The Tequila Sunrise is a personal favorite because it tastes and looks great. The grenadine adds a fine sweetness to the orange juice and tequila and becomes more prominent as you get toward the bottom of the glass. However, what many modern drinkers do not realize is that this is not the original recipe and, the Tequila Sunrise started out as a tequila, creme de cassis, lime, and club soda drink. At some point it was simplified or completely altered, depending on how you want to look at it, with the one constant being the visual 'sunrise' effect. Both are great drinks and the original recipe is below as well.
There are a few stories behind the Tequila Sunrise's origins. One claims it was used to welcome tourists to Cancun and Acapulco in the 50's. Yet another story gives credit to Gene Sulit who tended bar at the Arizona Hotel in the 30's and 40's. Another attributes it to Bobby Lazoff and Billy Rice who were bartending during the tequila craze of the 1970's at Trident Restaurant in Sausalito, California. It is said that this last one is where the drink may have turned to the orange juice version.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Yield: 1 Cocktail
- Pour the tequila and the orange juice into a highball glass with ice cubes.
- Slowly pour the grenadine around the inside edge of the glass, it will sink and slowly rise to mix with the other ingredients naturally.
- Garnish with the orange slice and cherry.
The Original Tequila Sunrise
- 1 1/2 ounces tequila
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Club soda
- 3/4 ounce creme de cassis
- Lime wheel and maraschino cherry for garnish
- Pour the tequila and lime juice into a collins glass filled with ice.
- Fill with club soda.
- Pour the creme de cassis into the drink (it will sink to the bottom).
- Garnish with a lime wheel and cherry.
Would you like to receive cocktail tips and recipes every week? Sign up for the free cocktail newsletter and recipe of the week here and get the latest edition sent directly to your email.