The ultimate summer cocktail, this recipe for Tequila Sunrise, only takes 3 ingredients, some ice, and a garnish – making it the perfect drink for entertaining or just unwinding at the end of the day!

It’s sweet, tangy, and refreshing, full of citrusy flavors with a pleasant kick. Think of relaxing on a warm beach with a Tequila Sunrise drink in hand, right in the comfort of home.

Mix up a pitcher full and serve it in tall frosted glasses or fancy margarita stemware for a festive touch. Serve with fresh fruit kabobs to get the party started!

a Tequila Sunrise with a cherry and umbrellas

What is a Tequila Sunrise?

Colorful layers of orange juice and grenadine resemble a sunrise which is how this sultry cocktail got its name. By contrast, a Tequila Sunset uses blackberry brandy instead of grenadine for a darker hue.

Why We Love a Tequila Sunrise!

  • Every home cook will feel like a true mixologist with this fun and colorful recipe!
  • Most restaurants with outdoor patios likely have a Tequila Sunrise cocktail on the menu. Or make this easy recipe and feel the vibes of a sunny beach vacation with every sip right at home.
  • Tequila Sunrise drinks are quick and easy to make, don’t require special glassware, and are fun to garnish with slices of citrus on the rims of the glasses.
grenadine , tequila and orange juice with labels to make Tequila Sunrise

Ingredients and Variations

Tequila And Juice: Any tequila variety will work. Even lower shelf tequila can be used because the drink is so sweet. Go for pulp-free orange juice for the best presentation, but any kind will do. For an even sweeter Tequila Sunrise, use Sunny D. Make it a mocktail and switch out the tequila for non-alcoholic sparkling wine like Martinelli’s. Dress it up like the other drinks and no one will know!

Garnishes: Use tropical garnishes like lemons, oranges, maraschino cherries, or sprigs of mint. Colorful cocktail straws make the perfect tool to mix the ‘sunrise’ before drinking.

How to Make a Tequila Sunrise

  1. Fill glasses ¾ full with ice, as described in the recipe below.
  2. Pour orange juice and tequila into the glass and stir.
  3. Gently pour grenadine down the inside of the glass so it rests on the bottom, creating a layered look.

Pro Tips!

  • Garnish with sliced lemons, oranges, or maraschino cherries. My favorite way to amp up this cocktail is to add a specialty maraschino cherry – a Luxardo cherry! Citrus peels threaded onto wooden skewers with cherries makes a festive garnish.
  • Stir Tequila Sunrise before drinking.
Tequila Sunrise in a glass

Make Tequila Sunrise Jello Shots

This technique makes colorful layers of Jello in shot glasses, and is a lot of fun for summertime parties and gatherings!

Step one:

  1. Dissolve red Jello in 1 cup of grenadine over medium heat.
  2. Stir in tequila & pour into 1 or 2-ounce shot cups.
  3. Place on a baking sheet and put in the refrigerator to set, in preparation for step two.

Step two:

  1. Dissolve orange Jello in 1 cup of orange juice.
  2. Add tequila and pour over the set of red shot cups.
  3. Place in the refrigerator until Jello shots are completely set. Serve.
Tequila Sunrise in glasses

Tips for the Best Cocktail

  • Start with chilled glasses and lots of ice, cubed or crushed!
  • Pour the grenadine over an ice cube suspended over the glass so the layers stay separate.
  • For multiple servings (8 cocktails approximately), simply multiply the ingredients by 8 (see recipe below).
  • Add crushed ice to a pitcher and stir in tequila, orange juice, and then grenadine. Float slices of orange or lemon on the top and serve with individual cocktail picks with maraschino cherries on them.
  • Tequila Sunrise is perfect served with a tray of tortilla chips or crostini and garden salsa.

Other Refreshing Drinks To Try!

a Tequila Sunrise with a cherry and umbrellas
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Tequila Sunrise

This recipe for Tequila Sunrise could not be easier! It's cool and refreshing, perfect for any time of year.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes
Servings 1 cocktail
Author Candace


Tall glass


  • ¾ cup ice
  • 4 ounces orange juice
  • 2 ounces tequila
  • ¼ ounce grenadine
  • orange slice for garnish, optional
  • maraschino cherry for garnish, optional


  • Add ice to 1 cup glass (fill about ¾ full with ice).
  • Pour orange juice and tequila into the glass and stir.
  • Gently pour grenadine down the side of the glass and let it settle to the bottom for a layered appearance.
  • Garnish with a cherry or orange slice as desired, and serve.
  • Stir, then enjoy!


Nutrition calculated without garnish.
For a tall cocktail:
  • Use a large glass or hurricane glass. Add 2 additional ounces of orange juice and ½ ounce grenadine. Follow directions as listed.
For a pitcher:
  • Add 2 ounces grenadine to the bottom of the pitcher. Add 16 ounces tequila followed with 32 ounces orange juice. Stir. Pour over glasses filled with ice to serve. 
For a sweeter cocktail:
  • Try Sunny D instead of normal orange juice.
For best results:
  • Use no pulp orange juice (but any orange juice will work).
  • Stir before enjoying! While the layered colors are beautiful, a lovely blood orange color, for the best flavor stir before drinking.
5 from 4 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Nutrition Information

Calories: 201 | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 230mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 227IU | Vitamin C: 57mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.

Course Drinks
Cuisine American

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About the author

I am a wife, mother of two, and professional accountant. I love fantastic food, and it is so often the center of our lives, from everyday dinner, to family gatherings, and special evenings at fabulous restaurants. I have always loved cooking and baking, with my mom and grandma, and now, with my daughter and son. I love trying new recipes while enjoying my favorites too. I’m so happy to share them with you.
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