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Classic Tequila Cocktail for Cinco de Mayo- the Tequila Sunrise.
It’s taken a long time for me to try making a Tequila Sunrise at home. My relationship with tequila is one which seems to be studded with disasters – from the tequila slammers I tried for the first time on my 30th birthday in Lisbon Portugal, to my favourite indulgence, a classic margarita. And, of course, the Tequila Sunrise, a classic tequila cocktail that everyone I know loves!
My first experience of a tequila sunrise was entirely accidental. At a conference in Paris, we were treated to a Tex-Mex evening and, once I decided that I’d had enough wine, I thought I’d move on to soft drinks. In the shadily lit restaurant, I spotted what looked like a tray of fresh orange juice. Prettily decorated with parasols, cherries and slices of orange, I can remember thinking how nicely presented the glasses were. I picked one up and gulped it down, perhaps helped along by the spicy food we’d been eating. Delicious. I can remember thinking that French orange juice was so much better than the stuff I got at home…
Three or four glasses later, I made my way back to my room. The world was swimmingly good. Really swimmingly good…
I can remember lying down on the bed and watching the ceiling swirling above me. And not much more till the next morning when I woke up with the hangover from hell. Remember, I thought I’d had a couple of small glasses of wine…and a lot of orange juice. It wasn’t until a few days later I realised the orange juice might just have been something else…perhaps a tequila sunrise where the sun had risen (so to speak). To this day, I have no proof other than a determined aversion to the idea of a Tequila Sunrise.
Time is the ultimate healer though and with Cinco de Mayo looming I resolved to have a go at home at making this classic tequila cocktail. In principle it’s a relatively low alcohol long cocktail made extra healthy by using fresh orange juice. And to my surprise, I actually loved the end result. I’m working with a young mixologist at the moment, Belle Narracott, and she’s been sending me videos about how to make these drinks. Once I’ve worked out how, I’ll share that on here too but for now, you’ll just need to make do with the recipe.
A classic tequila cocktail - the tequila sunrise is made with orange juice, tequila and grenadine for a stunning long summer drink
- 100 ml fresh orange juice
- 50 ml tequila
- 25 ml grenadine
- 1 cocktail cherry
- 1 slice orange
Fill a highball glass with ice
Pour over the orange juice and tequila and mix well
now take a metal straw or cocktail stirrer and use it to gently pour the grenadine to the bottom of the glass
Garnish with an orange slice and cherries - consume in the sun!
Now, the Tequila Sunrise we drink today is actually a milder version than the original drink. Invented at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in the 1930s or 40s by Gene Sulit, the original version had creme de cassis instead of the non-alcoholic grenadine and was made with lime juice and soda. The modern version was created in the early 1970s by Bobby Lozoff and Billy Rice at the Trident in Sausalito, California. It became very popular with the Rolling Stones who even named their tour after the drink. Picked up by Jose Cuervo, the tequila manufacturer, it was heavily promoted and later in 1973, the Eagles recorded a song called ‘Tequila Sunrise’.
You can still replace the grenadine with creme de cassis for a stronger drink and popular variations also include 25ml of Cointreau or triple sec – another way to spice the drink up a bit. But, served simply, it’s a relatively low calorie, low alcohol summery drink that is perfect for sipping in the garden. A classic tequila recipe you should be able to drink right through the summer!
For more easy classic summer cocktails do click on the link and check our roundup. We’ll be adding to the list as we make more!
Meanwhile, if you want to try for yourself? Why not pin this classic tequila recipe for later