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Tequila Sunrise

All photos: Ivan Della Nave

Tequila Sunrise: The Original Recipe

Tequila sunrise, the original recipe.
Years go by, but the tequila sunrise cocktail remains a timeless drink. Here's how to prepare it in a few simple steps.

11 February, 2021
Average: 3.6 (7 votes)

Dietary Consideration

serves for


total time

0 HR 5 MIN


1 1/2 OZ, 100% Agave
Orange juice
3 OZ (Freshly squeezed)
1/2 OZ, syrup
For the garnish
Orange zest
(or clove)



Highball (Tall tumbler)


Building method

Step 01

Tequila Sunrise Recipe_Step one_Chilling the glass

Cool the glass with ice cubes then remove any excess water with the help of a cocktail strainer.

Step 02

Tequila Sunrise Recipe_Step two_adding orange juice

Measure the freshly squeezed orange juice into the jigger and pour into the shaker.

It's best to start with non-alcoholic ingredients, because in the event that the dose or the ingredient itself were to be mistaken it would be less expensive to throw away lemon juice than high-quality spirits.

Step 03

Tequila Sunrise Recipe_Step three_Add tequila

Measure the 100% agave tequila with the jigger and pour into the shaker.

Step 04

Tequila Sunrise Recipe_Step four_Mix

Gently emulsify the ingredients using a bar spoon. Swirl against the inside of the glass.

Step 05

Tequila Sunrise Recipe_Step five_add grenadine

Add the grenadine syrup. Don't mix the ingredients after adding the syrup in order to create a chromatic effect reminiscent of dawn light.

Step 06

Tequila Sunrise Recipe_Step six_garnish

Remove a sliver of orange peel with a potato peeler, or a simple slice of the fruit, and use them to garnish the cocktail, which is now ready to be served.


Tricks and Curiosities

Today's recipe for tequila sunrise was invented by Robert "Bobby" Lozoff, a young bartender at the Trident restaurant in Sausalito, a very popular place in the 70s.

In 1972, the Rolling Stones organised a party for the opening of the 1972 American Tour right at the Trident. When Mick Jagger asked Lozoff for a Margarita, he asked if he had already tried his tequila sunrise. The group was so impressed with the cocktail that they dubbed the tour "Cocaine & Tequila Sunrise Tour". In 1973 the Eagles musical group was so inspired by the success of the cocktail it gave rise to the title of the song Tequila Sunrise.

There are two main types of strainer: "Hawthorn" and "Julep strainer". Hawthorn is flat and circular with a handle and several stabilising lines that come out of the rim. It has a metal spring around its edge that will roll slightly inward to fit the glass. The circular edge of the filter must not touch the edge of the glass as the spring inside will filter the ice. It's the one recommended for home use because it can adapt to the various diameters of the containers.


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