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Tart and Sweet Grapefruit Sunrise Recipe with Vodka


This easy Grapefruit Sunrise recipe is a fantastic vodka cocktail option when you want a sweet but refreshing mixed drink. This colorful and quick-to-make twist on a classic is great grapefruit cocktail to share with a few friends at home or for a party.

Grapefruit Sunrise cocktail in a short cocktail glass on a wood tray next to an orange fabric napkin.
Let’s make this easy Grapefruit Sunrise recipe!

A Vodka Grapefruit Cocktail You’ll Love

A Grapefruit Sunrise with vodka is such a gorgeous color. And thankfully it tastes great too! This is one of my favorite vodka recipes to make because it is almost foolproof and takes just minutes to make!

This easy grapefruit cocktail can be made using store-bought juice or fresh if you prefer more of a craft taste. The tart flavor of the grapefruit juice helps to balance the flavors and make it super refreshing.

Related: Slushy Vodka Sunrise Recipe

The grenadine brings that layer of bright pink color that we love and also adds sweetness making this a great drink for people who aren’t hardcore cocktail drinkers.

While I use a cocktail shaker to make this easy grapefruit vodka cocktail, you can also just make it over ice! It’s sure to be one of your new favorite grapefruit cocktails.


Ingredients needed to make a Grapefruit Sunrise cocktail with vodka on a counter.
What you need to make this cocktail with grapefruit and vodka.

See the printable recipe card below for full quantities.

If using fresh grapefruit juice you may need to add a little more sweetness to the vodka and grapefruit cocktail since store-bought juice will already be sweetened for you. You can use simple syrup or add a touch more grenadine.

How to Make a Sunrise with Grapefruit Juice

Woman adding grapefruit juice to a cocktail shaker from a jigger.

Step 1

Add the grapefruit juice to a cocktail shaker.

Woman adding vodka to a cocktail shaker at a counter.

Step 2

Add the vodka.

Woman adding Triple Sec to a cocktail shaker from a jigger.

Step 3

Add the Triple Sec.

Woman adding fresh lemon juice to a cocktail shaker from a jigger at a counter.

Step 4

Add the fresh lemon juice.

Step 5

Add ice and shake well.

Woman straining a cocktail from a shaker into a cocktail glass.

Step 6

Strain the grapefruit and vodka cocktail over fresh ice in a short cocktail glass.

Woman adding grenadine to a short cocktail glass for a sunrise cocktail recipe.

Step 7

Add the grenadine to the glass. It will sink to the bottom giving it that gorgeous layered look.

Hint: While traditionally you don’t stir a sunrise cocktail, I prefer to give it a gentle stir just before drinking to blend the flavors, but you will lose that color variation.


Make it Spicy

You can add spice to just about any cocktail, even some that you don’t think make sense. Muddle jalapeno, serrano or another type of chile in the cocktail shaker before adding the rest of the ingredients then make as usual.

You could also add a dash of cayenne pepper to the shaker or add a bit of spice to the rim of the glass.

Make it a Mocktail

If you want to serve this without alcohol you can. Leave out the vodka and Triple Sec. To your cocktail glass add ice, grapefruit juice and lemon juice. Top with a little club soda to give it a little more pizzazz then just juice, then add the grenadine.

Add More Flavors

  • Try it with flavored vodka. Citrus, of course, is a great option, but you could also try vanilla or cake flavors
  • Muddle fresh fruits like blackberries or raspberries to add flavor and color.
  • Muddle fresh herbs like rosemary or basil to give a jolt of fresh flavor.

Freeze it

This is a delicious drink to turn into a frozen concoction. Blend it the vodka, Triple Sec, grapefruit juice and lemon juice in a blender with ice. Add the grenadine to your serving glass then top with the frozen mixture. So easy.


Don’t have Triple Sec? You can use any other kind of orange liqueur, like Cointreau, although that is a more expensive option. Or you can use orange juice instead.

Frequently Asked Questions

What vodka should I use?

You can use just about any vodka to make this grapefruit cocktail recipe. Here’s what I think the best vodka is for Moscow Mules, which will also work for this recipe.

Pretty sunrise cocktail in a short cocktail glass on a wooden board on a table.

Make this easy Grapefruit Sunrise recipe next time you are looking for something flavorful and refreshing to sip on!

Save and pin this recipe for later!

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More easy grapefruit cocktails

Grapefruit sunrise cocktail with vodka in a cocktail glass with piece of grapefruit as a garnish on a wood tray.

Grapefruit Sunrise Cocktail Recipe

This quick and easy cocktail with grapefruit juice and vodka is refreshing and oh so pretty. Made in just minutes, this Grapefruit Sunrise recipe is perfect to sip any time of year.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: cocktails
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Calories: 220kcal
Servings: 1 cocktail




  • Add the grapefruit juice, vodka, lemon juice and Triple Sec to a cocktail shaker.
  • Add ice and shake well.
  • Strain into a short cocktail glass over fresh ice.
  • Add grenadine and enjoy.


Grenadine will settle to the bottom of the glass to give it a “sunrise” appearance. For the best taste, give the drink a gentle stir to combine flavors.
If you don’t have Triple Sec, you can use another type of orange liqueur like Cointreau or substitute orange juice instead. 
Browse variations you can make of this drink in the blog post.


Serving: 1drink | Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.04g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 119mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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One Comment

  1. A little tart but I like it!

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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