Okay, confession time, this may not technically be a tequila sunrise. Sure there is fresh orange juice and tequila, but that's basically where the similarities end. So, why have I dubbed it a tequila sunrise? Well, it's far more sunrise colored than it's more traditional twin brother, which is laced with grenadine that lends the drink an orange red hue (tequila sunset anyone?). That, and I'm lazy. I didn't want to come up with a new name. Hey, at least I'm honest.
This cocktail is simple, quite tasty, and absolutely perfect for Halloween, which is a mere 18 days away. Light orange in color, peppered with black vanilla bean dots, and garnished with a long twisting, curling, sleepy hollow-esque branch-like vanilla bean. What more could you ask for in a Halloween drink? So this year reconsider the black vodka, the sticky red sugar blood dripping down the side of your martini glasses, or the floating grape eyeball garnish business (as fun and impressive as that stuff is). An easy drink paired with a simple yet effortless garnish will give you the effect you're after, along with more time to drink up and enjoy your guests.
Other than the october appropriate color and garnish, this drink is filled with 100% agave tequila, fresh squeezed orange, grapefruit, and lime juice, the innards of half a vanilla bean, topped off with a splash of sparkling water, and finished with a dash or two of lemon bitters. The aroma that fills your senses as you tip the glass up to your mouth cannot be beat, sweet, citrus, vanilla, a little floral, the heavenly scent is almost better than the drink itself.
The True Tequila Sunrise
8 oz agave tequila (I used silver Patron)
16 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
8 oz fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
4 oz. lime juice
2 vanilla beans scraped (an additional two for glass garnishing) (our co-op sells them for $1.25 a bean)
1. Mix all ingredients, except for sparkling water and lemon bitters, in a pitcher. Whisk to break up the vanilla bean.
2. Fill tall glasses with large ice cubes, pour equal amounts over ice, leaving enough room at the top to add desired amount of sparkling water. Add a dash or two of lemon bitters. And finally, garnish with your wonderful vanilla beans.
*Don't just keep this one in your halloween cocktail file either. Substitute (or for a true lush, leave it in) the tequila for champagne and you've got one lovely little vanilla bean mimosa on your hands.*