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Tequila Sunrise Recipe

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!

A tulip glass is in front of two other glasses filled with the tequila sunrise cocktail with cherries and orange wedges
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

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.

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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!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I get a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you click the link and buy something. You can read my disclosure here.

Tequila sunrise ingredients

  • Tequila
  • Orange juice
  • Grenadine
Helpful
Tips
  • 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.

A tulip glass is in front of two other glasses filled with the tequila sunrise cocktail with cherries
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

How to make the tequila sunrise

Pre-step

Fill cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Get a measuring glass and glassware.

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.

Step one

The ingredients – tequila, orange juice and grenadine.

Tequila, orange juice, grenadine, cherries and an orange on a table
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Step two

Measure 2 ounces of tequila. (A)

Step three

Measure 4 ounces of orange juice. (B)

tequila and orange juice measured out
Image Credit: Dishes Delish.

Step four

Measure 1/2 ounce of grenadine. Set aside.  (C)

Step five

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)

Grenadine measured out and cherries on a pick as garnish
Image Credit: Dishes Delish.

Step six

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.)

Step seven

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.

Grenadine poured into the glass of the tequila sunrise cocktail ready to be garnished
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Step eight

Place the pick filled with the cherries and orange slice on the side of the rim of the glass.

martini glass in front of two other shaped glasses filled with the orange/red cocktail with fruit garnish
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

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.

Rocks glass filled with the sunrise cocktail in front with the other two cocktails are in the background
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

And the vertical view!

Vertical view of the tulip glass in front filled with the tequila sunrise. There are cherries and orange wedges as garnish
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

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.

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 FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!

Three glasses filled with the tequila sunrise cocktail - square

Tequila Sunrise Cocktail

This refreshing and delicious tequila sunrise cocktail recipe is great for any gathering.  It is easy, beautiful and delicious!
5 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: Cocktails
Keyword: tequila sunrise cocktail, tequila sunrise recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 cocktail
Calories: 260kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 4 ounces of orange juice 4 – 6 ounces depending on the size of your glass
  • 1/2 ounce of Grenadine

Garnish

Instructions

  • Fill a shaker half way with ice
  • Add tequila and orange juice. Cap shaker and shake for 15 seconds
    2 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 glass
    1/2 ounce of Grenadine
  • Add garnish
    1/2 orange slice, 3 maraschino cherries
  • Serve
  • Sip
  • Enjoy
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Notes

I love drinking this tequila sunrise cocktail in a tulip glass but you can use any glass you want.
Tips for making the tequila sunrise:
  • 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

Nutrition

Serving: 1cocktail | Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 283mg | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 285IU | Vitamin C: 74.3mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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This was originally published on February of 2016.

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From lighting up stages with her BA in theater to food journalist, 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.

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18 Comments

  1. We have such beautiful weather today in the UK, so this cocktail would do very nicely! Bookmarking the recipe to make it for the summer parties!

  2. So beautiful, and a great wonderful tutorial on how to get that perfect layered look! Our community pool just opened and sadly we can’t bring alcohol. Boo. BUT, I do envision myself sipping one of these on my patio!

  3. Ooooh I can definitely see myself drinking this cocktail by the poolside. The beach would work, too. It’s such a pretty and tasty cocktail, I love it!

  4. What a gorgeous drink!!???? Perfect for this hot weather and BBQ party! Pinning it for later ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. This cocktail is so lovely Lainey! I am in love with these shots! It makes my mouth water just looking at them! Nicely done!

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