The best Tequila Sunrise in Chicago at Top Bars

Experience a symphony of flavors with 'The best Tequila Sunrise in Chicago', a cocktail lover's dream.

When the sun dips below the horizon, the silhouettes of agave plants against a vibrant sunset comes to mind. This serene setting realizes itself at the bottom of your cocktail glass in the form of what we fondly refer to as ‘The Best Tequila Sunrise’. A drink whose name draws inspiration from both a spectacular natural phenomena and a distilled beverage of Mexican heritage.

Originating from the American post prohibition era in the early 20th century, the Tequila Sunrise has since then painted bars with its flaming hues, and tantalized taste buds with its balanced flavors. Made with the simple, yet harmonious blend of tequila, grenadine and freshly squeezed orange juice, this cocktail stands out not just for its distinctive gradient effect that resembles a sunrise, but also its sweet and tart taste profile. These aspects have made the Tequila Sunrise a popular feature in party menus, weekend brunches and beach vacations around the world. Its popularity surged further when it became a go-to drink for the Rock ‘n’ Roll jet set in the 1970’s, creating a sense of nostalgic charm that is enjoyed to this day.

While its popularity is widespread, the ‘best’ version of this drink is a widely debated topic. Some prefer it with more tequila, while others insist on the perfect balance between sweet grenadine and sour citrus. Either way, the ‘best’ Tequila Sunrise is subjective, and usually the one that appeals most to your personal palate. So, the next time you find yourself longing for a tropical escape or reminiscing over a past vacation, remember – the ‘best’ Tequila Sunrise is just a shake, pour and sip away.

Dawn of a Cocktail: Tracing the Origins of Tequila Sunrise

Imagination often evokes dreamy visions of sun kissed beaches and ornate margarita glasses brimming with Tequila Sunrise when someone hints at a relaxing Mexican vacation. Selena and the Rolling Stones contributed significantly in adding a layer of glamorous razzle-dazzle to this iconic drink. However, the intriguing origins of this vivacious cocktail have a mystique of their own that oscillates between fame, glamour and intriguing tales of the Prohibition era.

The conception of a Tequila Sunrise can be traced back to the 1930s and 1940s, during the Prohibition period, when this enticing cocktail first started blipping on the radar. The original recipe called for a mixture of tequila, lime juice, soda, and creme de cassis. But the true awakening of this drink happened after the Prohibition era. The infamous Arizona Biltmore Hotel claims that Gene Sulit, a popular bartender of those times, reinvented the cocktail in the 1970s while trying to create a refreshing tequila-based poolside drink. Sulit’s version kicked out creme de cassis and soda, and introduced the now-iconic duo of orange juice and grenadine, giving it the famous sunrise gradient effec

Regardless of its murky origins, it’s undeniable that the Tequila Sunrise has journeyed from the dim, hidden speakeasies of the Prohibition era to the celebrity-ridden parties of the ’70s, before making its way to the vibrant cocktail menus of the finest bars in the world. It may be riddled with ambiguity and conflicting claims but the Tequila Sunrise, like a true star, has managed to shine brightly despite the darkness that shrouded its inception.

Imbibe Tasty The best  Tequila Sunrise in Chicago

Recipe: Crafting The Best Tequila Sunrise

Just like a mesmerizing sunrise, the beauty of a well-prepared Tequila Sunrise lies in its blend of vibrant colors reflected in a harmonious mix of flavourful ingredients. This delightful cocktail is historically characteristic of the sultry afar, but now attainable in the comfort of your own home.


  • 2 oz of high-quality tequila
  • 4 oz of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 oz of grenadine
  • Ice cubes
  • A slice of orange for garnish


  • Brim your glass with ice cubes to the top
  • Pour in your chosen tequila
  • Add the orange juice
  • Slowly slide the grenadine down the side of the glass, it will sink and gradually rise to mix with the other ingredients
  • Garnish the rim of your glass with the orange slice

This crafting process requires investing in high-quality tequila. Remember that the tequila is the sun of this sunrise, so let it shine! The orange and grenadine should create the perfect balance, not overpower it. Savour your homemade Tequila Sunrise and witness how a classic cocktail doesn’t need to be complicated to transport you to a tropical paradise.

Chicago's Best Spots for Tequila Sunrise

A jubilee of sunshine in a glass, like a cheerful greeting to the day, the Tequila Sunrise imbues a whisper of breezy, tropical escapism to any moment, regardless of location or weather. Captivating drink enthusiasts with its vibrant layers of citrus, tequila, and pomegranate, it’s undeniably a cocktail worth seeking out. And for the cocktail savvy crowd in the renowned Windy City? Here are the best locations to relish this beautiful, taste-teasing libation…

Top Locations for a top-notch Tequila Sunrise in Chicago:

  • Name: ‘Longman and Eagle’, address: ‘2657, N Kedzie Ave’ is not just about compelling craft cocktails, but about immersing the guest in an experience that melds the lines between spirited banter and comforting cuisine. Their Tequila Sunrise is a charm – vibrant, robust, transporting you momentarily to a beachfront hamlet.
  • Name: ‘Lone Wolf’, address: ‘806, W Randolph St’ masters the balance between innovative cocktail listing and unpretentious vibe. Their take on Tequila Sunrise is emblematic of their philosophy – simple, subtle, and earnestly genuine. It’s a visual beauty too, with the ‘sunrise’ served just right.
  • Name: ‘Billy Sunday’, address: ‘3143, W Logan Blvd’ is all about heritage. It’s not just a cocktail bar, but a space that honours the vintage in the most contemporary way. Their Tequila Sunrise? It tells a story, of age-old recipes, of tastes that stood the test of time, curated with passion and precision.

Chill Crisp The best  Tequila Sunrise in Chicago

Tequila Sunrise in Pop Culture

When it comes to mixed drinks and pop culture, it’s hard to find a more iconic duo than the indulgent Tequila Sunrise and the Hollywood glamour it evokes. This bright, colorful cocktail has been savored by A-listers, sung about by rock ‘n’ roll legends, and has even cemented its place in cinema history.

Let’s chat about Mick Jagger, who was introduced to this radiant concoction by a bartender during the Rolling Stones 1972 tour. Following this intoxicating introduction, the legendary rockstar spread the ‘sunrise’ hype, leading many bars to re-add this cocktail to their menus after a period of obscurity. Later on, Eagle’s song, ‘Tequila Sunrise,’ sweetly serenaded our ears, further ensnaring this cocktail within the tight grip of popular culture.

In the world of cinema, in the studded and opulent universe of film stars, the cocktail has been immortalized in the namesake movie ‘Tequila Sunrise.’ With an outstanding ensemble cast featuring Mel Gibson, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Kurt Russell, it’s impossible to talk about the iconic Tequila Sunrise without mentioning its feature role in the movie where secrets, love triangles, and friendships are juggled against the backdrop of tequila-soaked sunrises.

Adapting Tequila Sunrise Cocktail recipes for Dietary Restrictions

With a bit of resourcefulness and creativity, everyone can relish the delightful taste of a Tequila Sunrise cocktail, regardless of dietary limitations. This layered sunrise of a beverage, both visually appealing and gratifying to the palate, can easily be molded to fit gluten-free, vegan, and low-sodium diets without compromising on its vibrant flavors.

For those abiding by a gluten-free lifestyle, the good news is, most Tequila is made from the blue agave plant and is naturally gluten-free. However, you must note that some manufacturers with less than pure intentions may contaminate their products with gluten during processing. So, remember to check labels for gluten-free certification. Similarly, all the other ingredients – orange juice, grenadine, and cherries, are also naturally gluten-free.

For vegans, the first thing you might want to double-check is the grenadine syrup. Though traditionally not an animal product, some store versions may include high fructose corn syrup or artificial red coloring derived from insects. Consider making homemade grenadine with pomegranate and sweetener of choice to control what goes into it. Lastly, to reduce the sodium levels, the main change is to cut-out or reduce in quantity any salt rimming on the glass. While salt does enhance the sweetness on the palate, the drink remains just as delicious without it. Now, everyone can raise a glass to inclusivity!

Chill Balancing The best  Tequila Sunrise in Chicago

The Glamour and Gallantry of Garnishing Tequila Sunrise Cocktail

There is a special kind of theatre to the art of cocktail garnish, born in its ability to transform a glass of spirits and mixers into a multisensory experience. Witness, for instance, a Tequila Sunrise cocktail, whose magic lies not only in the sweet-tart interplay of tequila, orange juice, and grenadine but also in the flamboyant flourish of its garnish. Its crowned glory – an ornamental appeal – is where the dialogue between aesthetics and palate truly ignites, transforming the cocktail into a creative masterpiece.

It’s a spectacular sight to see a beautifully garnished cocktail disrupting your straightforward Hayes Code-era cocktail trimmings. Among the most exceptional garnishes I’ve cheekily stumbled upon is a delighted medley of citrus spirals elegantly pirouetting their way from the brim of the glass, closely rivalled by a dazzling brochette of tropical fruits speared through a cocktail umbrella. However, garnishing doesn’t end with these vibrant froufrou. Some crafty mixologists have taken the liberty to defy cocktail decorum by garnishing the Tequila Sunrise with a dash of black salt, guanabana dark chocolate shards, or even crispy bacon, creating a fascinating play of textures to dazzle even the most seasoned spirits savants.

For those enthralled by the spectacle and insurgents of the vanilla cocktail world, consider the splash and drama that sundried pineapple wheels or ruby red pomegranate seeds could add. Or better yet, deepen the theatricality with edible flowers frozen in ice cubes, or charred grapefruit segment for a smoky effect. Remember, the only limit is your imagination.

A Chuckle-worthy Tale of Chicago's Memorable Tequila Sunrise

Ever been to Chicago? It’s a vortex of gastronomic delights and a splashing cascade of libations. Of the many tantalizing drinks that dance upon menus, a truly renowned one is the Tequila Sunrise. Now, let’s inject a tasteful joke into the mix for a tangy twist.

In the heart of the Windy City, where rooftops flirt with clouds and snowflakes kiss the sidewalks in the winter, a bartender prides on his Tequila Sunrise. They say it’s so smooth and enchanting, even the worst teetotaler would tip the rim to a sip. The beautiful swirl of colors representing the morning sun in the bottom-heavy glass would mesmerize even the grumpiest early riser.

One bright Chicago morning, a man walks into the bar and orders their signature Tequila Sunrise. The bartender delivers it with flourish and pride, only for the man to break into a frown. ‘Why so glum?’ the bartender asks. The man heaves a sigh and states, ‘I ordered the Tequila Sunrise; still feels like it’s midnight in my mouth.’ All you can do is laugh, because sometimes, the party starts long after the sun has risen.

Thank you for allowing me to take you on this joyous, jolly jibe of a journey. Nothing enriches my journey as a writer more than the smiles that emerge after reading such narratives. Do drop by anytime to enjoy more of these laughter-filled recipes.


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