For a drink that evokes memories of those gorgeous beach sunrises, stay with us and learn how to make a Tequila Sunrise. This legendary 70s cocktail achieved cult status after Mick Jagger started ordering a Tequila Sunrise drink in every bar all over the US during the 1972 The Rolling Stones tour. It even got a mention in Keith Richards’ book Life, saying that the 72’ tour was known as “The Cocaine and Tequila Sunrise Tour”. With this famous seal of approval, this cocktail is a guaranteed winner at your next retro party.
For funky layers, gently pour your grenadine over a spoon, it sinks to the bottom
Don’t stir the drink if you want the layers to stay put!
For a perfect mocktail, ditch the tequila
Pour your tequila into a tumbler
Fill with a few cubes of ice and top up with orange juice
Pour the grenadine gently over a spoon, allowing it to sink down
Garnish and serve
The only 3 Tequila Sunrise cocktail ingredients you need
This cocktail was born in the era when fondue sets and disco fever were all the rage, and when orange juice was everyone’s cocktail mixer of choice. Tequila Sunrise cocktail ingredients include just three elements: orange juice, tequila and grenadine. While it sounds simple, when made properly using the very best of these three ingredients, this drink can be a thing of wonder.
Choose an excellent quality tequila like Espolõn Tequila Blanco, which is a fantastic spirit made with 100% Blue Weber agave to create a solid base. Top it off with the best orange juice, either freshly pressed or squeezed at home. Finally, we need grenadine, a thick red syrup that sweetens and dyes your cocktail bright red. Fortunately, with the craft drinks trend taking off now, one can pick good quality craft grenadines from a range of amazing producers, made with real fruit like pomegranate juice and cane sugar over ones with artificial colours and high fructose corn syrup, which will elevate your Tequila Sunrise drink.
Complete steps to make a Tequila Sunrise cocktail
There is nothing complicated to compiling this vibrant citrusy Tequila Sunrise drink at all. The most important thing to remember however is how to make the iconic layered sunrise effect. For this, you must pour the three ingredients in the following sequence; one part Tequila followed up with two parts orange juice poured over a small handful of ice and finally the grenadine is the last addition. Drizzle it over a spoon and it will sink to the base because it’s denser than the other ingredients, creating the signature red layer at the bottom of the glass. All that’s left to do is a garnish with either a twist of lime or orange.
Tequila Sunrise vs a Tequila Sunset
A Tequila Sunset and a Tequila Sunrise are made up with similar ingredients and look the same, the latter being the original. In a Tequila Sunset, however, the red tint is made up of a blackberry brandy instead of grenadine. This does give it a stronger ABV content, delivering a drink with more depth of flavour with the rich caramel notes of the brandy. And a slightly less sweet drink without the grenadine.
Tips and tricks for the perfect sip
To guarantee the ultimate Tequila Sunrise drink, remember your best investment is the
ingredients, so splash out on good quality ones. Here are a few extra tips for your perfect sip:
- Choose a tumbler for a shorter, stronger drink
- Pick a highball if you want to soften the booze a little
- Don’t worry about pouring grenadine last, the density of the thick syrup makes it sink to the bottom. Just pour it gently over a spoon
- If this easy Tequila Sunrise recipe is too sweet for you, squeeze in a little lime juice
- Don’t stir the drink if you want the layers to stay put!
- For a less boozy sip, pour one part tequila to three parts orange juice