Winter Tequila Sunrise Recipe

Susan Palmer | Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

Winter Tequila Sunrise shows off the beauty of blood oranges. A great pick-me-up drink for the winter months.

What comes to mind when I mention tequila sunrise?

Is it the Eagles song?

The '80s movie starring Mel Gibson and Kurt Russell?

Or is it the too-sweet cocktail standby?

I’d say it’s a tossup between the song and the cocktail for me. What can I say — Eagles tunes are catchy.

Winter Tequila Sunrise Photo

Now if you'd asked me this question about 15 years or go, my answer would have been the cocktail.

It was a bar staple for me just after I turned 21. 

Tequila was my spirit of choice and a tequila sunrise was easy drinking with the orange juice and sweet grenadine syrup poured on top.

These days I sing a different tune with my drink choices.

Tequila is found in my margaritas and once in a while a specialty cocktail.

Occasionally I look back to those tequila sunrise drinking days and think, "How can I improve on that simply but sickening sweet drink?"

Winter Tequila Sunrise Image

Adding Blood Oranges to the Classic Tequila Sunrise

Turns out the answer to my question was quite simple.

Meet my friend the blood orange, nature's answer for bright and gorgeous winter cocktails.

Blood orange season is short and sweet with the citrus easily located December through March — and some varieties through May.

Unlike navel or juice oranges, blood oranges have a deep red flesh and a sweet flavor but a slightly bitter aftertaste.

They are without a doubt my favorite winter fruit!

And they brought on cocktail inspiration for everything from a modified Moscow mules to palomas to this Winter Tequila Sunrise.

Unlike the original version of the tequila sunrise, our Winter Tequila Sunrise gets its color and flavor from nature itself.

To that end, if you embrace squeezing your own orange juice, it will level up the whole cocktail.

If you’ve ever looked out the window when the sun is rising in the winter you might spot colors of deep red, orange, and yellow.

Which is exactly what you see in this cocktail.

The Cocktail's Origins

The classic tequila sunrise recipe uses grenadine.

Popular brands like Rose's Grenadine Syrup are made with high fructose corn syrup, Red 40, and natural and artificial flavors.

Among other things.

As you can see, there are benefits to swapping in blood oranges. Beyond just the flavor.

The drink was first created in the early 1970s in Calfornia.

Apparently the Rolling Stones helped popularize it.

And the Eagles' 1973 song helped take it to new heights, according to

The original recipe calls for blanco tequila, just like our version here.

Blanco tequila is clear in color because, unlike other types, it is not barrel-aged or rested.

Winter Tequila Sunrise Pic

Achieving the Iconic Tequila Sunrise Look

The most challenging part was to figure out how to separate the juices. 

I didn't want the colors to bleed into one another when you mixed them.

The solution is relatively simple!

Blending the tequila and blood orange juice with ice to make a slushy layer and then slowly pouring in our orange (or my preference tangerine for a touch more sweetness) juice on top.

What you get is a gorgeous drink to perk up the gloomiest winter days. Feeling too chilly for a frost drink?

Just make believe you’re sipping this Winter Tequila Sunrise on a beach and maybe add an umbrella on top, too!

Are you tired of the dinner routine?

Stuck in a rut or looking for fun new recipes to try?

Our Facebook Group is growing every day! If you haven’t joined yet, we invite you to come check it out and join the fun.


You can ask for recipe ideas, talk about cooking techniques, or get help figuring out the right new pan set for you. If you’ve already joined, invite a friend along!

If you find yourself craving this recipe in the warmer months, there's no reason to hold back!

But you could also consider our Tequila Sunrise Ice Pops Recipe.


Winter Tequila Sunrise Recipe

  2 Servings


  • 1 1/2 cups Blood Orange Juice
  • 1 cup Ice Cubes
  • 4 ounces Blanco Tequila
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Orange Juice, Or tangerine juice
  • Blood Orange Slices, Or tangerine slices, for garnish


  1. Add the blood orange juice, ice and tequila to a blender. Blend until the ice is crushed and has the consistency of a slushie.
  2. Divide between two glasses. Slowly pour the orange juice on top, careful not to pour too quickly so that it stays separate from the blood orange layer.
  3. Serve immediately.


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Related Recipes:
Cocktail Recipes, Drink Recipes, Winter Recipes, Party Food Recipes, Easy Recipes, Citru Recipes, Tequila Recipes, Orange Recipes
Recipe Yields:
2 cocktails
Prep Time:
Total Time:
Related Post:
Author: Susan Palmer
Recipe Yields: 2 cocktails
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 cocktail
Servings Per Recipe 2

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 0
Calories 240

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g
  Saturated Fat 0g
Sodium 2mg
Total Carbohydrate 25g
  Dietary Fiber 0g
  Sugars 20g
Protein 1g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
Susan Palmer

About Susan

Susan bakes up delicious treats as the Girl in the Little Red Kitchen at home in Brooklyn. She's joined Food Fanatic as a Cocktails and Boozy Desserts Fanatic, and we could not be more excited!

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