This is my first submission for Home Bar Awards July challenge, to create a riff on a Tequila Sunrise. This is less of a reinvention and more of a true riff, updating and tweaking the flavor pallet while maintaining the integrity of the classic. I love the look and simplicity of a traditional Tequila Sunrise, but it’s just too sweet and not balanced enough for me. With just a couple of little changes though, it’s a whole different vibe.
First, let’s discuss the orange juice. Even fresh squeezed I found that it offered little acidity and a lot of sweetness. Though apparently quite the controversial move (google it) I highly recommend acid adjusting your fresh squeezed juice. I found the best way was to use a Citric acid solution and adjust the orange juice to taste. I desperately wanted to replace the grenadine with something a little more grown up, and Campari was the easy choice. Just to pull back in a classic element I infused the Campari with pomegranate. The Campari maintains the classic color scheme of the drink and works just as well as the grenadine syrup. In the end you get a cocktail that looks just like a classic Tequila Sunrise, but has a much more sophisticated flavor.
4 oz. fresh orange juice, acid adjusted (with Citric acid sol’n from Cocktail Codex)
2 oz. Blanco Tequila
1/2 oz. pomegranate infused Campari
Pour orange juice and Tequila into a high ball glass filled with ice. Top with pomegranate infused Campari. Garnish with a crisp orange slice.