Tequila Sunrise Cocktail Recipe

You've tried daiquiris, pina coladas, margaritas, and mai tais, but one tropical drink missing from your vacation? The tequila sunrise. With a beautiful red-to-gold gradient and delicious sweetness, a tequila sunrise is a summer favorite for vacation-goers and can also be made easily at home.

The tequila sunrise was invented in the 1930s and originally contained creme de cassis and lime, which now more closely relates to the sunrise's cousin cocktail, the tequila sunset. Some of the many variations on the simple drink include swapping the tequila for bourbons and adding pineapple to the orange. You can be creative with a tequila sunrise or keep it simple; either way, you'll have a delicious drink.

In this recipe, developer Michelle McGlinn shares a classic recipe for a tequila sunrise and offers easy swaps and fun garnish additions to make the cocktail extra special. Like margaritas and palomas, a tequila sunrise pairs best with tacos, fish, and rice dishes. You can also swap your brunch mimosa for a tequila sunrise and serve with french toast, bacon, and eggs. A drink you can enjoy any time of day? Count us in.

Gather your tequila sunrise ingredients

For this easy, no-fuss cocktail, you only need three ingredients. Grab your favorite tequila blanco, orange juice, and grenadine; and if you want a garnish, a slice of orange and a maraschino cherry, too. If you don't like tequila, you can swap for vodka, or make it a mocktail by omitting the spirit and adding a splash of sparkling water. This drink is often made with premade orange juice, but feel free to juice your oranges fresh or add in a splash of blood orange juice for added sweetness.

Pour the tequila and orange juice

This easy cocktail can be built in your glass, no shaker or mixing glass needed. You can use a highball, a hurricane, a flute, or even a wine glass for this drink. Whichever glass you choose, fill it with ice for a refreshing, cold drink. Pour the tequila and orange juice over the ice and give the liquids a quick stir. You can vary the amount of OJ to suit your tastes or fill the glass.

Pour in the grenadine

The only trick to this drink is to pour the grenadine last so that it sinks to the bottom. Grenadine is heavier than tequila and orange juice, so if it's poured into the two lighter liquids, it will sink. Pour slowly into the center of the drink to ensure the color sinks to the bottom. Having trouble getting the grenadine to sink? Try using a bar spoon inserted into the glass; stand it straight up with the spoon touching the bottom, and pour the grenadine onto the spoon. The grenadine slowly sinks and disperses, creating the famous "sunrise" gradient.

Garnish and serve

For a classic garnish, cut a generous slice of orange and place it into the drink then add a maraschino cherry and serve. You can also garnish using an orange twist or wheel, a sprig of mint, or even fresh edible flowers. You can also make tequila sunrise by the batch by multiplying one serving of tequila and orange juice into the amount needed and storing in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, add the batched portions to glasses and pour in the grenadine.

Want to be whisked away to a tropical paradise? Try our tequila sunrise recipe below.

Tequila Sunrise Cocktail Recipe
5 from 30 ratings
This tequila sunrise recipe enables you to bring tropical goodness right into your own home bar.
Prep Time
Cook Time
tequila sunrise on a table
Total time: 2 minutes
  • 2 ounces tequila blanco
  • 6 ounces orange juice
  • 1 ounce grenadine syrup
  • 1 orange slice, for garnish
  • 1 maraschino cherry, for garnish
  1. In a tall glass, pour tequila and orange juice over large ice cubes.
  2. Pour grenadine into drink; grenadine will sink to the bottom.
  3. Garnish with orange slice and cherry to serve.
Calories per Serving 298
Total Fat 0.4 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 41.1 g
Dietary Fiber 1.0 g
Total Sugars 35.2 g
Sodium 5.9 mg
Protein 1.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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