A pretty drink with visible layers of orange juice and grenadine, giving it a two-toned sunrise-like effect. The Tequila Sunrise is a cocktail made of tequila, orange juice, and grenadine syrup and served unmixed in a tall glass . The modern drink originates from California in the early 1970s, after an earlier one created in the 1930s in Arizona.
Pour orange over ice cubes in a chilled 12 oz glass. Slowly pour in the grenadine, and allow it to settle to the bottom of the glass (be patient). Garnish with a slice of orange and a maraschino cherry.
- Served: On the rocks; poured over ice
- Standard garnish: Orange slice, Cherry
- Drinkware: Collins glass
Use 2 oz tequila, 4 oz orange juice, 3/4 oz grenadine.
History of the Tequila Sunrise
The original Tequila Sunrise contained tequila, crème de cassis, lime juice and soda water and was served at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel, where it was created by Gene Sulit in the 1930s or 1940s.
The more popular modern version of the cocktail contains tequila, orange juice, and grenadine and was created by Bobby Lazoff and Billy Rice in the early 1970s while working as young bartenders at the Trident in Sausalito, California north of San Francisco. In 1972, at a private party at the Trident organized by Bill Graham to kick off the Rolling Stones’ 1972 tour in America, Mick Jagger had one of the cocktails, liked it, and he and his entourage started drinking them down. They later ordered them all across America, even dubbing the tour itself their “cocaine and tequila sunrise tour”.
At the time, the Trident was the largest outlet for tequila in the United States, and in 1973 Jose Cuervo picked up on the new drink as a marketing opportunity and put the recipe for the new drink on the back of their bottles of tequila, and promoted it in other ways. Later that same year the Eagles recorded a song called Tequila Sunrise for their Desperado album as the drink was soaring in popularity.
Preparation and serving
The drink is mixed by pouring in Tequila, ice, then the juice and, lastly, syrup. The signature look of the drink depends on adding the syrup without mixing with the other ingredients. A spoon may be used to guide the syrup down the glass wall to the bottom of the glass with minimal mixing.
- Aperol Sunrise – substitute Aperol orange liqueur for grenadine
- Tequila Sunset – substitute blackberry brandy, or dark rum, for grenadine
- Caribbean Sunrise – use rum instead of tequila
- Vodka (or Russian) Sunrise – use vodka instead of tequila
- Southern Sunrise – use Southern Comfort instead of tequila
- Astronaut Sunrise – use Tang instead of orange juice
- Amaretto Sunrise – use Disaronno amaretto instead of tequila
- Florida Sunrise – use equal measures of pineapple and orange juice
- Red Sea Sunrise – non-alcoholic version that uses lemonade or Sprite instead of tequila
- Enamorada Sunrise – substitute Campari for grenadine syrup
- Colorado Sunrise – use Captain Morgan and Sunny Delight instead of tequila and orange juice
- Bequia Sunrise – use Union Jake’s Honey Brandy instead of tequila