Tequila Sunrise

tequila sunrise recipe

Despite its gorgeous ombre hue, the Tequila Sunrise gets a bad rap. People think of it as little more than a club drink in a cocktail world where serious drinkers enjoy Martinis or neat pours of small batch bourbon. Some of that may come from its use of sweet grenadine and some may come from its rock and roll past. Bobby Lozoff and Billy Rice created the drink at The Trident Bar in Sausalito, California, debuting it at a private party for The Rolling Stones on the eve of their Exile On Main Street U.S. tour. As the story goes, after requesting a Margarita, Mick Jagger was given a Tequila Sunrise to try instead, and the band ended up ordering it at bars across America. A year later in 1973, Jose Cuervo cashed in on the cocktail’s popularity by placing the recipe on their bottle. But don’t let that overexposure and party drink reputation dissuade you. A well-made Tequila Sunrise, mixed with a quality 100% agave blanco tequila (we like Espolon or 1800) can transport you to a sunny beach on a warm summer day.

But remember, if you’re having a Tequila Sunrise, you don’t just want a tasty drink, you want to end up with a beautiful one, too. So build the drink in the glass and use the least amount of mixing possible to achieve the “sunrise” look that gives the cocktail its name.

Tequila Sunrise

Sweet, Sour


  • 2 oz Blanco Tequila
  • 3 oz Orange Juice
  • .5 oz Grenadine
  • orange
  • cherry


Step one

Pour tequila and orange juice over ice in a highball glass and stir gently with a bar spoon to mix.

Step two

Drop the grenadine into the glass, allowing it to fall down to the bottom of the cocktail.

Step three

Garnish with an orange slice and a brandied cherry.

Contributed by Supercall

Mix It Up!

For a less sweet and more floral version, try swapping out store-bought grenadine for this homemade hibiscus grenadine.