Our Tequila Sunrise recipe is so easy to craft that you’ll be sipping your tasty tequila tipple in just a few minutes. In other words, it’s not just another Tequila Sunrise recipe. It’s a keeper.
You’re probably already familiar with tequila sunrises.
Perhaps you drank Tequila Sunrise cocktails when you were in your early 20s or during a Caribbean vacation. With its fruity flavor and relatively low alcohol content, the colorful cocktail is easy to find at both frat parties and beach bars.
Discover more colorful cocktails.
Or maybe you’re more familiar with the Tequila Sunrise’s place in pop culture. It was Mick Jagger’s nickname for a 1972 Rolling Stones tour, the name of a 1973 Eagles song and a 1988 movie starring Mel Gibson, Michelle Pfeiffer and Kurt Russell. References aside, once you start humming the Eagles song, it’s hard to get it out of your head.
Either way, your first time crafting a Tequila Sunrise cocktail at home likely won’t be your last. It’s one of those cocktails that’s as easy to craft as it is to sip.
What Is a Tequila Sunrise Cocktail?
Not counting ice cubes and garnishes, a Tequila Sunrise is a three-ingredient cocktail with a clever name. It also has a unique appearance that justifies a moniker that makes people smile.
After all, who doesn’t like sunrises?!
History of the Tequila Sunrise
The Tequila Sunrise is a cocktail with two different histories.
History number one occurred almost a century ago when bartenders combined tequila with creme de cassis, lime juice and club soda at a Phoenix hotel. While those cocktails surely tasted good, that Tequila Sunset didn’t stand the test of time.
Things got real in the swinging 70s. That’s when the Tequila Sunrise we all know and love was first crafted with tequila, grenadine and orange juice in Sausalito, California.
Tequila Sunrise Ingredients
You only need the following ingredients to craft a Tequila Sunrise at home:
You probably already have all of these ingredients in your pantry and home bar. If not, they should be easy to find either locally or online.
You don’t have to buy a special bottle to craft Tequila Sunrise cocktails at home. Any tequila will work so long as it’s blanco, i.e. white.
We crafted our Tequila Sunrise cocktails with Jose Cuervo Especial tequila made with blue agave since that’s what was in our liquor cabinet. Distilled in Mexico, it has a 38% ABV. While it may not be the finest tequila for sipping, it’s an ideal tequila for crafting cocktails like this one.
Discover our favorite tequila cocktails.
We also used grenadine syrup produced by Monin. This French company doesn’t add any artificial colors or flavors to its bright red pomegranate syrup which makes it better than other commercial grenadine syrups.
Buy a bottle of Monin grenadine syrup from Amazon.
How to Craft a Tequila Sunrise Cocktail
The Tequila Sunrise is a lazy mixologist’s dream. Not only does this cocktail look and taste great, it’s also super easy to craft with the most basic of equipment.
In this recipe, you only need the following two basic bar tools:
Don’t give up if you’re missing one or both of these basic bar tools. You could use an angled measuring cup instead of a jigger and a long-handled kitchen spoon instead of a bar spoon.
We used a silver cocktail pick to display our garnish. While this inexpensive tool is completely optional, it adds a nice touch to the finished drink.
Discover 10 essential bar tools for home mixologists.
After you gather the ingredients and bar tools, the first step is to fill a highball glass with ice cubes.
Measure the tequila and orange juice. Immediately pour each into the highball glass.
Buy a Japanese Jigger from Amazon if you don’t have a jigger or want an inexpensive upgrade.
Stir gently with a bar spoon or another long utensil.
Measure the grenadine. Slowly pour the ruby red pomegranate syrup into the highball glass.
Do not stir after adding the grenadine. If you do, you’ll lose the sunrise effect.
Garnish with an orange wedge and a maraschino cherry or two.
Sip and enjoy.
Tequila Sunrise Drink Alternatives
The following Tequila Sunrise alternatives should keep your tastebuds from getting bored:
Tequila Sunrise FAQs
The Tequila Sunrise is a colorful tequila cocktail crafted with tequila, grenadine and orange juice.
The modern-day Tequila Sunrise was invented in Sausalito, California.
Blanco Tequila, Orange Juice, Grenadine, Orange Wedge (garnish), Maraschino Cherry (garnish) and Ice Cubes
The Tequila Sunrise is stirred, not shaken, before the grenadine is added.
No. The Tequila Sunrise is relatively mild since tequila is the cocktail’s only liquor ingredient.
While both cocktails contain tequila and orange juice, the Tequila Sunrise recipe includes grenadine while the Tequila Sunset includes blackberry brandy.
Tequila Sunrise Recipe
This isn't just another tequila sunrise recipe. It's also an easy recipe that combines tequila, grenadine and orange juice to create a tasty tipple.
- 2 ounces blanco tequila
- 4 ounces orange juice
- 1/2 ounce grenadine
- orange wedge (garnish)
- maraschino cherry (garnish)
- ice cubes
- Fill highball glass with ice cubes.
- Pour tequila and orang juice into the glass. Gently stir.
- Slowly pour grenadine into the glass.
- Garnish with orange wedge and a maraschino cherry or two.
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Monin - Grenadine Syrup, Delightfully Sweet, Natural Flavors, Great for Cocktails, Mocktails, Sodas, and Smoothies, Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free (750 Milliliters)
Japanese Jigger - Premium Double Cocktail Jigger, 1oz/2oz made from Stainless Steel 304
Hiware LZS13B 12 Inches Stainless Steel Mixing Spoon, Spiral Pattern Bar Cocktail Shaker Spoon
15PCS Cocktail Picks, Upgrade Stainless Steel Martini Picks, Reusable Metal Cocktail Skewers, 4.3 Inches Cocktail Toothpicks for Martinis Olives Appetizers Sandwich by FATLODA
Highball Glasses [Set of 4] + 4 Stainless Steel Straws, 16 oz Lead-Free Crystal Clear Glass, Elegant Drinking Cups for Water, Wine, Beer, Cocktails and Mixed Drinks - Round Top, Square Bottom
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About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.
Original Publication Date: January 27, 2023