Vodka Sunrise

A vodka sunrise cocktail is an easy summer drink recipe that looks like a beautiful sunrise! Made with 3 ingredients, this ombre cocktail is light, fruity, and fun!

Close up of a highball filled with this vodka sunrise recipe and garnished with an orange slice and maraschino cherry. The glass is surrounded by drink umbrellas, more cherries, orange slices, a jigger, grendadine, with another vodka sunrise cocktail in the background.

Vodka is a popular summertime liquor because of how versatile it is. The clear and (generally) neutral flavor of vodka makes it a great option to mix with a variety of mixers, sodas, and juices.

This vodka sunrise recipe is the vodka version of the tequila sunrise. Perfect for those who aren’t fans of tequila, or want to try something different! A great option for those who love vodka and orange juice together (aka a screwdriver cocktail). 

Since this cocktail is made with orange juice, it would make a great brunch cocktail! This would be great to serve alongside another brunch cocktail favorite, like a cranberry mimosa, classic French 75, or a cold brew cocktail.

However, this summer cocktail is really delightful anytime of day. Mix one up to enjoy ASAP!

TELL ME ABOUT THIS VODKA SUNRISE DRINK RECIPE

Level of difficulty: Easy. Measure, pour, and enjoy!

Flavor: Orange is the predominant flavor of this cocktail, with fun pops of fruity sweetness from the grenadine.

Time: It will take you less than 5 minutes to mix up this easy vodka sunrise recipe.

ingredients needed to make this vodka sunrise recipe. includes vodka orange juice grenadine and ice.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

  • Grenadine
  • Orange Juice
  • Vodka
  • Ice (for shaking)
  • Optional garnishes: orange slices, maraschino cherries, drink umbrellas

OVERVIEW: HOW TO MAKE A VODKA SUNRISE COCKTAIL

  1. In a liquid measuring cup, measure and mix together the orange juice and vodka. Set aside.
  2. In a highball glass, add the grenadine and then fill the glass with ice.
  3. Pour the vodka and orange juice mixture slowly over the ice.
  4. Garnish (if desired), sip, and enjoy!

Note: do not stir your vodka sunrise before serving! It will turn a pinkish hue, which defeats the purpose of the beautiful sunrise presentation.

collage of 6 images showing how to make a vodka sunrise cocktail.

See step-by-step story series here!

HOW TO GET THE SUNRISE LOOK

The trick to getting that perfect sunrise look for your vodka sunrise cocktail is to add the grenadine syrup to your glass first!

Some people will have you pour the grenadine syrup last because the grenadine’s density is higher than the juice and vodka so it technically will sink. However, it takes a while for the grenadine to sink to the bottom of the drink and doesn’t give you quite as stark of a contrast in your colors.

RECIPE VARIATIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS

  • Substitute the vodka with a different liquor: this is a fun drink to play around with! Here are a few options to try:
    • Tequila. Make this into a classic tequila sunrise by using your favorite blanco tequila instead of vodka.
    • Rum. White rum or coconut rum are both fun options to use in a sunrise drink.
  • Swap out the orange juice with a different juice: it’s your summer to enjoy, so if you enjoy other juices try them in this sunrise drink! A few natural swaps include:
    • Pineapple Juice. Roll with those tropical vibes and enjoy a pineapple sunrise!
    • Grapefruit Juice. If you’re a grapefruit juice lover, replace the orange juice with the fun and tart juice instead.
  • Replace both the orange juice and vodka: if you want to get really wild, try this:
    • Coconut Rum + Pineapple Juice. Using Malibu coconut rum instead of vodka and pineapple juice instead of the orange juice creates a Malibu sunset. You’re welcome.
  • Make it into a sunrise mocktail: want a non-alcoholic sunrise drink? Skip the vodka altogether! You can either add extra orange juice, or a little lemon lime soda or sparkling water, in place of the liquor to create a fun summer mocktail recipe!
Close up of a highball filled with this vodka sunrise recipe and garnished with an orange slice and maraschino cherry. The glass is surrounded by drink umbrellas, more cherries, with another vodka sunrise cocktail in the background.

TIPS FOR MAKING THIS VODKA SUNRISE RECIPE FOR A PARTY

If you’d like to have this for a larger-sized gathering, you definitely can! Have a pitcher of vodka and orange juice ready so guests can mix up their own easily!

You can either pre-measure the grenadine and have it in glasses for your guests or have a jigger out and ready for guests to use if they’d like to try this sunrise drink.

And it’s always a good idea to have extra ice ready for any summertime party! This helps keep your guests, and their drinks, nice and cool throughout your event.

EQUIPMENT NEEDED:

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Close up of a highball filled with this vodka sunrise recipe and garnished with an orange slice and maraschino cherry. The glass is surrounded by drink umbrellas, more cherries, orange slices, a jigger, with another vodka sunrise cocktail in the background.

Vodka Sunrise

Meredith
This vodka sunrise cocktail is an easy summer drink recipe that looks like a beautiful sunrise! Made with 3 ingredients, the ombre cocktail is light, fruity, and fun!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 3 mins
Total Time 3 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1 Serving
Calories 238 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 oz grenadine
  • 1-2 oz vodka
  • 5 oz orange juice (pulp free recommended)
  • ice
  • optional garnishes: orange slices, maraschino cherries, drink umbrellas

Instructions
 

  • In a liquid measuring cup, measure and mix together the orange juice and vodka. Set aside.
  • In a highball glass, add the grenadine and then fill the glass with ice.
  • Pour the vodka and orange juice mixture slowly over the ice.
  • Garnish (if desired), sip, and enjoy!

Notes

*Tip: the trick to getting that perfect sunrise look for your vodka sunrise cocktail is to add the grenadine syrup to your glass first.
 
*Note: do not stir your vodka sunrise before serving! It will turn a pinkish hue, which defeats the purpose of the beautiful sunrise presentation.
 
*See blog post for a variety of fun recipe variations
 
*See blog post for tips on serving for a large-sized gathering
 
*Nutrition facts were calculated with 1.5oz of vodka and no garnishes 

Nutrition

Calories: 238kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 10mgPotassium: 292mgFiber: 1gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 284IUVitamin C: 71mgCalcium: 17mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you I may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links. However, please know that I strive to provide links to products that I actually use and wholeheartedly recommend whenever possible.
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  1. David says

    5 stars
    Easy, fruity, and fun. No shame, I love these!!

    • ourlovelanguageisfood says

      🙌 glad you love it too, cheers!