Tequila Sunrise

Since we are in the midst of Fall and we’re all too busy with work or midterms to even think about taking a nice getaway to a tropical destination, at least your taste buds can get you one step closer.

The Tequila Sunrise is like the difference between a beach in Mexico to a beach in the Caribbean, it’s strong and filled with Vitamin C to keep the party going.

Even if you’re not big on tequila itself, this drink tends to be pretty sweet and the tequila is well masked, it just depends on you and how well you balance it at home or, if you’re at a bar, don’t be afraid to be specific.

You might find yourself running into this drink a whole lot. It is widely popular and featured on many drink menus throughout different bars and restaurants.

It is an all-time favorite, not because of its contrasting colors, but rather a contrasting surprise: while it may be beautiful and resemble a sunrise, it is also powerful and too many might put you on “vacation mode” sooner than you think.

Made up of tequila, orange juice, and grenadine, ingredients stocked at any bar/restaurant particularly those specialized in exotic. tropical, or Mexican fare.

It’s got so many nicknames and variations you’d be surprised. You can sub the tequila for vodka or rum depending on your palate. Some recipes switch out the OJ and grenadine for fancier stuff like Campari or pineapple juice. But all those drinks have different names and today’s spotlight belongs to Tequila.

One piece of advice we can give you is to never, ever, never drink this after brushing your teeth, you’ll never recover from the bitterness of flavors going on in your mouth.

A Brief History:


As for the origins of the Tequila Sunrise two tales are floating around on the web. One tale claims it was invented around the late 1930’s to early 1940’s at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel by Gene Sulit, according to historians, it was actually seen first at Agua Caliente, a Prohibition era resort in Tijuana.

However, back then the ingredients were quite different, it could be considered a completely different drink from the one we know and love today. It had tequila, crème de cassis, lime juice and soda water. Not at all the fruity notes and sweet profiles you see nowadays.

The second theory involving today’s recipe claims it all started in the 1970’s by Bobby Lazoff and Billy Rice while working as young bartenders at The Trident in Sausalito, California. At the time, this bar-restaurant-music venue was the largest outlet for tequila in the USA. So you can imagine it drew in a lot of different characters from all over the world. It was a hot-spot for celebrity parties.

Word must have gotten around fast because by 1973 Jose Cuervo got a hold of the recipe and started sticking it on the back of his tequila bottle labels. Later, the famous Eagles dedicated an entire song to it, “Tequila Sunrise” on their hit album, “Desperado” and thanks to that hit the cocktail sky rocketed into being the staple it is today.


Random Fact:

In 1972 the Rolling Stones kicked off their American tour at The Trident in Sausalito, California, and Mick Jagger had a Tequila Sunrise, developed a taste for it, and then started necking them with his whole entourage. As a result they ordered them all across America.

Much like everything Mick Jagger claims as “cool” Jose Cuervo may have him to thank for instant fame.

Whenever you do get a chance to travel to some exotic location order this drink, trust us, and if you don’t trust Mick Jagger.

Let us know what you thought of the drink! Send us a picture if you tried it out at home, and don’t be afraid to be creative and put a little spin on it.

Thanks for reading, and as always…

Cheers from,

Happy Hour City