Tequila Sunrise

published Jun 7, 2024

Tequila, orange juice, and grenadine naturally produce the sunrise effect of this classic cocktail.


Prep5 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

The three-ingredient tequila sunrise is a simple-yet-iconic classic cocktail cocktail that is sure to impress on a hot summer day. Assembled in a tall glass, the drink resembles a summer sunrise and is packed with juicy fruit flavor. 

Like the history of most of our favorite delicious drinks and dishes, the origins of the tequila sunrise are a bit hazy. An early version of the cocktail — possibly the first — was served at the Agua Caliente Resort in Tijuana, Mexico, during Prohibition. The orange juice, tequila, and grenadine concoction later reached peak popularity in the 1970s and 1980s, thanks to movies and songs by the same name. This recipe for tequila sunrise is crisp, refreshing, and beautiful to behold. Here’s how to make it.

Why You’ll Love It

  • It’s loaded with fruit flavor but isn’t too sweet. The orange slice and maraschino cherry garnishes add a fun tropical flavor. 
  • It’s super pretty. The allure of this cocktail comes from the gorgeous color gradient created by the grenadine slowly sinking into the tequila and orange juice.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: James Park

Key Ingredients in a Tequila Sunrise

  • Orange juice: Chill store-bought or freshly squeezed orange juice before making the cocktail. Pulp-free orange juice is preferred for a crisp and clean cocktail consistency. Even if you’re using store-bought juice, pick up an orange to slice for garnishing.
  • Tequila: Use 100% agave tequila blanco for this cocktail. Blanco, or silver, tequila is unaged and has citrusy flavor notes.
  • Grenadine: Grenadine is a non-alcoholic sweet-tart pomegranate syrup that sinks to the bottom of the glass.
  • Maraschino cherry: Sweet maraschino cherries — with the stem on, of course — are a classic garnish that should not be skipped.

How to Make a Tequila Sunrise

  1. Fill the glass with ice. A tall glass, such as a Collins or highball glass, is best for showing off the color gradient of this cocktail.
  2. Mix orange juice and tequila. Add orange juice and tequila to the glass, then stir to combine. 
  3. Pour in grenadine. Slowly pour in the grenadine, letting it settle on the bottom of the glass. Do not stir, or the sunrise effect will disappear.
  4. Garnish. Add flair to the finished cocktail with an orange slice and maraschino cherry.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: James Park

Helpful Swaps

  • Orange juice: Squeeze 2 navel oranges until you have 4 ounces juice instead of using store-bought juice.
  • Make a big batch. To serve tequila sunrises to a crowd, combine 2 parts orange juice and 1 part blanco tequila in a pitcher. Add ice and grenadine to individual glasses, then pour in the orange juice-tequila mixture. Remember, don’t stir!

More Brunch Cocktails to Try

Tequila Sunrise Recipe

Tequila, orange juice, and grenadine naturally produce the sunrise effect of this classic cocktail.

Prep time 5 minutes

Serves 1

Nutritional Info


  • Ice

  • 4 ounces

    cold pulp-free orange juice

  • 2 ounces

    blanco tequila

  • 1/2 ounce


  • 1

    fresh orange slice

  • 1

    Maraschino cherry with stem


  1. Fill a highball or Collins glass halfway with ice. Add 4 ounces cold pulp-free orange juice and 2 ounces tequila, and stir to combine. Slowly pour 1/2 ounce grenadine into the center of the glass, letting it settle on the bottom. Do not stir. Garnish with 1 fresh orange slice and a Maraschino cherry.