Tequila Sunrise Recipe + Video

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Our tequila sunrise recipe makes a bold fruity cocktail with refreshing citrus flavors. Make these tequila cocktails for your next party!

Bold and beautiful, this alcoholic drink has everything you want in a tequila cocktail. The color gradient is astounding, and the combination of tequila and orange juice is perfect for warmer days (or nights)!

titled: tequila sunrise recipe

It’s the perfect drink for sipping, and with the bold flavor of tequila, it would make an excellent addition to any Cinco de Mayo or other Mexican food party. It would even make a great addition to a brunch menu along with our bloody mary.

You can’t go wrong with the classic flavors of the tequila sunrise ingredients, and of course, the colors of the cocktail make for a gorgeous presentation!

Tequila Sunrise Recipe

adding orange juice to a tequila sunrise recipe

Looking for more fun holiday drinks? Make a few of our favorite Cinco de Mayo cocktails for an unforgettable, festive fiesta!

For another mouthwatering option, consider a creamy, refreshing frozen peach margarita that features all of the flavors of summer. You could even serve these drinks with another recipe that uses tequila, scrumptious tequila lime chicken!

And for dessert, we highly recommend serving margarita cupcakes! They’re zesty, boozy, and bright – the perfect way to finish the evening.


Watch the video below to learn how to make a tequila sunrise!

pouring gold tequila into a cocktail glass

Recipe Tips

  • Use frozen oranges instead of ice. To prevent watering down your drink, you can freeze peeled citrus wedges to use instead. Or, freeze orange juice in an ice cube tray!
  • Create a beautiful sunrise in your glass. Add the grenadine slowly so that your layers don’t mix. This creates a gorgeous gradient from red to orange that will wow your guests.
  • Add soda for a less potent cocktail. Add sprite, ginger ale, or soda water for a cocktail that’s a bit easier to drink.
  • Control the sweetness. The grenadine is what really controls the sweetness of this drink. Adjust the amount to suit your preferences.
pouring grenadine into a tequila sunrise

Tequila Sunrise Ingredients

  • Tequila – We use Jose Cuervo Gold tequila for this Tequila Sunrise recipe.
  • Orange Juice – Fresh-squeezed orange juice with some pulp will make for a great, refreshing cocktail.
  • Grenadine – This is a sweet syrup with a gorgeous red hue. You can find this ingredient near the cocktail mixers in any grocery store or liquor store.

Serving Suggestions

A cherry on top is just what you need for this stunning cocktail! Maraschino cherries fit both the flavor and color profile of this drink perfectly.

You can also make a cool garnish by twisting an orange slice and sliding a toothpick through the center to hold the shape. Rest it on top of the glass for a fancy finish!

orange drink in tall glass with ice

Tequila Sunrise Recipe FAQ

Is gold or silver tequila best for a sunrise?

Gold tequila, which we use in this recipe, has a very smooth taste and golden brown color. Silver tequila is clear in color and has a harsher bite.

You can certainly use silver instead of gold if you wish, but the color of the drink will be different, and the taste won’t be as smooth.

What’s the difference between a Tequila Sunrise and Sunset?

A tequila sunset is very similar but usually isn’t as sweet. It has the same combination of tequila and orange juice, but usually includes soda water with the grenadine, or sometimes blackberry brandy is used instead.

What can I substitute for grenadine?

If you’re not a fan of grenadine in cocktails, you can still get a beautiful color combination with pomegranate or cranberry juice. But to keep the sweet taste, you could use a raspberry or strawberry simple syrup instead.

overhead: two tequila cocktails garnished with orange slices


With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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two tequila sunrise drinks


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two tequila sunrise drinks in glasses with straws

Tequila Sunrise Recipe + Video

Donna Elick
Our tequila sunrise recipe makes a bold fruity cocktail with refreshing citrus flavors. Make these tequila cocktails for your next party!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Drink
Cuisine American
Method Mixed
Servings 1 cocktail


  • 2 ounces Jose Cuervo Gold Tequila
  • 4 ounces orange juice
  • splash grenadine
  • ice
  • orange slice


  • Fill glass half way with ice, pour tequila and orange juice into the glass. Stir to combine, add a splash of grenadine and garnish with an orange slice.
  • Enjoy!



Serving: 1 | Calories: 185cal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Sugar: 10g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled pinterest image: tequila sunrise recipe

Originally published April 2012, updated and republished April 2022

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  1. Oh the memories … this drink brings them back! Nothing like it – always a favorite! Awesome. Now it's not even noon and I want a drink 🙂

  2. We've been looking to serve up some nice summer time drinks – I think we might need to add this to the repertoire.

  3. This has been on our to-make cocktail list for awhile. Yes, we have one, on the fridge. Laugh away. Looks awesome and a great reminder to us.

  4. I actually do not like grenadine, but I do like a good sunrise. Try using cherry brandy in place of the grenadine. I think you just might like it.

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