Your Cart

Free USA shipping on all orders over $50.00


Old Fashioned Cocktails

Table of Contents

Sharing is caring!

When was the Tequila Sunrise Invented

The exact origin of the Tequila Sunrise cocktail is disputed, but it is generally believed to have been created in the 1930s or 1940s in Mexico. One theory attributes its creation to bartender Gene Sulit at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix in the 1930s. Another theory suggests that it was invented in the 1940s at the Agua Caliente Racetrack in Tijuana, Mexico.

However, the Tequila Sunrise as we know it today, with its specific ingredients and presentation, was popularized in the 1970s by the Eagles song “Tequila Sunrise” and the subsequent cocktail craze of that era. The cocktail features tequila, orange juice, and grenadine syrup, and is typically served over ice in a highball glass with a garnish of an orange slice and cherry.

What You Need

  • tequila
  • orange juice
  • grenadine syrup
  • Ice
  • Orange slice and cherry, for garnish

How to Make a Tequila Sunrise

  • Fill the highball glass with ice.
  • Pour the tequila and orange juice over the ice and stir gently to combine. If you prefer, you can also shake the tequila and orange juice together in a cocktail shaker with ice before pouring over the ice in the glass.
  • Slowly pour the grenadine syrup over the back of a bar spoon into the glass, so that it sinks to the bottom and creates a gradient effect.
  • Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry on top.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Note: You can adjust the amounts of tequila and orange juice to suit your personal taste. Some variations may include adding a splash of soda water or lemon juice for extra fizz or tartness.

How To Serve a Tequila Sunrise

How to Make Grenadine Syrup


  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • In a saucepan, combine the pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice.
  • Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves completely.
  • Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until it has thickened and reduced by about half.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the syrup cool to room temperature.
  • Once cooled, transfer the syrup to a glass jar or bottle and store it in the refrigerator.

Homemade grenadine syrup will keep for about 1-2 months in the refrigerator. Use it to add a sweet and fruity flavor to your cocktails and other drinks.

Tip For Making a Tequila Sunrise

  • Use freshly squeezed orange juice for the best flavor. If you don’t have fresh oranges, use a high-quality store-bought orange juice with no added sugar or pulp.
  • Use ice: Make sure to fill your glass with ice before pouring in the tequila and orange juice. This will help keep the cocktail cold and refreshing.
  • Pour grenadine slowly: To achieve the classic gradient effect, pour the grenadine syrup slowly over the back of a bar spoon. This will help the syrup sink to the bottom of the glass and create the distinctive sunrise effect.
  • Garnish with care: A slice of orange and a cherry on top are classic garnishes for a Tequila Sunrise. Take care when placing the garnishes on top of the cocktail to ensure a beautiful presentation.
  • Experiment with variations: While the classic Tequila Sunrise recipe is delicious, don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations. Try adding a splash of soda water, pineapple juice, or lime juice for a unique twist on this classic cocktail.

Frequently asked questions

Is the Tequila Sunrise a strong drink?

The strength of the Tequila Sunrise depends on the amount of tequila you use. Typically, a standard recipe calls for 2 ounces of tequila, which is a moderate amount of alcohol.

What type of tequila should I use for a Tequila Sunrise?

You can use any type of tequila for a Tequila Sunrise, but a high-quality blanco or reposado tequila is usually recommended for its smoothness and flavor.

Can I make a Tequila Sunrise without grenadine?

While grenadine is a key ingredient in the classic Tequila Sunrise recipe, you can experiment with different syrups or juices to create a unique variation. Some popular alternatives to grenadine include raspberry syrup, pomegranate juice, or cranberry juice.

How many calories are in a Tequila Sunrise?

A standard Tequila Sunrise cocktail made with 2 ounces of tequila, 4 ounces of orange juice, and 1/2 ounce of grenadine syrup contains around 190-220 calories, depending on the brand and ingredients used.

Is a Tequila Sunrise a girly drink?

No, the Tequila Sunrise is not a girly drink. It is a classic cocktail that can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of gender.

Old Fashioned Cocktails

Tequila Sunrise

Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 4 minutes

Tequila Sunrise is said to express the sunrise on the plains of Mexico. The fame is mainly attributed to the famous rock band Rolling Stones, who used Tequila Sunrise as the best drink for every show during their 1972 tour in Mexico, which added a lot of orange juice, and then served with lemon and red pomegranate syrup to cover up the spicy taste of tequila. The overall enclosure is tart and sweet, the red and yellow gradient color is like a sunrise. The alcohol content is medium!


  • 1½ oz tequila
  • orange juice fill up
  • ⅓ oz red grenadine syrup
  • 1 orange slice


Put ice cubes in a glass, pour tequila and orange juice in turn, stir gently, then slowly pour in red grenadine syrup, slowly stir the bottom red grenadine syrup a few times to make it gradual layering,and decorate with orange.


You can adjust the amounts of tequila and orange juice to suit your personal taste. Some variations may include adding a splash of soda water or lemon juice for extra fizz or tartness.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

About Robin Lee

Robin is author, photographer, and cocktail enthusiast. He has a passion for life, love of mixology, and enjoys exploring the great outdoors. Robin’s cocktails are both visually stunning and bursting with flavor. He’s always pushing the boundaries of mixology and loves to experiment with unique ingredients and techniques. With Robin’s guidance, you can learn the art of mixology and create cocktails that are sure to impress.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

latest from the Blog
Skip to Recipe