Tequila Sunset vs Sunrise: Are They the Same

Tequila Sunset vs Sunrise: Are They the Same?

Who doesn’t love a good tequila cocktail? It is a strong but smooth alcohol that mixes so well with almost every flavor pairing. Tequila has been around for literally thousands of years, but only in recent decades has it become synonymous with wild nights and classy cocktails. 

There are a couple of varieties of tequila: silver or blanco, gold, reposado, and anejo. Their colors and tastes are dependent upon the aging process. Typically, when it comes to cocktails, silver and blanco tequilas are used. This is because these types have a “purer” taste, meaning no flavoring from being aged. The purer it is, the easier it will blend with other cocktail flavorings, like today’s stars, the Tequila Sunrise and Sunset.

Two of the most popular tequila cocktails are the Tequila Sunrise and the Tequila Sunset. These are very similar cocktails; if you like one, you probably like the other. In this article, we will take a look at the differences and similarities. Try them both, and then decide for yourself which is your favorite! 

What Is a Tequila Sunrise?

The origins of the Tequila Sunrise are shrouded in mystery—we know that it was invented in the ‘70s, because that’s the first time it really started to appear on bar and restaurant menus. It was hugely popular during the ‘70s and ‘80s (possibly even inspiring the Eagles’ song), but began to lose its popularity shortly after. 

We really can’t pin it down to one particular place or bar, although according to cocktail lore, a San Francisco bartender pulled this drink together for the first time after having one drink too many with friends. They used it to toast the sunrise and to close out what was (probably) a pretty iconic night. 

Wondering what rocked the Tequila Sunrise to fame? Mick Jagger actually tried it at a party in the early ‘70s and enjoyed it so much that he and his entourage started drinking them all along their tour. 

The Tequila Sunrise is a simple drink to make. It is the original version of the two drinks, with the sunset recipe soon following. To make it, you will need tequila, orange juice, grenadine, and orange slices or cherries for garnish. 

You simply fill a glass with ice and add in the orange juice and tequila. Pour the grenadine in slowly, so it sinks to the bottom of the drink. This will add beautiful layers of red and orange to the drink.

What Is a Tequila Sunset?

The Tequila Sunset is very similar to the Sunrise, and we’re thinking that this version was invented for those who still want the cool, layered effect in their drink without all the extra sweetness added by the grenadine. You will need tequila, orange juice, soda water, and red food coloring. You use red food coloring to tint the soda water and make it a bright red color. 

Fill a glass with ice, and just like the sunrise, you add in the orange juice and tequila. This time, instead of grenadine, you are adding in the red-colored soda water. You want it to float at the top of the drink. 

Interestingly enough, this isn’t the only version of the Tequila Sunset—some say that it’s the same recipe as the Tequila Sunrise, but you swap out the grenadine for blackberry brandy. How’s that for an extra kick? 

What Tequila Should You Use In Your Tequila Sunrise?

There are countless tequila brands that you could use in your Tequila Sunrise (or Sunset). Here at Saucey, we carry hundreds of them, which can all be delivered right to your door. 

Below, we put together a list of some of the most popular tequila brands that would make a great addition to your latest cocktail craze. 

  • Casamigos: This brand is now a household name thanks to friends and business partners, George Clooney and Rande Gerber. It is known for being crisp and smooth, with hints of vanilla, citrus, grapefruit, and agave, making it a great pairing for the fruity flavors in your Tequila Sunrise.  
  • Don Julio: The original Don Julio is an affordable tequila ranging from $20 to $50. It is double distilled and contains hints of citrus and black pepper. 
  • Patrón: When you hear the name Patrón, what is the first thing you think of? If you are like most people, the answer is probably shots. It is made from blue agave and goes down much more smoothly than other types, making for easy drinking as a mixer. 

If The Tequila Sunrise Isn’t for You, What Are Other Tequila Cocktails? 

While the Sunrise and the Sunset are two of the most popular tequila cocktails, there are certainly plenty more for you to try. No matter what mood you are in or what your taste preferences are, there is a tequila cocktail for you to love and enjoy. You never know, one of the drinks below might just become your new drink of choice! 

  • The classic Margarita: tequila, lime juice, and triple sec. Don’t forget the limes for garnish!
  • The Paloma– tequila, lime juice, and grapefruit soda. Simple and tangy.
  • The Tequila Collins- tequila, lemon juice, agave, and club soda. A new take on the traditional drink. 


Thirsty yet? If reading about these delicious drinks made you want to make them yourself, go on Saucey right now and order some tequila! It will be delivered right to your door, so you can make all the sunrises and sunsets your heart desires. 

The Tequila Sunset and the Tequila Sunrise are two very similar, very popular drinks. The differences lie with a few of the ingredients, as well as the coloring of the drinks. Both are tasty and great choices for those who enjoy tequila-based cocktails. 


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