Mezcal Sunrise


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Mezcal Sunrise_001

Introduction to the Mezcal Sunrise

Welcome to the smoky allure of the Mezcal Sunrise, a cocktail that enchants with its vibrant layers and complex flavors. This twist on the classic sunrise cocktail swaps tequila for mezcal, introducing a smoky sophistication to the sweet and citrus harmony. Perfect for a summer evening or a brunch gathering, the Mezcal Sunrise is as visually stunning as it is delicious.

The Mezcal Sunrise is not just a drink; it’s an experience. With each sip, you’ll discover the depth of mezcal, the freshness of orange juice, and the sweet touch of grenadine. It’s a cocktail that tells a story, from its origins to the last drop.

Whether you’re a cocktail aficionado or new to the world of mixed drinks, the Mezcal Sunrise is sure to captivate your senses. Let’s dive into the smoky waves of this beloved cocktail and explore what makes it a must-try for any mixology enthusiast.

Key Facts About the Mezcal Sunrise

  • Alcohol Volume: Approximately 14% ABV
  • Calories: Around 200 kcal per serving
  • Glass Type: Highball glass is preferred for its tall, slender shape
  • Typical Garnish: An orange slice and a cherry add the perfect finishing touch

Interesting Facts about the Mezcal Sunrise

Did you know that the Mezcal Sunrise is a modern take on the Tequila Sunrise, which dates back to the 1930s? The mezcal version offers a smokier, more complex flavor profile. Mezcal itself is made from agave, like tequila, but its production involves smoking the agave hearts, which imparts the distinctive smoky taste.

Another intriguing aspect of the Mezcal Sunrise is the visual appeal. The grenadine creates a gradient effect that mimics a sunrise, hence the name. This cocktail isn’t just about taste; it’s a feast for the eyes as well.

Mezcal Sunrise Cocktail

Tasting Notes on the Mezcal Sunrise

The Mezcal Sunrise is a symphony of flavors, with the smoky notes of mezcal playing the lead. The fresh orange juice adds a sweet and tangy backdrop, while the grenadine offers a hint of rich, fruity sweetness. This cocktail is perfect for those who appreciate a balance between the robustness of spirits and the refreshing zest of citrus.

It’s a versatile drink, ideal for various occasions. Whether you’re hosting a sophisticated dinner party or enjoying a casual backyard barbecue, the Mezcal Sunrise fits right in. It’s particularly popular among those who enjoy a touch of drama in their glass, as the layered colors create a show-stopping presentation.

History of the Mezcal Sunrise

The Mezcal Sunrise is a relatively new addition to the cocktail scene, emerging as a popular choice among those seeking an alternative to the classic Tequila Sunrise. While the exact origins of the Mezcal Sunrise are not well-documented, it’s clear that the cocktail’s rise to fame coincides with the growing popularity of mezcal as a spirit outside of Mexico.

Mezcal has been produced in Mexico for centuries, but it wasn’t until the early 21st century that it began to gain international recognition. As mezcal found its way into bars and homes around the world, innovative mixologists started experimenting with it, leading to the creation of mezcal-based twists on classic cocktails, including the Mezcal Sunrise.

Mezcal Sunrise Ingredients

  • Mezcal (2 oz / 60 ml): The star of the show, mezcal brings a smoky depth to the cocktail.
  • Fresh Orange Juice (4 oz / 120 ml): Adds a sweet and tangy freshness, balancing the smokiness of the mezcal.
  • Grenadine (1/2 oz / 15 ml): Provides a rich, fruity sweetness and creates the signature sunrise effect.
  • Ice Cubes: Chills the drink, making it more refreshing.
  • Garnishes: An orange slice and a cherry add visual appeal and a touch of extra flavor.

Did you know? The grenadine in a Mezcal Sunrise should be poured gently to achieve the perfect gradient effect, symbolizing a sunrise.

Pouring Grenadine for Mezcal Sunrise

Mezcal Sunrise Method

Preparing the Glass

Start by filling a highball glass with ice cubes to the brim. This ensures your Mezcal Sunrise stays cool and refreshing.

Adding the Mezcal

Pour 2 oz of mezcal over the ice. The quality of mezcal you choose will significantly impact the cocktail’s flavor, so opt for a good-quality mezcal.

Incorporating the Orange Juice

Add 4 oz of fresh orange juice to the glass. Freshly squeezed juice is always best for the brightest flavor.

Creating the Sunrise Effect

Slowly pour 1/2 oz of grenadine into the glass, allowing it to settle at the bottom. This step is crucial for achieving the layered sunrise look.

Garnishing the Drink

Garnish with a fresh orange slice and a cherry. These not only add to the visual appeal but also complement the flavors of the cocktail.

Serving Suggestion for the Mezcal Sunrise

The Mezcal Sunrise is traditionally served in a highball glass. This glassware choice allows for the perfect proportion of ingredients and showcases the beautiful color gradient. When garnishing, a fresh orange slice and a cherry are not just decorative; they enhance the overall drinking experience with their aromas and flavors.

Elevating the Mezcal Sunrise

  • Choose Premium Mezcal: Opt for a high-quality mezcal to ensure the smoky flavor shines through.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Use freshly squeezed orange juice and homemade grenadine for the best taste.
  • Proper Pouring Technique: Pour the grenadine slowly over the back of a spoon to achieve the perfect gradient.

Mezcal Sunrise Cocktail Ready to Serve

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Mezcal Sunrise

If you’re out of mezcal, a smoky scotch can be a suitable substitute, although the flavor profile will change. For a non-alcoholic version, use a smoky tea as the base. If you enjoy the Mezcal Sunrise, you might also like similar cocktails such as the Paloma or the Smoky Margarita, which also feature citrus and a smoky spirit.

Add a Twist to the Mezcal Sunrise

For a spicy kick, add a slice of jalapeño to the cocktail. You can also try muddling fresh berries before adding the other ingredients for a fruity twist. Another variation is to rim the glass with salt or sugar to add an extra layer of flavor.

Preferred Liquors for the Mezcal Sunrise

When it comes to mezcal, Del Maguey Vida Mezcal and Montelobos Mezcal are excellent choices for their smooth, smoky flavor that complements the sweetness of the orange juice and grenadine.

Similar Cocktails to the Mezcal Sunrise

If you’re a fan of the Mezcal Sunrise, you might also enjoy the classic Margarita, the smoky Oaxaca Old Fashioned, or the refreshing Michelada. Each of these cocktails offers a unique take on traditional Mexican flavors.

Food Pairings to Go with the Mezcal Sunrise

The Mezcal Sunrise pairs beautifully with light appetizers like ceviche or guacamole and chips. For something more substantial, try it with grilled shrimp tacos or a spicy chicken quesadilla.

Mezcal Sunrise FAQs

Can I make a Mezcal Sunrise without grenadine? Yes, but you’ll miss the signature sunrise effect. Try substituting with a splash of cherry juice or raspberry syrup for a similar visual impact.

Is there a specific type of mezcal best for this cocktail? A mezcal joven (young mezcal) is recommended for a less smoky flavor, but feel free to experiment with different types to find your preferred taste.

How can I ensure the layers in my Mezcal Sunrise are distinct? Pour the grenadine slowly and carefully over the back of a spoon to prevent it from mixing too quickly with the orange juice.

Mezcal Sunrise_001

Mezcal Sunrise

The Mezcal Sunrise is a smoky twist on the classic Tequila Sunrise, featuring the distinct flavors of mezcal paired with fresh orange juice and a splash of grenadine for a beautiful gradient effect reminiscent of a sunrise. This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy a balance of smoky, sweet, and citrus notes.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 200 kcal


  • Highball glass
  • spoon
  • Knife


  • 2 oz Mezcal 60 ml
  • 4 oz Fresh Orange Juice 120 ml
  • 1/2 oz Grenadine 15 ml
  • Ice Cubes
  • Orange Slice for garnish
  • Cherry for garnish


  • Fill a highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Pour the mezcal over the ice.
  • Add the fresh orange juice.
  • Slowly pour the grenadine into the glass over the back of a spoon or by drizzling it down the side of the glass, allowing it to settle at the bottom and create a layered effect.
  • Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy.


For a less smoky flavor, a mezcal joven (young mezcal) is recommended. Adjust the amount of grenadine to suit your sweetness preference. The grenadine should create a "sunrise" effect, so pour it gently.
Keyword Citrus Cocktail, Classic Cocktail, grenadine, mezcal, Mezcal Cocktail, Mezcal Sunrise, orange juice, Smoky Cocktail, Sunrise Cocktail

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