Tequila Sunrise: The Recipe and the Doses of a Refreshing and Colored Long Drink

Total time: 5 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 1 person
By Cookist
4,5 cl
Orange juice
9 cl
Grenadine syrup
1,5 cl
Candied cherries
Orange slices

The tequila sunrise is a very refreshing alcoholic long drink with a sweet and sour taste based on tequila, orange juice and grenadine (a syrup made with pomegranate). The name “sunrise” refers to the bright colors of the cocktail that recall those of the sky at dawn: the red at the base and the golden at the center that shines on the surface, giving light to the drink. It is a cocktail that has an alcohol content of about 12%. It is often drunk in summer but it is also an ideal cocktail for the whole year, maybe for an aperitif or after dinner with friends, served with a candied cherry (or with a maraschino one) and a slice of orange. The preparation technique is the “building” one, you prepare your cocktail directly in the glass: preferably highball or low tumbler. So here's how to prepare the "rising sun" long drink in a few simple steps.

History and Curiosities about Tequila Sunrise


The tequila sunrise was born between late Thirties and early Forties, and it was invented by Gene Sulit, a bartender from the Arizona Biltimor Hotel who created a mixture of tequila, lime juice, crème de cassis and soda. Over the years the version has been revisited and today what we find among the cocktails coded by the IBA (International Bartenders Association), considers the use of tequila, orange juice and grenadine that gives a particular freshness to the drink.

Tequila sunrise has always been one of the most loved long drinks, so much that in 1973 the Eagles dedicated a song to it, and in 1988 Michelle Pfeiffer and Mel Gibson brought it to the big screen thanks to the movie called just “Tequila Sunrise”.

How to Prepare the Tequila Sunrise


To prepare the tequila sunrise pour the ice cubes into the glass, then add first the tequila, then the orange juice (you can use the supermarket ready-made one but the ideal would be to squeeze an orange, filter the juice and add it to tequila). Mix with a bar spoon and finally pour the grenadine leaving it to settle on the bottom of the glass giving the cocktail the characteristic “sunrise” effect. Garnish with a candied cherry (or with a maraschino one) and a slice of orange on the edge of the glass. Your tequila sunrise is ready to be enjoyed in all its freshness.


You can find the grenadine in all supermarkets, it is a sweet syrup that you can drink also diluted with fresh water, using it as a refreshing drink.

If you do not want to use ice, place the highball in the freezer for a couple of minutes. Once you have taken the glass out of the freezer, proceed with the preparation by first pouring the tequila, then the orange juice and finally the grenadine.

For the perfect success of the "sunrise" effect, pour the grenadine against the side of the glass: the sunrise effect is guaranteed.

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