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Emma Valdiserri

The Best Tequila for a Tequila Sunrise: 9 Key Factors

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Tequila is one of the many types of alcohol you can use in a long list of popular cocktails-it's a perfect pairing for National Cocktail Day. It’s an excellent liquor choice for all summer cocktails, fall cocktails, winter cocktails, and spring cocktails. It has a home in any liquor bottle display. But in this case, it’s a delicious and zesty blend you can bring to the beach or enjoy during a casual evening at home.

Now, picture a sunrise. The ocean is glimmering, dolphins are grazing their fins above the waves, and your feet are curling up in the soft sand. What could make this sunrise even better? 

We’ve got a hunch–perhaps a splendid splash (or two) of tequila! With that, let's (sun)rise to the occasion by talking about the best types of tequila for a tequila sunrise.

What Is the Best Tequila for a Tequila Sunrise?

There are countless tequila brands to choose from when making this sunny cocktail. From tequila blanco to tequila reposado, consider the flavors you're craving when selecting the best tequila for your tequila sunrise. Most tequilas have an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 40%–so be sure to drink responsibly.

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5 of the Best Tequilas for a Tequila Sunrise

To help you narrow down your selection, we’ve listed five top tequilas for you to choose from for this popular cocktail recipe. Check them out below!

Espolòn Blanco Tequila

The more flavor, the better! Espolòn Blanco tequila offers floral and fruity scents in addition to its hints of lemon zest and white pepper. With extra hints of bright agave, spice, and vanilla, you'll taste your tequila sunrise come to life.

Don Julio Blanco

Smooth and crisp, this 100% Blue Weber Agave tequila delivers zesty citrus flavors. These complement the sweetness of the orange juice (and slice) in your tequila sunrise. Don Julio Blanco is also a more affordable option for making cocktails.

Casamigos Blanco

Made from 100% Blue Weber Agave, Casamigos Blanco offers a smooth and well-rounded taste. Its subtle notes of citrus and vanilla blend together to enhance the fruity flavors of a tequila sunrise. And its hint of pepper gives your cocktail a refreshing kick.

Milagro Silver

If you prefer little to no taste of tequila in your tequila sunrise, Milagro Silver may be your best option! Combining earthy and spicy aromas with dominant sweet and fruity flavors, this tequila blends effortlessly with orange juice and grenadine.

Clase Azul Reposado

If you’re treating yourself to this delicious tequila, consider putting the bottle on display–it’s almost as beautiful as a tequila sunrise. Made from 100% Blue Weber Agave, Clase Azul Reposado ages in American whiskey casks for eight months. This process gives the tequila its smooth hazelnut and vanilla flavors that pair perfectly with the sweetness of the orange juice and grenadine.

Tequila Sunrise Recipe

Blending bright, fresh, and fruity flavors, a tequila sunrise is one of the drinks every bartender should know. Looking to be your own beach bartender for the day? We’ve got a great standardized recipe for you below. With just a few cocktail ingredients and in a few simple steps, you’ll be sipping sunshine in no time.

What’s In A Tequila Sunrise?

Ready, (sun)set, go! It’s time to make your tequila sunrise. Whether you’re near a beach or not, you can sip this delicious drink from the comfort of your own kitchen. 

All you need is five minutes and the following ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 oz. tequila (select one from above)
  • ¾ c. orange juice (we recommend freshly squeezed)
  • ¾ oz. grenadine syrup
  • Orange slice (for garnish)
  • Maraschino cherry (for garnish)
  • Ice

This recipe yields one serving with a standard pour of tequila. But don’t let that stop you from making more. Simply double the recipe to make two.

Feeling extra ambitious? Triple or quadruple the recipe to serve up more sunshine in a pitcher.

How to Make a Tequila Sunrise

Once you gather all your ingredients, grab a glass. We recommend sipping your tequila sunrise in a highball glass. Next, follow the simple steps below:

  1. Place the ice into your glass. 
  2. Add the tequila and orange juice.
  3. Slowly pour or drizzle the grenadine down the side of your glass. This allows it to settle at the bottom, enhancing the sunrise effect.
  4. Garnish with an orange slice and maraschino cherry (learn how to make maraschino cherries).
  5. Last but not least, enjoy!

Quick tip for your tequila sunrise: You can pour the grenadine over the back of a spoon along the side of your glass. This helps the syrup settle at the bottom. Grenadine is sweet. Add just enough to reach your desired sweetness.

Ta-da! It may come as a surprise how easy it is to make a tequila sunrise. Why not pair your delicious cocktail with easy homemade salsa or other delicious Mexican food appetizers?

Take inventory of what you have at home. You’d be surprised by what you can make with such few ingredients.

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What’s the Difference Between a Tequila Sunrise and Tequila Sunset?

Using nearly the same ingredients, a tequila sunrise and tequila sunset are very similar. So what’s the difference between the two? A tequila sunset has an extra ingredient: soda water (see: what is club soda).

It also mixes the grenadine syrup at the top of the glass rather than pouring it along the side to reach the bottom. Some recipes may substitute blackberry brandy for grenadine to deepen the colors of the sunset effect.

Satisfied with your bartending skills? Follow some classic bartender duties and try crafting another tequila drink. Check out the best tequila for margaritas, too.

Looking to move on from tequila? Check out the different whiskey brands or types of rum and see what you can make from there. Before you do, you might ask yourself, “Does alcohol expire?”

Most liquors last a long time after opening. While tequila doesn’t have an expiration date, it’s best to use it within a year.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Tequila for Tequila Sunrise

Is Tequila Sunrise Gold or Silver Tequila?

Silver tequilas blend nicely with a tequila sunrise due to their natural citrus flavors. You can use gold tequila too. Just remember that most gold tequilas contain sugar additives.

How Much Alcohol Is In a Tequila Sunrise?

An average tequila sunrise has an ABV of 11%. The amount of alcohol in a tequila sunrise depends on how much you pour.

What Goes Into a Tequila Sunrise?

A tequila sunrise consists of three simple ingredients: tequila, orange juice, and grenadine. Don’t forget to add ice and garnish your cocktail glass with an orange slice or maraschino cherry (or both).

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