How to Make a Tequila Sunrise Layered Cocktail

An easy layered cocktail, the tequila sunrise combines a few simple ingredients layered to create a pretty tropical drink you can enjoy any time of the year. Read on to learn how to layer a drink and a few ways to enjoy this classic tequila cocktail.

Tequila sunrise drink recipe

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The presentation and look of a drink is almost as important as how it tastes. Of course it needs to taste good, but a little extra attention paid to presentation can make a big difference.

How to layer a drink

A layered cocktail can be a masterpiece. It looks amazing and the flavors can be enjoyed separately one after the other, or mixed together to create something divine. Here’s the secret to a well crafted layered cocktail.

Determine the density of each liquid in your drink then add them to the glass accordingly. Dense mixers like grenadine will sink to the bottom, light spirits like vodka and carbonated soda will float near the top. You can find a in depth density and gravity chart here.

Classic layered drinks like this red white and blue cocktail and Gin and Sin or shots like the Irish flag are expertly layered resulting in crisp lines between each layer.

The tequila sunrise is meant to slowly blend together giving the impression of a sunrise over a beach. The orange and reds come together as you enjoy the drink.

To make a tequila sunrise gather orange juice, tequila and grenadine and follow the recipe below. You will need a rocks glass filled with ice for this cocktail.

Tequila shot in drink

Add 1.5 ounces of silver tequila to a glass and top with orange juice. Using a jigger like the one pictured is an easy way to measure, just use the large side for 1.5 ounces and the small side for .75 ounces.

Grenadine in tequila sunrise

Stir the tequila and orange juice together then slowly pour grenadine on top of the drink. The thick grenadine will sit on top of the cocktail for a minute then begin to seep through the lighter liquids to the bottom. Grenadine is the most dense liquid in this drink so it will end up at the bottom. But first it will flow through the orange and create a beautiful presentation.

tequila sunrise dirnk recipe

Serve a tequila sunrise with a slice of orange or a maraschino cherry to match the flavors in the drink.

Tequila sunrise drink recipe

Tequila Sunrise

Yield: 1
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

A layered drink made with tequila


  • 1.5 ounces silver tequila
  • 6 ounces orange juice
  • .5 ounce grenadine


  1. Fill a rocks glass with ice and add tequila and orange juice. Stir to mix.
  2. Slowly pour grenadine over the top, do not mix. Grenadine will slowly sink to the bottom.
  3. Garnish with an orange slice.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 218Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 0gSugar: 22gProtein: 1g

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Tequila Sunrise Cocktail Variations

For a different flavor add all the ingredients to a shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass and enjoy. When the ingredients are mixed thoroughly they create a new flavor.

Try serving the drink as shown above in a high ball glass and topping with club soda. The soda will sit on top and create even more of an ombre effect. The red grenadine will sink to the bottom, orange juice in the middle, and finally a clear soda on top.

Tequila sunrise layered cocktail recipe

Try this sweet mocktail using grenadine

Shirley Temple

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tequila sunrise cocktail

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