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Classic Sunrise Cocktail Recipe: Easy Steps & Ingredients

What is a Classic Sunrise Cocktail?

The Classic Sunrise Cocktail is a refreshing blend of citrus and tequila, famously recognized by its beautiful gradient of sunrise colors.

Why are Classic Sunrise Cocktails so popular?

Its popularity stems from its visually appealing presentation, the delightful combination of flavors, and its association with tropical vacations and relaxation.

What are the benefits of making a Classic Sunrise Cocktail at home?

Making it at home allows for customization to personal taste preferences, ensures fresh and quality ingredients, and can be a cost-effective and fun activity.

Classic Sunrise Cocktail in a highball glass placed on a wooden bar counter. The drink showcases the beautiful sunrise gradient






2 oz

Orange Juice

4 oz


1 oz

Ice Cubes

As needed

Classic Sunrise Cocktail with a beach backdrop. The highball glass sits on a table with a view of a sunrise over the ocean

Preparation Time and Servings per Recipe

  • Preparation Time: 5 minutes
  • Servings: 1 cocktail

What Each Ingredient Adds to the Recipe

  • Tequila: Provides a robust base and kick.
  • Orange Juice: Offers a sweet and tangy citrus flavor.
  • Grenadine: Gives the cocktail its signature sunrise hue and a hint of sweetness.
  • Ice: Chills the drink, making it refreshing.
a bottle of premium tequila with a rustic background.

Hints and Tips

  • Always use fresh orange juice for a more vibrant flavor.
  • Pour grenadine slowly to achieve the sunrise effect.


a jug filled with fresh orange juice, surrounded by freshly cut oranges on a wooden table.


  • Try with different citrus juices like grapefruit or pineapple for a unique twist.
  • Add a splash of soda for some fizz.
a clear glass bottle filled with vibrant red grenadine syrup.

Serving Suggestions

Serve in a highball glass with a slice of orange or a cherry for garnish.

a bucket filled with crystal clear ice cubes, placed on a cool, frosty surface.

Nutrition Values

  • Calories: 210
  • Carbs: 28g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Fat: 0g
Classic Sunrise Cocktail in a highball glass, set against a sunset backdrop. The vibrant colors of the sunset complement the gradient of the cocktail

Difficulty Level

Easy. With just a few ingredients and simple steps, anyone can master this cocktail!


Best consumed immediately. If needed, store in the fridge for up to 1 day without the ice.

History of the Classic Sunrise Cocktail

Originating in the early 20th century, the sunrise cocktail became a favorite among Hollywood elites and later gained worldwide popularity.

Classic Sunrise Cocktail surrounded by tropical elements. The highball glass is placed on a colorful cloth, with tropical flowers


The Classic Sunrise Cocktail is more than just a drink; it’s an experience. 

With its captivating colors and invigorating flavors, it’s no wonder this cocktail has stood the test of time. 

Whether you’re hosting a party or just unwinding after a long day, this cocktail is sure to impress.


  1. Can I use a different type of alcohol? Yes, some prefer using vodka or rum.
  2. How do I get the gradient effect? The key is to pour the grenadine slowly over the back of a spoon.
  3. Is it a high-calorie drink? It’s moderate in calories, mainly from the sugar in the grenadine and orange juice.
  4. Can it be made non-alcoholic? Absolutely! Simply skip the tequila for a delightful mocktail.
  5. Why is it called a Sunrise Cocktail? The gradient colors resemble a morning sunrise

For more cocktail recipes, check out our extensive collection, including the Tom Collins, Black Velvet, and the tropical favorite, Piña Colada.

Classic Sunrise Cocktail Recipe: Easy Steps & Ingredients

Recipe by Chris Cooper
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: DrinksCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time




  • 2 oz 56.7 ml Tequila

  • 4 oz 113.4 ml Orange Juice

  • 1 oz 28.35 ml Grenadine

  • Ice Cubes (As needed)


  • Fill a shaker with ice cubes.a cocktail preparation setting. A stainless steel shaker is open, and a hand is shown dropping ice cubes into it
  • Add tequila and orange juice. Shake until chilled.cocktail preparation progression. The metal shaker, now filled with ice cubes, is being filled with tequila from a bottlea bartender's hands gripping a frosty stainless steel cocktail shaker, mid-shake. The background is a blurred bar setting to emphasize the motion
  • Pour into a highball glass filled with ice.a chilled mixture being poured from a cocktail shaker into a highball glass filled with ice.
  • Slowly drizzle grenadine over the back of a spoon so it settles at the bottom.a dimly lit bar setting, focusing on a highball glass filled with the cocktail. The red grenadine is being poured slowly over the convex side of a spoon
  • Garnish with an orange slice or cherry. Enjoy!


  • Always use fresh orange juice for a more vibrant flavor.
  • Pour grenadine slowly to achieve the sunrise effect.

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Classic Sunrise Cocktail in a highball glass, set against a sunset backdrop.

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