If you’re looking for a stunning and delicious drink that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser, look no further than this Tequila Sunrise recipe. This easy-to-make beverage is colorful and flavorful, making it perfect for any occasion. Take a sip of this timeless classic; let us show you how simple creating an impressive cocktail can be!
When I worked at a Mexican restaurant, margaritas were the most popular mixed drink. But this tequila sunrise cocktail was a close second. And it’s not just because they are so delicious and refreshing but so beautiful they made our patron’s eyes gleam when they saw it.
Want to learn more about tequila? Read my comprehensive guide here.
The history of the tequila sunrise
The version that we see here and at restaurants came out in the early 1970s in Sausalito, California. Sausalito is a beautiful ocean side city in Marin County and if you ever get a chance, I encourage you to visit if you’re ever in Callifornia.
The reason it’s named the tequila sunrise is because when you serve it, the color gradients resemble a California sunrise.
Alternately, the first iteration of this cocktail actually came out in the 1930s in Phoenix, Arizona.
Do you have to serve this drink in a tulip glass?
No. They look cool in the tulip glass. In the photos below you will see a variety of glassware. Each piece showcases this delicious cocktail in its way!
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Tequila sunrise ingredients
- Although I usually use premium liquor in my cocktails, this cocktail doesn’t require premium. This cocktail has a good amount of juice, so the nuance of premium over mid-range liquor would not be pronounced.
- You can use Blanco tequila, Reposados tequila, or Añejo tequila—your choice.
- I’m using Patron Silver tequila but a good budget tequila is the Jose Cuervo brand.
- You don’t have to use a cocktail shaker, you can pour the ingredients in the glass. I prefer the shaker because of the ice chips that result when you shake a cocktail, and it makes for a colder drink.
- You can use more than 4 ounces of orange juice but don’t use more than 6 ounces because it will dilute the cocktail too much.
- I used orange juice with pulp, but know that you will see the pulp in the drink.
- If you use a big glass and you’ve hit the 6-ounce mark in juice, just add more ice.
- This cocktail is made in a tulip glass but use whatever you have. You will see below that along with the tulip glass, I use a martini glass and a double old-fashioned glass. See how different they look in each glass? Another good choice is a highball glass.
- Interestingly enough, the difference between a tequila sunrise and a tequila sunset is the sunset doesn’t use grenadine to sweeten the cocktail but instead adds blackberry brandy.
Even though you see three cocktails in this post, the recipe is for one refreshing drink. You can adjust how many servings you need by changing the number in the serving section of the recipe card. You can even make a pitcher if you like.
How to make the tequila sunrise
Other than the grenadine, after measuring each ingredient below, pour it into the shaker.
The reason you don’t add the grenadine to the shaker is because after you pour the contents of the shaker into the glassware, you are going to add the sweet syrup which will sink to the bottom of the glass.
The ingredients – tequila, orange juice and grenadine.
Measure 2 ounces of tequila. (A)
Measure 4 ounces of orange juice. (B)
Measure 1/2 ounce of grenadine. Set aside. (C)
Prepare your garnish: three maraschino cherries and an orange slice. I use my much loved martini pick to skewer the cherries, alternating the colors! (D)
Add fresh ice to the glass. Place the lid on your shaker and shake for 15 seconds. Strain and pour the contents into the glass. (This is when I adjust the ice cubes. I use the ice left in the shaker if needed. You want the mixture to be a quarter of an inch from the top of the glass.)
Take a cocktail spoon and place it against the glass with the back of the spoon facing up. Slowly pour the grenadine syrup over the back of a spoon down the side of the glass (inside). The grenadine will sink to the bottom.
Place the pick filled with the cherries and orange slice on the side of the rim of the glass.
The photo below shows a double old fashioned glass filled with the tequila sunrise cocktail.
Notice that the grenadine will start rising up the orange juice. You can also see I use orange juice with pulp.
And the vertical view!
Do you like to stir your cocktails? Here is an example of the tequila sunrise stirred. It’s still pretty.
I hope you enjoyed this tequila sunrise cocktail recipe and will make it very soon; it is so delicious! The flavors meld so nicely and it makes for a refreshing cocktail.
Other popular tequila recipes
And as always, may all your dishes/drinks be delish!
If you’ve tried this or any other recipe on the blog, I’d love the hear what you thought about it in the comments below. I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!
Tequila Sunrise Cocktail
- 2 ounces tequila
- 4 ounces of orange juice 4 – 6 ounces depending on the size of your glass
- 1/2 ounce of Grenadine
- 1/2 orange slice
- 3 maraschino cherries
- Fill a shaker half way with ice
- Add tequila and orange juice. Cap shaker and shake for 15 seconds2 ounces tequila, 4 ounces of orange juice
- Fill tulip glass half way with ice
- Pour contents of shaker in your glass of choice and add ice if needed to fill the glass
- Measure 1/2 ounce of grenadine and pour it down the inside of the glass1/2 ounce of Grenadine
- Add garnish1/2 orange slice, 3 maraschino cherries
- Although I almost always use premium liquor in my cocktails, this cocktail doesn’t require premium. The reason being there is a good amount of juice in this cocktail so the nuance of premium over mid range would be not pronounced
- You don’t have to use a cocktail shaker, you can just pour the ingredients in the glass. I prefer the shaker because of the ice chips that is a result when you shake a cocktail, and it makes for a colder drink
- You can use more than 4 ounces of orange juice, but don’t use more than 6 ounces because it will dilute it too much
- I used an orange juice with pulp, but just know you will see it in the drink
- If you use a big glass and you’ve hit the 6 ounce mark in juice, just add more ice
- This cocktail is made in a tulip glass but use whatever you have on hand
This was originally published on February of 2016.
From lighting up stages with her BA in theater to crafting delightful dishes and cocktails, Elaine Benoit's journey is a testament to passion's transformative power. As the CEO of Dishes Delish, she offers a blend of healthy, comforting recipes and exquisitely crafted cocktails. Beyond the kitchen, Elaine voiced her culinary adventures on her podcast, "Dishing," and co-owns Food Blogger Help, extending her expertise to guide budding food bloggers to success. Whether it's for a heartwarming dish or insights into food blogging, Elaine's diverse experiences make her a beacon in the culinary digital landscape.