Malibu Sunrise Cocktail Recipe

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Malibu Sunrise Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:14

Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Malibu Sunrise, a tropical cocktail, is a variation of the classic Tequila Sunrise. It substitutes the tequila with Malibu rum, a coconut-flavored rum from the Caribbean. This cocktail is perfect for those who love fruity, tropical drinks. It's a popular choice for beach parties and summer gatherings.

How Malibu Sunrise Tastes?

The Malibu Sunrise is a sweet, fruity cocktail with a strong coconut flavor from the Malibu rum. The tropical taste is complemented by the tartness of the pineapple juice and the sweetness of the grenadine, creating a balanced and refreshing drink.

Interesting facts about Malibu Sunrise

  • The Malibu Sunrise is a variation of the Tequila Sunrise, which was created in the 1930s.
  • The cocktail is named after Malibu, a city in California known for its beautiful beaches.
  • The cocktail's vibrant colors are reminiscent of a sunrise, hence the name.


Malibu Rum

Malibu Rum is the heart of this tropical symphony; it brings a sweet coconut flavor that suggests you should be sipping this on a beach. If you dial back on the Malibu, you're basically telling the coconut to go on a vacation, and that just won't do. Too much, and the coconut overstays its welcome. Alternatives like coconut-flavored vodka could step in, but they lack the rum's sugarcane sweetness.

Emma Rose

Pineapple Juice

Pineapple juice is your cocktail's sunny disposition; it's tangy, sweet, and bright. Less juice would make the drink less tropical, more of a coconut downpour than a sunrise. Too much and you're in pineapple overload, which is only good if you're actually a pineapple. Apple or orange juice could substitute, but they're different characters altogether.

Alex Green


Think of grenadine as the brushstroke of color that paints the sunrise in your glass. Without it, it's just another sunny day. Too much and it's sunset rather than sunrise. Raspberry syrup is a possible understudy, but it's like watching a sunrise with sunglasses on - similar, yet not quite as vibrant.

Mary Mitkina

Ice cubes

Ice cubes are the unsung heroes that keep your drink as cool as a cucumber in shades. No ice means a lukewarm adventure, and believe me, no one wants to watch a sunrise in a hot tub. Skip the cubes, and you might as well be drinking from a coconut on the sun.

Emma Rose

Maraschino Cherry

The maraschino cherry is your drink’s cherry on top - literally. It's a nod to classic cocktails and adds a dash of elegance. No cherry and it seems the sunrise is missing a star. A fresh cherry could also work, but it's less of a show-off.

Alex Green

Orange Slice

This sunny citrus wheel is the smiley face on your Malibu Sunrise. It whispers, 'here comes the sun'. Take it away, and it's like a day without laughter. A lemon or grapefruit slice might fill in, but then it’s more of a Sun-In-Law than a Sunrise.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Malibu Sunrise Drink

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice cubes.
  2. Pour the Malibu rum and pineapple juice into the glass.
  3. Stir well.
  4. Slowly pour the grenadine into the glass. It will sink to the bottom, creating a beautiful sunrise effect.
  5. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and an orange slice.

Pro Tips

  • To create the sunrise effect, pour the grenadine slowly and directly into the middle of the drink.
  • Use fresh pineapple juice for the best flavor.
  • Chill the ingredients before making the cocktail for a colder drink.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Tropical Fruit Plates: The sweet, tropical notes of the Malibu Sunrise go excellently with fresh fruit like mango, papaya, and kiwi.
  • Grilled Seafood: The light and fruity cocktail complements the smoky flavors of grilled shrimp or fish.
  • Chicken Tacos: The combination of sweet and savory from a chicken taco balances well with the sweetness of the cocktail.
  • Cheese Board: A selection of mild cheeses, such as mozzarella or Monterey Jack, would pair nicely without overpowering the drink.

Drink Pairings

  • Coconut Water: For a non-alcoholic pairing, coconut water reinforces the tropical vibe.
  • Crushed Lime Soda: A fizzy, slightly tart soda can cleanse the palate between sips.
  • Light Beers: A pale lager or pilsner could complement the cocktail without competing with its flavors.

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What you could change in Malibu Sunrise

  • You can substitute the Malibu rum with any other coconut-flavored rum.
  • If you don't have grenadine, you can use a small amount of cherry syrup or raspberry syrup instead.

Explore all drinks starting with M here

And of course - twists🍹

Coconut Cream Malibu Sunrise

Swap the pineapple juice with coconut cream for a creamier, more indulgent texture. This twist will feel like you're drinking a liquid bounty bar as the sunrise bathes your taste buds.

  1. Pour Malibu, coconut cream, and ice into a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into a glass, add grenadine, and watch it swirl.
  4. Garnish as usual.

Spicy Malibu Sunrise

Add a small amount of jalapeño syrup or a few slices of fresh jalapeño to the mix for those who like a little kick with their sunrise. It’s like a typical sunrise but with a fiery streak across the sky.

  1. Muddle the jalapeño slices in the glass.
  2. Add ice, Malibu, and pineapple juice.
  3. Stir, add grenadine, and garnish.

Malibu Sunset

Replace the grenadine with a splash of blue curaçao for a magical color-changing 'sunset' effect. It tastes like a tropical twilight and looks like the ocean has come to rest in your glass.

  1. Fill glass with ice.
  2. Pour in Malibu, pineapple juice, and blue curaçao.
  3. Stir gently.
  4. Garnish for that touch of island mystery.

In case you forgot basics how to make Malibu Sunrise

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Malibu Sunrise

Can I mix the ingredients in any order?

No, the order of ingredients affects how the cocktail looks and tastes. The grenadine should be added last to create the sunrise effect.

Can I use a different kind of glass?

A highball glass is recommended to get the correct proportions and the visual effect, but you can use any glass you have.

Is Malibu Sunrise a strong cocktail?

The alcohol content is not very high compared to other cocktails, as it's chiefly made up of fruit juice. The taste of rum is also quite mild.

What does a maraschino cherry taste like?

Maraschino cherries are sweet cherries that are preserved in a syrup. They have a sweet, slightly almond-like flavor.

What can I pair with a Malibu Sunrise?

Its tropical flavors pair well with light dishes like seafood, salad or chicken.

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