TBT Classic Cocktail #2: (Gary’s) Tequila Sunrise!

tequila sunrise

Well everyone, we have reached the end of our week of desert-themed drinks, but boy oh boy did we save the best for last. Have you ever been somewhere breathtakingly gorgeous on vacation and seen a pristine, out-of-this-world sunrise or sunset? This, my friends, is what that would taste like.

Brace yourselves as we present to you (Gary’s) Tequila Sunrise.

Before we get started, we need to clarify something about this drink. We struggled with the decision of whether to place this recipe in our Monday Originals series or here for our TBT Classic Cocktail, because although the name of this drink is recognizable, the recipe (created many years ago by none other than GaryAtTheBar, the illustrious father of your benevolent leader KellyAtTheBar) is so unbelievably superior to all others you might find in the world that it can hardly be considered the same drink.

And yet, since we promised at the start of the TBT series to bring you the best of the best recipes for classic cocktails each week, we decided to bestow this heavenly creation upon you here–but make no mistake, you are witnessing history in the making at this very moment. And now, without further ado, we give you the previously-secret-family-recipe for Gary’s Tequila Sunrise. You will need:

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  • 1.5 oz reposado or añejo tequila (do not, under any circumstances, use silver)
  • 3/4 oz Grand Marnier
  • 3/4 oz sour mix (equal parts lemon and lime)
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • Aprox. 4 oz fresh squeezed orange juice (about 1 orange)
  • Grenadine

Gather all of your ingredients plus your small & large citrus presses, jiggers, bar spoon, and tall clear serving glass (do not use tinted glassware for this drink or it defeats the whole purpose).

Rules are made to be broken, and this recipe breaks one of our cardinal rules for drink-making: all the ingredients will get poured directly into your serving glass.

First off, prep your juices. First make your sour mix by squeezing equal parts lemon and lime juice into a small glass or container. Then squeeze your orange juice into a separate container. You want to do all of this first so your ice does not melt and dilute your drink while you juice!

Now, fill your serving glass with ice and pour all of your ingredients EXCEPT the grenadine into the glass. You should pour in the following order: sour (3/4 oz sour mix), sweet (1/2 oz simple syrup), strong (1 1/2 oz tequila & 3/4 oz Grand Marnier), and weak (orange juice). The exact amount of orange juice you use will depend on the size of your glass. You want to use about 4 ounces, but can use slightly more to fill a larger glass, just make sure not to use too much and throw off the balance of your drink.

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After you have all of those ingredients in your glass, give it a quick stir with your bar spoon to combine.

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Now comes the most important step. Take your grenadine and pour a small amount directly into the glass, as close to the center of the top surface area as possible (the amount of grenadine you want is really determined by your own taste preferences. More means a sweeter drink, so be careful but don’t be stingy, this does serve an important purpose).

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Was that clear enough? Do. Not. Stir. The grenadine will settle at the bottom of the drink and create, wait for it, a sunrise effect in the glass! Where do you think the drink got its name in the first place, guys? Come on.

tequila sunrise

Well…there you have it!

This is an emotional moment for us, everyone. In all seriousness, and speaking directly as Kelly, sharing the recipe for this drink is a very big deal to me. I can remember being a tiny wee child and watching my dad make this drink for family friends whenever they were at our house, and how much every single person who tasted it loved it. This was one of the very first drinks I ever learned how to make, directly from The Man himself, and it holds a very dear place in my heart. You are looking at one of the reasons I love doing this so much, and I sincerely hope that you can get some joy out of this as well.

Lots of love, guys. Until next time.





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