A Corona Sunrise is the perfect summer beverage. Refreshing and flavorful, this beer cocktail takes drinking a cold one to a whole new level.
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Corona Sunrise Cocktail recipe
Last year, the drink of the summer came down to two big contenders: the Dirty Shirley and the Corona Sunrise.
They have a lot in common. Both come together with just a few ingredients. They’re both fruity and bright drinks that contain grenadine. And they both had their moment on TikTok.
But the Corona Sunrise gets extra points because it’s uber portable — you make it right in a bottle of Corona beer! It’s the perfect sipper for relaxing by the pool, on the beach or in the backyard.
The sweetness of grenadine help to balance the bitter hoppiness of the beer, and the citrus juices help to cut through it too.
Why you’ll love this recipe
The Corona Sunrise might be your new favorite drink! Here’s why:
- Made right in a Corona bottle, this cocktail is easy to make on-the-go (say, on the beach or by the pool).
- It’s a great way to impress your guests with a colorful, ombré cocktail.
- Deliciously fruity and flavorful, this Corona cocktail has just a hint of beer flavor.
Bring a cooler of beer and the drink’s ingredients along to the beach or pool so you can create them right in the glass! (As long as the rules say you can, of course.)
They’re also the perfect drink for backyard barbecues, summer gatherings, pool parties, taco night, Cinco de Mayo celebrations or whenever you want a refreshing drink.
What is a Corona Sunrise?
Also called the Mexican Sunrise, the Corona Sunrise is a cocktail made with Corona Extra beer (or Corona Light beer) plus tequila, orange juice and a splash of grenadine syrup. It usually gets a garnish of a lime wedge in the neck of the bottle.
Essentially a Tequila Sunrise with beer, it’s mixed up right in the beer bottle, though it can also be made in a pint glass.
First, the beer is drunk down to the top of the label, then tequila and orange juice are added. When grenadine is added, it sinks to the bottom of the drink, creating a gradient effect that mimics a beach sunrise.
Tools & glassware
You don’t need a lot of fancy gear to make a Corona Sunrise! It’s a super easy cocktail.
And a sharp knife is helpful for getting perfect lime wedges to drop down into the drinks.
You only need four ingredients, plus a garnish, to make a Corona Sunrise.
You’ll need to start with a Mexican lager. The regular Corona Extra, of course, is the most common.
However, you could also make them with another Mexican lager such as Pacifico, Modelo, Presidente or even Bud Light Lime.
Some craft breweries make their own Mexican lagers, so those are worth a try as well. Or you could try it with other types of beer like a pale ale or a hefeweizen.
If you’re planning to make this perfect cocktail for a party, be sure to pick up a 12-pack!
Since it’s essentially a Tequila Sunrise with beer, you’ll also need tequila for this beer drink.
You can mix your favorite tequila into this colorful cocktail. There are a few types of tequila that I detail in my Tequila 101 crash course.
Blanco, or silver tequila, is best for the Corona Sunrise because it is clear and colorless. Gold tequila has added food color to make it seem aged, but it will taste just fine if you use it.
My favorite tequila brands right now are Sauza, El Jimador and Lunazul, but there are tons more out there. For a top-shelf Corona Sunrise, try Don Julio, Patron or Milagro.
If you have the time and the tools, squeezing your own orange juice will go a long way and provide the freshest flavor for your Corona Sunrises.
Navel oranges are most common, but cara cara oranges have a delicious, sweet flavor. Most oranges produce a few ounces of juice, which is all you need for one sunrise cocktail.
However, if you plan to make a bunch of Corona Sunrises, you’ll probably want to pick up a gallon of OJ.
If you purchase your orange juice, then you should grab one that has no pulp or low pulp. If there is pulp, even just a little, the bubbles will force it to float to the top. Totally fine, just not as pretty.
Lastly you’ll need grenadine, a pomegranate syrup with a brilliant red color. You can make homemade grenadine yourself with pomegranate juice or you can buy it.
This pomegranate syrup keeps in the fridge for about 2-3 months, so you can make all the Shirley Temples and Dirty Shirleys you want with it.
A Corona beer is typically garnished with a wedge of lime, that can be squeezed and pushed down the neck into the drink to add some lime juice flavor to the drink.
The Tequila Sunrise usually gets an orange slice and a maraschino cherry or a cocktail cherry, the latter of which are usually soaked in brandy or rum and lack the bright red color of maraschinos.
Use any combination of these for your Corona Sunrise. These cocktails are tropical and beachy, so it doesn’t hurt to add a cocktail umbrella, too!
Variations and substitutions
You can use some of the same variations that are enjoyed for the Tequila Sunrise for the Corona version.
Corona Sunset: Use grapefruit juice instead of orange juice.
Mango Corona Sunrise: Substitute mango juice for the orange juice.
Pineapple Corona Sunrise: Use pineapple juice instead of orange juice.
Malibu Sunset: Use coconut rum instead of tequila and pineapple juice instead of orange juice.
Spicy Corona Sunrise: Make it spicy with jalapeño tequila.
Frozen Corona Sunrise: Blend ice with the beer, orange juice and tequila. Pour the icy mixture into a glass, then carefully spoon the grenadine down the inside of the glass. It will sink to the bottom.
How to make a Corona Sunrise
The Corona Sunrise recipe is super simple to make! Here’s what to do:
Drink a Mexican lager down to the top of the label, leaving about ⅔ of the liquid.
Pour in the tequila and orange juice into the bottle.
Slowly pour the grenadine into the bottle. It will sink to the bottom.
Garnish with a small lime wedge in the mouth of the bottle. Squeeze the lime wedge to add some citrus juice, and push it through the neck of the bottle for even more lime flavor in this drink.
Tips & tricks
Drink down to the label first, or pour it into another glass. You want to leave enough room for the additions. Otherwise, your drink will overflow.
Always add the grenadine last for the sunrise/sunset effect.
Don’t stir the drink (unless you want to). It will lose the ombré effect.
Use homemade grenadine for a more natural flavor. Store-bought grenadine is much sweeter.
What to serve with a Corona Sunrise
Mexican tequila and Corona are the perfect sidekick for any Mexican food.
The ingredients for a Corona Sunrise include a cold Corona Extra or Corona Light beer, which is Mexican lager, plus tequila, orange juice and grenadine syrup.
Drink your cold Corona beer down to the top of the label. Add an ounce each of tequila and orange juice, then pour in a half ounce of grenadine syrup. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Fruity and bright, the Corona Sunrise is a sweet cocktail made with orange juice, tequila, grenadine syrup and a lime garnish. The citrus flavor of the orange juice and lime juice helps balance the grenadine’s sweetness. The sweetness helps to cut the bitterness of the tequila and the beer.
More summer cocktails
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- 12 ounces Mexican lager beer bottled, such as Corona Extra or Corona Light
- 1 ounce tequila
- 1 ounce orange juice
- ½ ounce grenadine syrup
- 1 lime wedge
- Drink a Mexican lager down to the top of the label, leaving about ⅔ of the liquid.
- Pour in the tequila and orange juice into the bottle.
- Slowly pour the grenadine into the bottle. It will sink to the bottom.
- Garnish with a small lime wedge in the mouth of the bottle. Squeeze the lime wedge to add some citrus juice, and push it through the neck of the bottle for even more lime flavor in this drink.
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