This Vodka Sunrise is a fun take on the classic tequila sunrise cocktail but made with vodka. Red grenadine topped with brightly hued orange juice make this drink reminiscent of a stunning sunrise. Like my lavender lemonade or Bourbon Smash, it is ideal for summer mornings or brunch gatherings!
If you love a classic screwdriver, you will love a vodka sunrise!
It's basically the same type of drink with a touch of grenadine added for color and sweetness. Most people are familiar with the popular cocktail, a tequila sunrise but for those who don't like tequila, this version is perfect!
🛒 What do you put in a Vodka Sunrise?
- Vodka- Use the best vodka you have since it is the only alcohol being used. Titos will make it gluten free!
- Grenadine- This is a non-alcoholic sticky syrup that's both tart and sweet. It has a deep red color which gives many drinks a pink hue when blended. You can find it in any grocery store OR make your own here!
- Orange Juice- Use any orange juice you enjoy however I recommend one that's pulp-free! Those little "pulpies" aren't very appealing.
🌅 Getting The Sunrise Look
To get that gorgeous "sunrise" look to your cocktail, the trick is to add your grenadine syrup FIRST to a tall glass with ice. Then mix your orange juice and vodka in a cocktail shaker before adding it over top of the syrup.
You don't want to mix it before serving because then it will turn a pinkish hue defeating the sunrise presentation.
If you love beautiful hues and colorful drinks, you have to make this purple lavender cocktail!
🍹Love bloody marys? Check out this post on the best garnishes for your Bloody Mary!
This is a simple cocktail however you can swap out a few things to keep the sunrise color but meet the needs of your guests.
- Swap out the vodka! You can use another clear liqueur like tequila or white rum! Coconut rum would be a deliciously tropical addition.
- Use a different juice! Instead of orange juice, why not try pineapple, peach, mango or a fruity mixture of the two? (Pineapple would be delicious with the coconut rum!)
- Don't have grenadine? Try using a black currant, pomegranate or cherry juice instead to achieve similar colors. You can even use a drop of red food coloring at the bottom!
🙋♂️"What is the difference between a vodka sunrise and a sunset?"
Both drinks have the same ingredients however the difference is mainly HOW the grenadine is added.
When the sun rises, the red is beneath the yellow.
When the sun sets, the red is typically above the yellow.
This is why the red aka grenadine is added on TOP of the orange juice or LAST. It's usually mixed with a soda water to make it lighter (not sink).
🍹Love fruity cocktails? Check out this awesome drink list!
✅ Expert Tips
- Use a tall, skinny glass to serve your vodka sunrise in. It layers nicely and looks beautiful.
- Chill your glass in the freezer for 10-20 minutes before serving for an extra cold drink.
- Garnish with an orange slice and maraschino cherry.
- Skewer your garnishes on a fun umbrella skewer if you prefer.
- Serve with a straw to allow guests to mix their drink if they want.
- Mix the orange juice with soda water for a less sweet, bubbly option.
Check out this list of juices and mixers that pair well with vodka.
Sure! Leave out the vodka and either mix as is or add a splash of soda water for a fun kid-friendly mocktail!
Nope! It's just a red simple syrup.
Yes! To prevent playing bartender all party long, pre-mix the orange juice and vodka and place in a pourable pitcher. Then set that next to a cute pour bottle of the grenadine with a shot glass or jigger for guests to add themselves! Just add a small sign that says, "add 1 oz grenadine then top with OJ"!
No you don't have to since grenadine is a heavier liquor so gravity will naturally allow it to sink to the bottom. The color will just be a bit more muddled.
Since there is orange juice in it, it makes for the perfect breakfast or brunch drink during the warmer months!
Other Summer Cocktails You'll Love
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Vodka Sunrise Cocktail
- 1½ ounces good vodka
- 5 ounces orange juice (*you can use pineapple or mango too)
- 1 ounce grenadine syrup
- 1 orange slice and 1 maraschino cherry for garnish
- Fill a glass with ice and add grenadine.
- Add ice to a cocktail shaker along with the orange juice and vodka.
- Shake for 10-20 seconds.
- Top grenadine with orange juice mixture and garnish with orange slice and a cherry.