As with most classic cocktails, it can be difficult to definitively document and differentiate between fact, fiction and mythology. Whether you like it stirred or shaken, on the rocks or up, the Tequila Sunrise is an icon of American Culture.
One common and frequently reported story traces the roots of the Tequila Sunrise to the luxurious Arizona Biltmore and the early 1900’s. Purported to have been a creation of Gene Sulit, the Tequila Sunrise is a refreshing combination of Tequila, Crème de Cassis, fresh lime juice and a splash of club soda.
Other stories credit the creation to the Tequila Sunrise to the Agua Caliente of Tijuana, Mexico in the post-Prohibition era as Californians headed south-of-the-border in search of various forms of entertainment, gambling and relaxation.
Regardless of the actual origin, it is difficult to dispute the impact that modern American Culture has had on the Tequila Sunrise, be it the Eagles’ 1973 hit or the 1988 film staring Mel Gibson and Michelle Pfeiffer. But the Tequila Sunrise, in its original form, enjoyed a limited period of popularity and has all but disappeared from most cocktail menus. Today it is more likely to be found as a combination of Tequila, grenadine and orange juice.
THE TEQUILA SUNRISE
(Recipe for 1 drink)
One jigger Tequila
One half lime, squeezed. Insert peel
EXACTLY six dashes grenadine
EXACTLY two dashes Crème de Cassis
Two lumps ice
Serve in a highball glass, filled to brim with healthful Agua Caliente “Roca Blanca” water. If not available, fizz with seltzer. Stir slightly.
* MODERN TEQUILA SUNRISE
Into an ice-filled highball, pour a large (1.7oz) shot of tequila, and top up to about an inch below the rim with orange juice. Stir, and then drizzle a small (0.85oz) shot of grenadine around the edge of the top of the drink, and allow it to sink in the glass.