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How to Make the Vodka Sunrise

The Vodka Sunrise cocktail takes almost no time to make! Just a splash of grenadine gives it the look of the sun rising, hence the name!

Vodka Sunrise portrait

Since you only need a few ingredients, it’s a really simple drinks recipe. It is tasty, refreshing, and a perfect drink to sip any time of the day. Because of its many variations, this drink is super versatile and one of those delicious cocktails we should be enjoying! Also there is an easy way to make a non-alcoholic version as well!

What is a Vodka Sunrise

Although this is a recipe for the Vodka Sunrise, you can’t forget its inspiration – the original Tequila Sunrise. That drink originated in the 1930s when Gene Sulit mixed tequila with soda water, liqueur, and lime juice. Over the year, this drink gained immense popularity especially in the 1970’s and 1980’s. As time passed, the cocktail underwent several variations with the Vodka Sunrise one of the most loved and a great alternative.

It’s one of the classic cocktails for brunch as well, if you want a change to the classic Screwdriver or Mimosa. An added bonus is you get that sunrise effect thanks to the red layer of grenadine. It’s as if the sun were right in your glass! The fruity flavors make you think you are having all your five a day in one glass!

What goes into a Vodka Sunrise?

With four simple and easy-to-find ingredients, plus loads of ice, you can make this great cocktail in a tall glass or short glass. The ingredients are:

  • Vodka: I have chosen plain vodka for this recipe. However, you can also use flavored vodka. For instance, you can choose orange flavor vodka as well.
  • Orange juice: Fresh orange juice has the flavor and the punch that makes this drink what it is!
  • Grenadine syrup: If you want more info on Grenadine, you can check out my Lush Guide to Grenadine! This syrup is widely used in making drinks and cocktails. It is a thick syrup made from pomegranates or pomegranate juice, lemon juice, and sugar. It is sweet and has a prominent pomegranate flavor and a beautiful vibrant red color. You can buy it or it’s super easy to make homemade grenadine with Lynnette Marrero’s recipe!
  • Garnish: You can garnish with fresh orange slice, lemon or lime slices, maraschino cherry, mint leaves, or pineapple slices.
Vodka Sunrise from above

What tools you need to make Vodka Sunrise

You won’t be needing a cocktail shaker for this one! Grab a jigger, a barspoon, and a rocks glass or a highball glass for this Vodka Sunrise recipe.

First, pour vodka into a rock glass. Next, add ice cubes. Pour in orange juice on top and gently mix the two ingredients. Pour a few splashes of grenadine on top and watch it sink to the bottom. You can add more ice if you want. Garnish with fresh fruit slices and enjoy!

  • 🍸Top Tip(le): Variations on the Vodka Sunrise
    • Grapefruit juice / Pineapple juice: Use grapefruit juice or pineapple juice instead of orange juice to add a bit of bitterness or tropical flavor.
    • Cranberry juice: Use cranberry use instead of orange juice for those tart berry flavors. The color, however, won’t be as dramatic as with other fruit juices.
    • Tequila: Replace vodka with Tequila, and you will get a Tequila Sunrise.
    • Lemonade: Use lemonade instead of orange juice and get the refreshing zesty flavor that will make your taste buds zing. Add lime juice as well for freshness. You can add a bit of simple syrup if it is too tart.
    • Non-alcoholic Sunrise: Simply use sparkling water or lemon soda instead of vodka and enjoy an alcohol-free drink.

Where to find more vodka recipes

Here are a few of my favorites:

 Plus more grenadine recipes here (with color layers!)

Disclaimer: Some of these posts contain affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means that I may receive compensation if you click on these links and buy something, but, don’t worry, it won’t cost you a dime!

Where to find ingredients for Vodka Sunrise cocktails

You can find all the ingredients at Spirits Kiosk (10% off the entire site by quoting this code: ALushLife10SK.) in the UK; or in the USA!

Here is the recipe!

vodka sunrise recipe

Vodka Sunrise

Experience the vibrant burst of flavors with Vodka Sunrise. A classic cocktail blending smooth vodka, tangy orange juice, and a hint of grenadine for a sunrise in a glass.
No ratings yet
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktails
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 187 kcal


  • 1 1/2 oz Vodka
  • 4 oz. Fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 oz. Grenadine
  • Lime cherry, mint & pineapple


  • Add the vodka to a rocks glass
  • Add ice
  • Top up with the Orange Juice
  • Stir gently
  • Pour in the grenadine.
  • Add more ice if necessary
  • Garnish with lime, cherry, mint & pineapple


Serving: 1gCalories: 187kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 1gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.03gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.04gSodium: 5mgPotassium: 231mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 227IUVitamin C: 57mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 0.2mg
Keyword Vodka Sunrise
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