Tequila Sunrise

Rating: 4.5/5. From 2 reviews.
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PREP TIME 10 min

Cocktail Type


Great for




Top Shot of A Refreshing Tequila Sunrise Cocktail

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 he went to in 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.



1 Person

1.5 Oz

45 Ml

1.5 Parts

3 Oz

90 Ml

3 Parts

orange juice, freshly squeezed
0.5 Oz

15 Ml

0.5 Parts

to garnish, a lime wedge or twist of orange



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 OJ 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 Espolòn 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 colors and high fructose corn syrup, which will elevate your Tequila Sunrise drink.

Easy 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.

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
  • If this easy Tequila Sunrise recipe is too sweet for you, squeeze in a little lime juice
  • If you are pouring for a crowd into pitchers, bulk up the ingredients. For a less boozy pitcher, pour one part tequila to three parts OJ
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Assuming you have poured your Tequila Sunrise drink into an average tumbler making a 6-7 oz drink, your tumbler holds an alcohol content of about 11% ABV.

The grenadine syrup is what gives the Tequila Sunrise it’s signature red hue because of the high sugar content making the syrup thick and dense. The density of it makes it sink to the bottom of the glass, tinting the orange juice on the way down.

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 the grenadine.

The original mix of a Tequila Sunrise was documented in a book called “Hollywood Cocktails” the 1933 just before the end of Prohibition. It wasn’t mixed with orange juice, but rather a splash of lime, some grenadine and dash of Crème de Cassis, which is a blackcurrant liqueur.

If you dare to stir a Tequila Sunrise drink, you will lose the beautifully layered effect created by the grenadine slowly sinking into the orange juice, so enjoy it before you swirl your spoon.