tequila sunrise

How to Make Tequila Sunrise

Are you one of those people who want to know how to make the famous tequila sunset recipe? Today is your lucky day because this post got you covered. The tequila sunrise cocktail is extremely simple to make and is designed directly in the glass. All you need is grenadine, orange juice, and tequila, of course!

In this post, we will talk about everything you need to know about the proper ways to make tequila sunrise, the ingredients you need, and everything in between.

The History of Tequila Sunrise

Did you know that the original tequila sunrise was created by bartender Gene Sulit in Phoenix at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel? It was mainly composed of a combination of lime juice, crème de cassis, soda water, and tequila.

The more popular and highly-sought version of tequila sunrise—grenadine, orange juice, and tequila—was first made in the 1970s at the Trident Bar in Sausalito, California. It was invented by bartenders Billy Rice and Bobby Lozoff.

When the Rolling Stones started their 1972 American tour along with a party at the Trident, Mick Jagger, as well as his bandmates, became big followers of the Tequila Sunrise. On top of that, as the band started touring America, Mick Jagger popularized the cocktail, often ordering it at bars along the way.

On top of that, the cocktail was further celebrated in the collective psyche of the era through the 1973 song of The Eagles, “Tequila Sunrise.

Therefore, the orange juice version of the alcohol came to become a classic cocktail.

Even though named after the drink, the song describes the night of heavy tequila consumption to numb the pain of a breakup that lasts until the sun rises. The play on words wasn’t lost on many drink lovers, as the Tequila Sunrise cocktail is created without being mixed. That creates a gradient effect that mimics a real sunrise.

From there, references to tequila appeared all over the music industry. In fact, the Margaritaville of Jimmy Buffet in 1977 describes a tropical tequila-fueled paradise. On the other hand, the Hey Nineteen of Steely Dan in 1978 entreats Cuervo Colombian Gold to make tonight a wonderful thing.

The massive success of tequila has only continued to increase, and even though the Tequila Sunrise itself is no longer in the main spotlight, its sunrise effect on drinks culture stays.

What is Included in a Tequila Sunrise Drink?

Keep in mind that the Tequila Sunrise is a refreshing cocktail with only three basic ingredients. Thus, the overall quality of your ingredient notes makes a big difference in the flavor of your drink.

Grenadine Syrup

Take note that commercial grenadine has a bright-red color, which makes a fresh and refreshing Tequila Sunrise. However, nothing beats the flavor of a homemade drink. Did you know that you can create your own grenadine syrup by minimizing pomegranate juice with sugar until it reaches a syrup consistency?

To create a Tequila Sunrise, you can replace the grenadine for that blackberry brandy. Grenadine syrup is often accessible in the mixers section of your local grocery store. Adding this to your tequila drink will add a lovely, sweet taste and stunning color. Often, grenadine was made along with a pomegranate juice, and it still keeps that fruity flavor.

Making grenadine syrup is very simple as well. You will make juice out of the pomegranate seeds, simmer the juice out of the seeds, then simmer the juice with sugar until it finally thickens into a syrup. It does not have any artificial colors or additives in the store-bought version.


You can utilize a white or light (Blanco) tequila to restore the bright color of the drunk and to allow the flavors of the orange juice and grenadine to shine. The best part here is that there is no need to utilize a costlier reposado or añejo tequila that would change the color of your cocktail a little bit.

Orange Juice

Would you like to achieve a more elevated tequila drinking experience? Then you can try using freshly squeezed orange juice. If you like, you can also garnish your Tequila Sunrise with some maraschino cherry or orange slice.

Classic Tequila Sunrise Recipe

Ingredients You Need

–         1 ½ ounce tequila

–         ½ ounce grenadine

–         3 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice

–         Maraschino cherry to garnish

Prep Time

5 minutes


1.      Slowly pour the tequila and orange juice straight into a tall glass (such as a highball glass or Collins glass) filled with ice cubes and stir that to mix.

2.      Tilt your glass and pour the grenadine slowly into your drink, down the inside of your glass. Make sure you also allow the grenadine to sink at the bottom of the glass for that sunrise effect.

3.      Finally, you can garnish with an orange and maraschino cherry on top.

What is the difference between Tequila Sunrise and Tequila Sunset?

You may be wondering what the difference between tequila sunrise and tequila sunset is. You see, these two cocktails originally have the same ingredients. However, if you mix the grenadine with a splash of soda water, the red color will be at the top of the drink rather than at the bottom of the glass.

Do you need to stir the tequila sunrise first before you drink it?

Whether you like to stir it or not, that’s only a personal preference. Nonetheless, according to some beliefs, the drink acquired its name because of the colors developing in the highball glass filled with tequila that resemble the sunrise or sunset. Thus, it should not be stirred at all.

How do you serve a Tequila Sunrise?

Are you planning on hosting a Mexican event? Then you can try serving your drink with a Mexican glass. On the other hand, are you searching for a more tropical vibe like the original version? Then you will need to have a long-stem glass. You can also serve it along with orange slice or lemon and an umbrella.

We also suggest using clear ice for that astounding look. If you wish to take your tequila sunrise drink over the top, you should think ahead and create a batch of clear ice. In that case, you will need to think 24 hours earlier.

Still, you can create a batch that would last for many drinks and just store it in your freezer. That makes perfectly clear artisan-style ice as you would normally see in a fancy bar.

Are there other variations of Tequila Sunrise?

Yes, there are. In fact, this drink is sweet. If you’re a fan of sour cocktails, then you may like to squeeze some lime juice into your drink and add some tart flavor. You can also add some orange liqueur, such as Cointreau, to offer it some complexity.

Further, you can create a Tequila Sunset by replacing blackberry brander for the grenadine. That’s one of the best ways to make a tequila sunrise without grenadine. You can try a Malibu sunset through Malibu Coconut Rum or make your drink along with vodka for a Vodka Sunset.

What is the best tequila to use for Tequila Sunrise?

Would you want to create the best tequila cocktails for your event? The key how to making great tequila at sunrise is to buy a good quality tequila. Keep in mind that a cocktail is only as great as the alcohol you use.

So, make sure you go for mid-range tequila, as the price is often an indicator of the drink’s quality. Further, you can utilize either tequila reposado or tequila Blanco in this cocktail receipt.

When is the best time to serve Tequila Sunrise?

Your tequila sunrise with pineapple juice is fruity and sweet at the same time, suitable for summer occasions. It is ideal for drinking as a:

–         Brunch drink

–         Summer drink

–         Girl’s night drink

–         Dinner party drink

What are the nutrition facts of these 2 ingredient tequila drinks?

Remember that nutritional information provided is an automatic calculation and could differ based on the exact products you use and any changes you make to the recipe itself. If those figures are crucial to you, we would recommend calculating them on your own.

Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 22 grams | Protein: 1 gram | Fat: 1 gram | Saturated Fat: 1 gram | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 gram | Monounsaturated Fat: 1 gram | Sodium: 6 milligrams | Potassium: 248 milligrams | Fiber: 1 gram | Sugar: 16 grams | Vitamin A: 234IU | Vitamin C: 61 milligrams | Calcium: 15 milligrams | Iron: 1 milligram

Final Thoughts

So, are you thirsty yet? Well, grab that bottle of tequila, and orange juice or orange slice, and grenadine, put on your classic rock, and make a Tequila Sunrise. All there is left to do after that is enjoy a wonderful day.

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