“It’s another tequila sunrise, starin’ closely ‘cross the sky…”
The classic Eagles intro evokes the warm western sun and another classic, that glowing glass of goodness with its layers of orange juice and grenadine that hide the familiar warmth of tequila. A thin orange slice stands in for the languid sun slowly rising in the west.
The origin of this classic ’70s cocktail is generally credited to Bartender Bobby Lozoff of the Trident Bar in Sausalito, California. He created the striated sipper to celebrate the beauty and color of the Pacific morning sky, its red and orange hues rousing the houseboaters and hippies in the sleepy marina town that the original hippie rocker David Crosby called home.
The cocktail gained international notoriety when Bill Graham, noted rock promoter, hosted a kickoff celebration of The Rolling Stones’ 1973 US Tour at The Trident. Mick and Keith’s affinity for the drink is now a thing of legend and their passion for the loving cup was shared along the aptly nicknamed “Cocaine and Tequila Sunrise Tour.” Noting the trend, Jose Cuervo Tequila, began printing the recipe on their bottles.
The storied Sunrise has a deeper secret that hearkens back to the repeal of Prohibition. The famed pink drink had an earlier iteration in the place more frequently associated with the Eagles. Bartender Gene Sulit created the original Tequila Sunrise at The Wright Bar, a golfer’s waterhole in The Phoenix Biltmore Hotel. Originally a tall fizzer, it combined tequila, crème de cassis, seltzer, and a splash of grenadine. Garnished with the familiar orange slice, his colorful libation was a nod to the desert morning sky. Returning golfers welcomed the refreshing repast as a remedy to the scorching midday sun.
Whether you’re an old hippie, a rocker, or a round-ball roller, the peaceful, easy feeling of a well-crafted Tequila Sunrise will make tonight a wonderful thing.
Bobby Lozoff’s Tequila Sunrise (from The Trident)
1 part Jose Cuervo Especial Silver
2 parts orange juice
1 tsp grenadine
- Pour tequila and orange juice into a tall glass, over ice
- Slowly pour in grenadine
- Garnish with an orange slice and enjoy in the approved Rolling Stones manner.
The Wright Bar Tequila Sunrise
1.5 oz Patrón Silver
.75 oz crème de cassis
1 tsp Sonoma Syrup Pomegranate Grenadine
1 tsp Fresh lime juice
- Fill a tall glass with cracked ice
- Add the tequila, crème de cassis, pomegranate grenadine, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice
- Top with club soda
- Garnish with an orange slice