For A Sweeter Cocktail, Splash Blood Orange Juice Into Your Tequila Sunrise

Tequila is a wonderfully versatile spirit for mixing. It forms the perfect aromatic base for cocktails like the classic margarita, innovative torchlight (which is made with Cholula hot sauce), and the zesty paloma. But, no matter the formulation, it's frequently accompanied by a staple mixing component: citrus. The bright, acidic fruit perfectly meshes with the tequila's herbal, mineral, and spicy flavors.

While limes may be the most common citrus and tequila combination, other varieties of the tangy fruit pair well, too. Take the sweet and refreshing tequila sunrise, made with grenadine, maraschino cherries, and orange juice. With a less zesty, tangy character, the drink showcases tequila's delicious earthy notes alongside sweet flavors.

If you want to amplify the cocktail's sugary quality even further, swap in blood orange juice for traditional orange juice. This winter citrus has a sweet, bold, and berry-like taste that'll perfectly align with the drink's flavors and will further enhance its bright, sunset-like visual presentation. Simply add a splash or more to create a unique spin on the classic cocktail.

Blood orange juice adds delicious sweetness to a tequila sunrise

A classic tequila sunrise calls for 6 ounces of orange juice and 2 ounces of tequila. While completely substituting the orange juice is possible, it'll result in an overly sweet cocktail alongside grenadine's sugary pomegranate-based flavor. So, instead, mix portions of orange and blood orange juices together to suit your sweetness preference. As a bonus, bright red blood orange wedges also provide the perfect garnish for the cocktail. 

A tequila sunrise easily melds with other fruit juice, too, so feel free to experiment with further additions. For example, lime juice can help balance out sweetness, and triple sec can infuse a more concentrated orange flavor in liqueur form. It's even possible to branch out of the citrus world entirely and add cranberry juice.

Regardless of what components you use, reach for a bottle of blanco tequila rather than an aged variety. Its bright, vegetal flavor better aligns with sweet fruit juices. And, as long as the drink follows a loose structure with a balanced alcohol and fruit ratio, the result will likely be delicious no matter what.