Tequila Sunrise On Keto: Can You Drink It?

Informational

A glass of tequila sunrise on the beach

Is classic tequila sunrise keto-friendly? Is a keto-friendly tequila sunrise possible? If you're on keto and a fan of cocktails, you might ask these questions. 

Tequila sunrise is a delicious and refreshing drink that has been around for decades. And it’s no wonder that you want to enjoy it even though you’re on a keto diet

This article will answer these questions and show you how to make a keto-friendly version of this famous cocktail.

What is a Tequila Sunrise?

The Tequila Sunrise is a famous cocktail made with tequila, orange juice, and grenadine syrup ingredients. It is naturally served in a tall glass, unmixed. The cocktail got its name from its appearance: layers of colors that look like the sunrise.

It is categorized as a long drink generally served in a Collins or a highball glass. The International Bartender Association has classified this cocktail as an IBA Official Cocktail.

The History of Tequila Sunrise

A glass of tequila sunrise on a dark background

The history of the Tequila Sunrise is as vibrant as the drink itself. Tequila, orange juice, and grenadine produced this superb and colorful cocktail adored by rock artists and inspired the title of a classic rock hit!

Gene Sulit of the Arizona Biltmore Hotel created the first 'Tequila Sunrise' in the 1930s by mixing Tequila, soda water, lime juice, and liqueur. 

Over time, the drink made its way west, eventually reaching the Bay Area. Bobby Lozoff and Billy Rice, young bartenders at The Trident in Sausalito, a city north of San Francisco, recreated the Tequila Sunrise. This time, the only ingredients are Tequila, orange juice, and grenadine. 

The Trident just so happened to be the scene of a private party hosted by well-known San Franciscan Bill Graham. This private party is where one of rock's legendary bands, The Rolling Stones, kicked off their 1972 American tour.

The Rolling Stones' lead vocalist, Mick Jagger, had one and ordered more for his bandmates, then the whole band ordered more for their entourage. Soon after, the Stones made the Tequila Sunrise their go-to drink while on tour. Introducing the cocktail across the country as they ordered it in every town they passed through.

But the Tequila Sunrise's association with classic rock didn't stop with The Rolling Stones! A year later, on their Desperado album, the Eagles named one of their songs 'Tequila Sunrise.' This firmly solidified this drink's reputation in rock history and the spirit’s history of America.

How to Make a Classic Tequila Sunrise

Bartender making a tequila sunrise

Ingredients

Steps to Make

  1. Fill a Collins or highball glass with 1 ½ cups of ice and set aside.
  2. In a cocktail mixing glass, pour the Tequila and orange juice.
  3. Add 1 cup of ice, then stir well.
  4. Strain it into the iced Collins or highball glass.
  5. Gently pour the grenadine syrup and wait for it to settle at the bottom of the glass.
  6. Garnish the drink with orange slices if desired. Serve.

Is Tequila Sunrise Keto-Friendly?

Even though a classic tequila sunrise only has three essential ingredients, two out of those three packs a lot of sugar and carbohydrates. Tequila, being a pure distilled spirit, is a zero-carb alcoholic beverage and is keto-friendly. 

However, orange juice and grenadine syrup are high in carbs and are not keto-friendly. In particular, grenadine syrup has a significantly high sugar content, and just a tablespoon packs about 13.4 grams of net carbs!

It means that the total combined carbs of the three ingredients of the classic can probably cover most of your daily carb allowance. Of course, you don't want this one cocktail to take up most of your daily carb limit. You have to be wise and allocate the carb allowance properly.

Classic Tequila Sunrise Nutritional Information

Nutrient

Value

Calories

194.4 kcal

Total Carbs

15.9 g

Net Carbs

15.5 g

Fiber

0.3 g

Starch

-

Sugar

11.6 g

Sugar Alcohols

-

Protein

0.7 g

Fat

0.2 g

Monounsaturated Fat

0 g

Polyunsaturated Fat

0 g

Saturated Fat

0 g

Trans Fat

0 g

Cholesterol

0 mg

Glycemic Load

-

Supplemental

Value

Calcium

12 mg

Iron

0.2 mg

Magnesium

10.3 mg

Phosphorus

20.6 mg

Potassium

187.5 mg

Sodium

8.6 mg

Zinc

0.1 mg

Copper

0 mg

Selenium

0.2 mcg

Folate

24.1 mcg

Vitamin A

8.6 mcg

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

0 mg

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

0 mg

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

0.2 mg

Vitamin B6

0 mg

Vitamin B12

0 mcg

Vitamin C

29.2 mg

Vitamin D

0 mcg

Vitamin K

0.2 mcg

Vitamin E

0.2 mg

Choline

6.5 mg

How to Make a Keto-friendly Tequila Sunrise

A man making a tequila sunrise

To make a keto-friendly version, you only have to replace the orange juice and the grenadine syrup with a low-carb alternative.

There are several possible alternatives for orange juice. You can opt to use an orange-flavored club soda, a zero-carb orange water flavoring powder, orange extract, orange water enhancer drops, or orange-flavored still water. Perhaps the most readily available of the choices would be an orange-flavored club soda.

The grenadine syrup will be the challenge here because there is no straight-up ready-made low-carb alternative for it. You will have to prepare and make this low-carb alternative yourself. 

The ingredients you'll need are a low-carb simple syrup, red food coloring, and grenadine concentrate. If grenadine concentrate is not available, you can use a pomegranate concentrate instead since grenadine is traditionally made with pomegranate.

Ingredients

For the low-carb grenadine syrup:

Steps to Make

  1. Make a simple syrup using water and a low-carb sweetener. Cook until the sweetener has dissolved.
  2. After cooling, add the grenadine concentrate and the red food coloring. Stir to incorporate the drops.
  3. In a cocktail mixing glass, pour one cup of ice, Tequila, and orange club soda. Stir well.
  4. In a highball glass, pour one cup of ice. Strain the mixture into this glass.
  5. Gently add 3/4 ounce of the low-carb grenadine syrup into the glass and let it sink to the bottom.
  6. You may garnish with orange slices if desired.

Benefits of Tequila

Tequila shots with lime in the background

Helps You Sleep Better

Despite its reputation as a party drink, Tequila can calm people by soothing nerves, which is why it's supposed to be beneficial to insomniacs. However, it's critical not to rely on any substance to fall asleep.

Soothes Pain

Tequila dilates blood vessels, leading to better blood flow as it enters the body. As a result, pain levels are reduced.

Lower Calorie Content

Aside from being zero-carb, Tequila also has a relatively low-calorie content than most alcoholic beverages. A 42 gram shot of pure Tequila only contains 97 calories.

Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Diabetes, and Ischemic Stroke

Light to moderate consumption of an alcoholic beverage like Tequila can help reduce heart disease, ischemic stroke, and diabetes risks.

Tequila Sunrise FAQ

1. Is tequila keto-friendly?

Yes, a distilled spirit like Tequila naturally contains zero carbohydrates and is keto-friendly. However, you should still consider its calorie content, even if it is relatively lower than other alcoholic drinks.

2. Will a classic tequila sunrise kick me out of ketosis?

Considering that orange juice and grenadine syrup contains a lot of sugar and are high in carbs, a classic tequila sunrise will likely kick you out of ketosis. For this reason, these two ingredients are replaced with a low-carb alternative to make this cocktail keto-friendly.

3. Which tequila is best for a tequila sunrise?

It is advisable to use a silver tequila (Blanco tequila) to keep the vibrant colors of the cocktail and allow the flavors of the orange juice and grenadine to shine. You can also use Añejo or Reposado tequilas, but it will be more expensive, and the colors of the cocktail may be slightly different.

4. How much tequila sunrise can I drink while on a keto diet?

Since a classic tequila sunrise is very high in carbs and can kick you out of ketosis, the only option will be the keto-friendly version. Excluding the orange slice as an optional garnish, a keto-friendly version of the tequila sunrise can contain about one to two grams of net carbs. 

This makes it very low on carbohydrates, but keep in mind that this cocktail is still alcoholic. As an alcoholic beverage, the moderate consumption amount still applies. Additionally, daily consumption is not recommended.

Conclusion

We’ve explored the question of whether or not a keto-friendly tequila sunrise is possible. And we showed you how to make the classic drink—the keto-friendly version of it! We hope you enjoyed reading this blog! 

Let us know in the comments what you think about our findings.


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