The Sun Rises Over a Perfect Drink
If you’ve ever scrolled through photos of cocktails on Instagram, chances are you’re familiar with the sight of a tequila sunrise. When mixed correctly, the drink’s layers create a visually stunning gradient that resembles an early morning sunrise. But did you know that the original tequila sunrise was composed of tequila, edi de cassis, lime juice, and soda water?
First created by Gene Sulit to be served at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel, the first tequila sunrise was poured in the 1930s. However, the more modern tequila sunrise (tequila, orange juice, and grenadine) was created by Bobby Lozoff and Billy Rice in the 1970s at the Trident bar. After it’s revamp at the Trident, the tequila sunrise spread in popularity across the states and became the popular bar cocktail it is today.
Although the tequila sunrise is incredibly delicious, half of the drink itself is about presentation. When creating your own tequila sunrise, be careful when adding the syrup so that it sinks to the bottom of the glass. This can be done by drizzling it down the side of the glass or (more easily) by using the back of a spoon to create the layered effect.
If you’re looking to create a cocktail that’s bright, delicious, and visually appealing, the tequila sunrise is the perfect fit for you. We’ve collected some of our favorite tequila sunrise recipes below that we know you’ll adore. Try mixing one up when you have an evening to practice your cocktail skills so that next time you have company, you can impress them with an ever-adored tequila sunrise.
1.5 oz Tequila, 0.75 cup Orange Juice, 0.75 oz Grenadine Syrup
The traditional tequila sunrise is such a hit due to its bright, sweet citrus flavor. If you’re looking for a cocktail that will remind you of the bright summer sun and that’s perfect for sipping on the beach, look no further. Consider packing your cocktail supplies next time you head out for vacation to impress your loved ones with this delicious recipe. To create this drink:
- Fill a highball glass with ice, then pour in tequila and orange juice
- Slowly pour in grenadine using the back of a spoon to layer
- Garnish with an orange slice or maraschino cherry, then serve
1 oz Mezcal, 1 oz Dry Sparkling White Wine, 2 oz Orange Juice, 0.5 cup Pomegranate Juice, 0.5 cup Sugar
The warm, smoky flavors of mezcal work incredibly well in the place of tequila to create this twist on the tequila sunrise. If you’re looking to enjoy the tequila sunrise without a sugar rush, this recipe is a wonderful alternative. The pomegranate really brings out the perfect amount of bite to compensate for the sugar. To create this drink:
- Begin by creating pomegranate syrup by heating pomegranate juice and sugar in a small pot over medium-high heat
- Once sugar is dissolved (roughly 5 minutes), remove from heat and chill 30 minutes
- Fill cocktail glass with ice and pour the rest of the ingredients in
- Slowly pour in the pomegranate syrup using the back of a spoon to layer, then serve
1.5 oz Blanco Tequila, 0.75 oz Lime Juice, 1 oz Sparkling Water, 0.5 oz Crème de Cassis Liqueur
This take on the tequila sunrise swaps out the ever-popular orange juice for a lime juice alternative. The tart lime juice is incredibly bright and refreshing and when coupled with crème de cassis, a delicious cocktail that tastes like sunshine is the result. If you’re looking to enjoy a tequila sunrise without the sometimes sour orange flavor, this is your best bet. To create this drink:
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, then pour in tequila and lime juice
- Shake vigorously until chilled
- Pour into tall cocktail glass, then top with soda
- Slowly pour in the crème de cassis using the back of a spoon to layer
- Garnish with a lime wedge, then serve
Mango Tequila Sunrise
2 oz Tequila, 2 oz Mango Juice, 2 oz Orange Juice, 1 oz Grenadine
The blend of both mango and orange juice creating a delicious tropical cocktail that’s perfect for relaxing by the pool. This delicious little drink is both filled with wonderful flavors and is incredibly beautiful, perfect for even the pickiest of cocktail drinkers. If you’re looking for a drink that’s full of ‘wow’ factor, look no further. To create this drink:
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, then add tequila, orange juice, and mango juice
- Shake vigorously until chilled
- Pour into cocktail glass over ice
- Slowly pour in the grenadine using the back of a spoon to layer
- Garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry, then serve
1.25 oz Gold Tequila, 4 oz Orange Juice, 2 tsp Crème de Cassis
This recipe substitutes rich, dark crème de cassis for the incredibly sweet grenadine that usually creates the base for a tequila sunrise. Because of the richer flavor, we recommend opting for a gold tequila rather than the traditionally used blanco. If you enjoy tequila sunrises but you’re looking for a more mature approach, this recipe should be the perfect fit. To create this drink:
- Fill a tall cocktail glass with ice and then add tequila, followed by orange juice
- Using a spoon, drop in crème de cassis directly into the center of the drink, then serve
Are we the only ones craving a tequila sunrise after reading these wonderful recipes? Whether you’re looking for a modern tequila sunrise with a twist or an old-school approach, these cocktail recipes are sure to be delicious and to impress. If you’re looking to flex your mixologist skills, the tequila sunrise can provide perfect practice. Next time the weather starts to heat up, pull up this list and prepare to make an impressive drink. Before you take a sip, remember to snap a pic so that you can wow any friends who weren’t present for the tasting!