

  • Tequila: The primary spirit that provides the drink’s distinct flavor and kick.
  • Orange Juice: Adds a citrusy sweetness and creates the base for the drink.
  • Grenadine: A sweet and red syrup that, when added, settles at the bottom, creating the “sunrise” effect.

Tequila, orange juice, and grenadine laid out on a white bar table.

How do you make a Tequila Sunrise?

Join our easy instructions when you are ready to start mixing your Tequila Sunrise:

1
<p>Start by filling a highball glass with ice cubes to chill the drink.</p>

Start by filling a highball glass with ice cubes to chill the drink.

2
<p>Pour tequila over the ice, ensuring it forms the first layer.</p>

Pour tequila over the ice, ensuring it forms the first layer.

3
<p>Add the fresh orange juice, filling the glass almost to the top.</p>

Add the fresh orange juice, filling the glass almost to the top.

4
<p>Slowly drizzle grenadine into the glass, allowing it to sink to the bottom.</p>

Slowly drizzle grenadine into the glass, allowing it to sink to the bottom.

5
<p>If desired, garnish with an orange slice or cherry, and serve immediately.</p>

If desired, garnish with an orange slice or cherry, and serve immediately.

Can I make a Tequila Sunrise without grenadine?

Certainly, a Tequila Sunrise without grenadine might sound unconventional, but it’s doable. Grenadine gives the drink its signature sunrise effect, with its vibrant red hue settling at the bottom. If you’re out of grenadine or prefer to skip it, consider alternatives like pomegranate or cherry juice to achieve a similar color gradient. While the taste will vary slightly, the drink’s essence remains. Cocktails are all about personal preference, so feel free to experiment and find what works best for you. Cheers to innovation and sipping on your version of this classic!

What tequila is best in Tequila Sunrise?

 When crafting a Tequila Sunrise, the choice of tequila can elevate the drink from good to great. While tequila can do the job, many aficionados lean towards silver or blanco tequilas for their clean and crisp profiles. Brands like Patrón Silver, Don Julio Blanco, and Espolòn Blanco have gained popularity for their smooth finish and ability to blend seamlessly with orange juice and grenadine. If you’re looking for a top recommendation, Espolòn Blanco stands out for its affordability and quality, making it a favorite for many cocktail enthusiasts. Remember, the best tequila often comes down to personal preference, so find one that suits your palate and enjoy the sunrise in your glass!

A side shot of a Tequila Sunrise cocktail in a highball glass on a brown coaster placed on a beige table with a half orange on one side and a green plant on the other side.

What is the difference between between a Tequila Sunset and a Tequila Sunrise?

 A Tequila Sunrise is a well-known cocktail that combines tequila, orange juice, and grenadine. The grenadine, when poured, settles at the bottom of the glass, creating a gradient that resembles a morning sunrise. On the other hand, a Tequila Sunset introduces an additional layer, often using blackcurrant juice or a similar dark-colored ingredient. This added layer sits on top, giving the appearance of a darkening evening sky. So, while both drinks share a base of tequila and orange juice, the Tequila Sunset offers a darker, evening-inspired twist to the bright morning vibe of the Tequila Sunrise.

What is a corona Tequila Sunrise?

A Corona Tequila Sunrise is a twist on the traditional Tequila Sunrise cocktail. Instead of just using tequila, orange juice, and grenadine, this version incorporates a Corona beer bottle. The beer adds a fizzy and malty dimension to the drink, creating a unique blend of flavors that combines the refreshing qualities of a Tequila Sunrise with the crispness of a lager.

The Mocktail

Diving into the world of mocktails, the Tequila Sunrise doesn’t get left behind. The non-alcoholic version captures the essence of the original, minus the tequila. You still achieve that iconic sunrise gradient in the glass by using a blend of fresh orange juice and grenadine. Some folks even add a splash of soda or tonic water to introduce a fizzy element, mimicking the kick you’d get from the alcohol. It’s a refreshing, vibrant drink that lets everyone enjoy the magic of a sunrise in a glass, regardless of their beverage preferences. Whether you’re abstaining from alcohol or want a daytime refresher, the virgin version always hits the spot.

A side shot of a Tequila Sunrise cocktail in a highball glass on a brown coaster with oranges on the background.

Tequila Sunrise variations

Want something a tad different? Our large selection of variations should have something that interest you:

  • Tequila Moonrise: A nocturnal twist features in this darker, richer concoction. Darker fruit elements and a hint of spice lend it a mysterious, almost enigmatic quality. The flavors and colors evoke the mystery and allure of a moonlit night, making it intriguing.
  • Sunrise Mimosa: Perfect for brunch or early celebrations, it combines the freshness of orange juice with the light, bubbly character of sparkling wine. This refreshing and uplifting mix is particularly invigorating with its citrus notes, making it my go-to for starting the day on a high note.
  • Tropical Sunrise: Exotic, fruity flavors burst forth, transporting you to a beachside paradise. A blend of tropical fruit juices and a hint of sweetness creates a vacation in a glass. The vibrant colors and flavors always give me a holiday feeling, even in my backyard.
  • Pomegranate Sunrise: A tart, antioxidant-rich pomegranate twist defines this drink. Its deep red hue and slightly tart flavor add a sophisticated edge. I’m particularly fond of the contrast between sweet and tart notes, offering a complex yet harmonious taste experience.
  • Pineapple Tequila Sunrise: A tropical, tangy twist on the classic, it seamlessly blends the sweetness and acidity of pineapple with tequila. The tropical flair of pineapple makes this an irresistible choice for those who love a fruity, vibrant taste.
  • Hibiscus Tequila Sunrise: Floral, slightly tangy notes set this apart. Hibiscus infuses unique flavor and a stunning deep red color. The subtle yet distinctive floral notes add an elegant touch, distinguishing it from more traditional options.
  • Tequila Sunrise Margarita: A fusion of classic margarita structure with sunrise hues, it brings together orange juice and grenadine with the traditional lime and tequila base. The tart lime blends with sweet and fruity elements, creating a visually stunning and flavor-packed experience. I particularly enjoy this fusion, offering a delightful twist on two classics.
  • Peach Tequila Sunrise: Sweet, velvety peach adds a new dimension. Its mellow sweetness perfectly complements the boldness of tequila. The peach not only brings delightful sweetness but also a smooth, almost creamy texture, which I find particularly enjoyable.
  • Agave Sunrise: Focusing on the natural sweetness of agave, it offers a refined and sophisticated taste. The subtle sweetness of agave pairs perfectly with tequila, appealing to those who appreciate the spirit’s natural flavors. The emphasis on agave makes this my top choice for a more authentic experience.

A side shot of a Tequila Sunride cocktail in a highball glass on a brown coaster placed on a beige table, with some oranges and a plant on the side.

History and origin

The Tequila Sunrise has its roots in the early 20th century, but its journey to fame is a two-part story. The original cocktail, different from the one we know today, came to life in the 1930s in Phoenix, Arizona. The Arizona Biltmore Hotel Bartenders crafted the first version using tequila, crème de cassis, lime juice, and soda water.

However, the modern and more popular version of the cocktail emerged in the 1970s in Sausalito, California. Bartenders Bobby Lozoff and Billy Rice at the Trident restaurant reinvented the drink using tequila, orange juice, and grenadine. Their creation quickly gained popularity, especially among the rock ‘n’ roll crowd. Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones tried the drink at a party, loved it, and introduced it to the rest of the band during their 1972 tour. The cocktail’s fame skyrocketed when the Eagles released a song named “Tequila Sunrise” in 1973. From there, the vibrant gradient drink became synonymous with California’s laid-back, sun-soaked lifestyle and has remained a beloved choice for many ever since.

 

See More

Did you make this recipe?

We’d love to see how you crafted our recipes!
Tag us on Instagram at @_drinksworld

FAQ

How many calories are in a Tequila Sunrise?
A standard Tequila Sunrise contains approximately 200 calories, which can vary based on the specific ingredients used.
How strong is a Tequila Sunrise in terms of alcohol content?
Typically, the drink has an ABV (Alcohol By Volume) of around 12-15%, translating to 24-30 proof.
What type of alcohol is used in a Tequila Sunrise?
Tequila is the primary alcohol used in this drink.
In which type of glass is a Tequila Sunrise typically served?
It's traditionally served in a highball glass.
What does a Tequila Sunrise taste like?
The drink offers a sweet and citrusy flavor profile, with the tequila's warmth complemented by the refreshing taste of orange juice and the sweetness of grenadine.
What's the typical ratio of ingredients in a Tequila Sunrise?
The common ratio is 2 oz tequila, 4 oz orange juice, and ½ oz grenadine.
How is the Tequila Sunrise served in terms of temperature and ice?
It's served cold, typically over ice in a glass filled with ice cubes.
Why is it called a "Tequila Sunrise"?
The name comes from the gradient of colors in the drink, resembling a morning sunrise.

Categories

Types

Flavours

Share
Pin
Post
Share
Send
Email

Rate this recipe

I don’t like it

It’s not bad

I like it

I really like it!

I love it!

Comments

Leave a Reply

Select language

The page you are looking at is also available in the following languages:

Recipe Overview

Explore our recipes by the categories below.

By spirit

By type

By flavour

Spirits Overview

Explore our spirits by the categories below.

Types