Tequila Sunrise Cocktail: Two Unique Twists on the Classic

Tequila sunrise is a delicious and gorgeous cocktail.  It is sweet, fruity, and evokes relaxation.  It is almost like a vacation in a glass.   The bright colors slowly blend together in ribbons of what is reminiscent of a summer’s sunrise. The layers are what give this cocktail the classic look and must be served without stirring to ensure its beauty.  Just like the classic, the two tequila cocktail versions I created follow the same basic premises:  bold bright colors and do not stir!



Stunning streaks of brilliant colors


Tequila Sunrise with Two Twists

The classic tequila sunrise cocktail consists of the following ingredients: orange juice, tequila, and grenadine.  A few ingredients make a lovely-looking cocktail.   But this isn’t just “another tequila sunrise…”, these cocktails are made with an ingredient swap out to make it special.

I wanted to try something different and as I looked at our tangelo tree with still plenty of fruit on its branches, it hit me.   Our homegrown tangelos are very juicy but sometimes they are a bit tart so just in case I wanted plan B.  We had some frozen pineapple orange juice concentrate in the freezer so I now had two plans.  This recipe for tequila sunrise with pineapple or tangelo juice is even better than the original OJ and tequila classic cocktail.


Homegrown tangelos


So after getting out the tequila and grenadine, the boys started juicing the tangelos for me.  I also made the pineapple orange juice from concentrate.  We did have some grapefruit juice too but decided against that even though I LOVE grapefruit juice. It was ruby red and dark so I didn’t think that beautiful layering would be as much of a pop of color.

As the juice preparation went on, I decided I needed to make two versions of the cocktail and try both and the best one was going on the blog…well, spoiler alert – THEY BOTH ARE AMAZING!  So that is why you will see both juices used here for two great cocktails from one perfect recipe.   Not everyone has a tangelo tree in their yard or access to tangelo juice so another citrus will do.

Juiced tangelos


Tequila Sunrise Ingredients

For my recipe, I am using Codigo tequila.  We highly recommend it, especially for those that like to sip tequila. Read more about it here at the CODIGO website. It is a smooth tequila and does not have that strong scent that many tequilas can have.  It is mellow and Ian and I both enjoy it.  George Strait has a song about it, so yeah it is that good!  He sings it – “Best tequila, baby, don’t you know”.  You can also use what your favorite brand is.

Grenadine is also a must as you want that sweet red syrup for not just the taste but for that superb layering that the drink has.   Grenadine weighs more than the other liquids in this drink so it will slowly sink to the bottom. It is a good mixer to keep in your liquor repertoire. This is not just because it adds great color or sweetness to so many drinks, but it also has a long shelf life.  Rose’s grenadine will last once opened, up to 6 months in the cabinets, or even a year in the refrigerator.


Tequila Sunrise with a Twist ingredients


Tequila Sunrise with a Twist Ingredients:

  • Tequila, Blanco
  • Pineapple Orange Juice  and/or Tangelo Juice
  • Grenadine
  • Ice
  • Tangelo or Orange Slices for garnish


How to Make a Tequila Sunrise


Fill two high ball glasses with ice cubes.


Add 2/3 C juice to each glass.  Follow this 1.5 oz of tequila.  Add a straw and any garnish you wish.  I do this at this point so that once the grenadine goes in, there is very little movement that will be needed that could disturb the layering.

Tangelo is in the center & pineapple orange bottom right corner


The last step is to slowly pour in 1 oz of grenadine and let it sink to the bottom.  Remember, DO NOT STIR!  You want the layers.

Tequila sunrise grenadine
Slowly pour in the grenadine


Once the grenadine settles, sip and enjoy!




Tequila Sunrise Cocktail: Two Unique Twists on a Classic PIN
Tequila Sunrise Cocktail: Two Unique Twists on a Classic PIN



Product Recommendations for this Recipe:

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Another beautiful cocktail recipe using grenadine is my CANDY CORN MARTINI 

It is made with grenadine, whipped cream vodka, and more!





Tequila Sunrise Cocktail


A gorgeous colorful cocktail with tequila, citrus juices, and grenadine.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 2 mins
Total Time 2 mins
Course Drinks
Servings 1


  • 2/3 C citrus juice tangelo or pineapple orange
  • 1.5 oz tequila blanco
  • 1 oz grenadine
  • ice cubes
  • orange or tangelo slices for garnish


  • Fill a high ball glass with ice cubes.
  • Pour in the citrus juice. Add the tequila.
  • If using a straw or adding a garnish, do this now.
  • Lastly, slowly pour in 1 oz of grenadine. Let it trickle down to the bottom of the glass. DO NOT STIR.
  • Enjoy.
Keyword cocktail, tequila



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