I’ve always wanted to try making this colourful cocktail. Its history is just as colourful, originating in the 1930’s at the Arizona Biltmore resort (with rather different ingredients giving the layered “sunrise effect) but made popular in the 1970’s. Two bartenders at the Trident in Sausalito, California, Bobby Lozoff and Billy Rice, are credited with inventing the drink in its current form. At the start of the Rolling Stones’ 1972 tour Mick Jagger was at a party there and ordered a margarita, but it was suggested that he tried a tequila sunrise instead. He loved it and soon the rest of the band and their entourage were drinking it too. They asked for it everywhere they went on what became known as the “Cocaine and Tequila Sunrise Tour”. The drink shot to fame and The Eagles even recorded a song titled “Tequila Sunrise” on their Desperado album. At one point the recipe appeared on the labels of Jose Cuervo tequila.
The sunrise colours result from the use of different density liquids. The red comes from grenadine, a heavy pomegranate syrup which sinks to the bottom of the glass of the glass.Tequila sunrise,tequila,cocktails,friday night cocktails,he lighter tequila and orange juice float above the red layer until mixed.
Here’s how I made it, using the following ingredients:
- 1 measure tequila
- 3 measures orange juice (you can use freshly squeezed if you like, but mine was from a carton)
- 2 tablespoons grenadine
- orange slice and cherry to garnish.
Normally you would use a highball glass but I used a gin balloon. Half fill the glass with ice and add the tequila and orange.
Stir well until the outside of the glass feels really cold and the liquid is well chilled.
Very carefully pour the grenadine from the spoon down the side of the glass and watch it sink to the bottom
Add the garnish to the edge of the glass and it’s done!
You should mix together before drinking (although the “sunrise” is lost).
The grenadine sweetens it a lot and some recipes add lime juice to sharpen the flavour. the alcohol can be diluted by adding more orange juice or concentrated by adding triple sec (eg Cointreau).
It’s certainly easy to make and spectacular to look at but I have to say it’s not my favourite cocktail – I found it very sweet – somehow tequila seems to work better with sharper flavours like the lime in a margarita. It would make the perfect drink for a 70s party though, with lots of Stones and Eagles music of course!
Always drink responsibly.