Sweet Sunrise: The Ideal Mocktail for a Casual Brunch

Sweet Sunrise Mocktail Recipe

​The Spruce

  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Serving: 1 serving
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
89 Calories
0g Fat
21g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 89
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 5mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 1g
Calcium 13mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Take the tequila out of the tequila sunrise and you have a virgin sunrise, also called the sweet sunrise. It is a fantastic mixed drink at any time of the day and the recipe is unbelievably easy to follow.

Essentially, the sweet sunrise is a simple way to enhance a tall glass of orange juice. It adds the sweetness of grenadine to offset the tart citrus and, because it's served on the rocks, it's quite refreshing.

Once you learn the beauty of this easy mocktail, it may even replace your morning orange juice. It also makes a perfect companion for any brunch.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Sweet Sunrise Mocktail Recipe
     The Spruce
  2. Fill a highball glass with ice and orange juice.

    Sweet Sunrise Mocktail Recipe
     The Spruce
  3. Slowly pour grenadine over the juice. It will sink to the bottom and slowly rise to the top as you drink.

    Sweet Sunrise Mocktail Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Garnish with an orange slice.

    Sweet Sunrise Mocktail Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Serve and enjoy!


  • We recommend using freshly squeezed orange juice for this mocktail, as fresher is better. It'll provide a lighter, more appealing flavor to this beverage.

Make a Fresher Sweet Sunrise

This drink has only two ingredients and they're very common. You might even have everything you need right there in your kitchen. While it is possible to create a perfectly good sweet sunrise with store-bought orange juice and grenadine, we're going to recommend the theory that "fresh is best."

First of all, this is one drink that definitely deserves fresh-squeezed orange juice. It's not hard to do and you can go with an electric juicer or a very simple hand juicer. Two average-sized oranges should be more than enough to make a single drink. You can also juice up a bunch of oranges and store any excess in the refrigerator to make the next drink that much easier.

The second factor in the sweet sunrise is the grenadine. Contrary to popular belief, it's not a cherry-flavored syrup, but a pomegranate one. It's sweet and delicious and very useful for a variety of drinks.

It's also very easy to make grenadine at home. You can use fresh pomegranate during the winter when the fruit is in season or use pomegranate juice any time of the year. Grenadine can last for a few weeks in the refrigerator. 

During strawberry season, consider putting a berry twist on the sunrise by making a fresh strawberry syrup to substitute for the grenadine. You can also give this drink a very peachy flavor with the sparkling peach sunrise recipe.

More Sweet Grenadine Mocktails

Grenadine is a fantastic ingredient for many non-alcoholic drinks. While you have the syrup in the fridge, mix up an old-fashioned Shirley Temple. It's a fantastic drink with two light sodas that you can still order it in many bars and restaurants and a favorite among kids.

For something a little heavier in flavor, it's hard to beat the Roy Rogers. This one simply mixes grenadine into the cola of your choice. If you enjoy a Cherry Coke, you'll find this one to be much better. That's especially true if you use a cane sugar cola like that from Jones Soda and a number of other small producers.