The smokiness of mezcal paired with orange juice and that sweet splash of grenadine makes a great-tasting drink that looks great.
What is a Mezcal Sunrise
A Mezcal sunrise is a sweet and citrus-flavored cocktail made with mezcal, orange juice and grenadine. It's so good that I'm always sad when I get to the last sip.
The orange juice paired with the smokiness of mezcal creates the perfect cocktail flavoring and makes for an excellent slow sipper as well.
The key to making a good Mezcal cocktail is selecting the right type of mezcal. Some are very smoky, while others are smooth and delicious. When you're making a tequila cocktail, the brand and taste absolutely matter!
Mezcal Sunrise vs. Tequila Sunrise
The main ingredients of a sunrise cocktail are the same: orange juice and grenadine. The main difference is that one is made with mezcal, a type of smoky tequila, while the other is made with classic blanco tequila.
What is in a Mezcal Sunrise
This is was one of my favorite ways to learn to appreciate mezcal for its smoky taste, and now you too can enjoy the perfect vessel to enjoy this type of tequila. Quantities are int he recipe card below, first check that you have:
- Mezcal: choose your favorite brand
- fresh orange juice: fresh squeezed would taste amazing and storebought works too
- grenadine: necessary for giving this drink the "sunrise" look and sweetness
- Ice: essential since this cocktail is served chilled
- Orange slice: for garnish
- Maraschino cherry: for garnish
How to make a Mezcal Sunrise
I did mention how fast and easy it was to make this mezcal cocktail, right? You'll literally be having your first sip in just about 2 minutes or less!
- Ice & fill
Fill a large glass with ice. Add the Mezcal and orange juice, and give it a stir.
- Make it sweet
Slowly pour in the grenadine, which will sink to the bottom, creating a layered effect.
- Make it pretty
Garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry.
How Strong is a Mezcal Sunrise
A mezcal sunrise is a perfect light to medium-strength cocktail to enjoy solo or at gatherings. As written, it has a good balance of tequila and liquid, and it doesn't taste too strong.
Of course, it can be as strong as you want it to be. Want to make it stronger? Add more mezcal, about half a shot, to kick up the strength factor by quite a bit.
You can play with the combination and find a perfect balance. Mezcal has a higher alcohol content when it comes to types of tequila, so that will taste a bit stronger than you might be accustomed to.
You may want to take a sip or two before altering the recipe by adding more mezcal to make it stronger or more orange juice to weaken it.
Is Mezcal Sunrise a Morning Drink?
It can be! It has orange juice in it, and that has to count for something, right? Most times, this would be served for something like brunch, as the citrus flavor is great for a mid-morning or early-afternoon cocktail.
Do you use tequila for a Sunrise cocktail?
Best Mezcal for this Sunrise Recipe
Because this recipe is highly sweet, you can get away with a cheaper Mezcal. However, if you plan on making other cocktails, opt for Mezcal Artesanal, artisan-made or extracted by hand. These are better choices. If you don't have a favorite brand, below are 3 great options to try in different price ranges:
Other Mezcal Cocktails
- 1 ½ oz Mezcal
- 4 ounces (½ cup) fresh orange juice,
- ¼ oz grenadine
- Orange slice, for garnish
- Maraschino cherry, for garnish
- Fill a large glass with ice. Add the Mezcal and orange juice, and give it a stir.
- Slowly pour in the grenadine, which will sink to the bottom, creating a layered effect.
- Garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry.