I love making Tequila Sunrises when I’m entertaining for brunch. While champagne cocktails and bellinis have a festive carbonation to them, I like the colors and the simplicity of these a bit better. Plus, I feel obligated to use up the whole bottle of champagne when I’m making cocktails with it because I don’t want it to lose its carbonation. That means that when I’m making champagne cocktails, I’m making a big batch, while these can be made in small or large quantities. Tequila Sunrises are a combination of freshly squeezed orange juice and tequila, with a generous pour of bright red grenadine to give the cocktail its signature “sunrise” color scheme and to add some extra sweetness to the other ingredients.
Start with freshly squeezed orange juice for the best results in these drinks. The fresh juice will make the difference between an “ok” drink and a delicious one. You’ll also want some fresh orange wedges to serve as garnish. I used Rose’s grenadine, which is widely available and instantly recognizable for its bright red coloring. There are some other grenadine brands available that will work just as well, but might not have the same vibrant color as the Rose’s does. Before serving, ask your guests to give the cocktails a stir with a spoon or a straw to turn them from two-tone to bright pink.
When it comes to the tequila for these cocktails, you can use any kind you like. I think that a blanco (white) or reposado (lightly aged) tequila is the best choice because their mild flavor allows the fresh orange juice to really stand out. You’ll get the best results if you use a slightly better, smoother tequila. If you’re stuck with cheap tequila and find that the cocktail needs a little something extra, stir in a bit of simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar, melted together) to sweeten it up before adding the orange juice and tequila into your glasses.
3 oz tequila
6 oz freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp grenadine
In a measuring cup or mixing glass, stir together tequila and orange juice. Divide into two cocktail glasses or champagne flutes and add ice. Stir to chill the orange juice mixture. Carefully pour about 1 tbsp of grenadine into each drink. The grenadine will sink to the bottom. Garnish with an orange wedge before serving.