What comes to mind when I mention tequila sunrise?
Is it the Eagles song?
The 80’s 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.
Now if you had 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.
However occasionally I look back to those tequila sunrise drinking days and think how I can I improve on that simply but sickening sweet drink?
Turns out the answer to my question was quite simple. Meet my friend the blood orange, nature’s answer to 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 bring on cocktail inspiration from 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.
If you’ve ever looked out the window when the sun is rising the winter you’ll spot colors of deep red, orange and yellow which is exactly what you see in this cocktail.
The most challenging part was to figure out how to separate the juices so that the colors didn’t bleed into one when you mixed them color.
That problem was solved by 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!
Winter Tequila Sunrise Recipe
- 1.5 Blood Orange Juice
- 1 Ice Cubes
- 4 Blanco Tequila
- 0.5 Fresh Orange Juice Or tangerine juice
- Blood Orange Slices Or tangerine slices, for garnish
- Add the blood orange juice, ice and tequila to a blender. Blend until the ice is crushed and has the consistency of a slushie.
- 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.
- Serve immediately.