Break Out the Champagne for a Tequila Sunrise Spritz

Like the rest of the world, Dan and I have settled into a few routines over the past month to keep us sane(ish) and smiling during these quarantine times.

We take long afternoon walks and look for cats sitting in our neighbors’ bay windows. My digital illustration skills are improving by the day.

And Amanda Shires’ I So Lounging livestream has become our regular happy hour viewing.

tequila sunrise spritz cocktail
Photo: Casey Barber

If you don’t know Amanda Shires, what better time than now to get acquainted with her music?

Singer/songwriter, fiddler and ukulele player, co-founder of The Highwomen, and owner of a truly impressive collection of sunglasses, Amanda’s talent brings a ray of Texas sunshine to any cloudy day.

And she, along with her husband, Jason Isbell, and bandmates/friends/co-quarantine partners Kelly Garcia Plemmons and Seth Plemmons (plus Zeyk the dog) have been playing live from their awesome barn almost every day.

The half hour jam/banter sessions are the balm we need for these trying times. They play the favorites, chat about enchiladas, and spice things up with a few covers by musicians we also love, like Nathaniel Rateliff and the recently departed and much missed John Prine and Adam Schlesinger.

As my husband said, it makes you feel like you’re sitting with friends, even though you’re at home.

tequila sunrise spritz cocktail
Photo: Casey Barber

And me being me, I like to mix up a drink before I plop down on the couch—like this tequila sunrise spritz.

“Break Out the Champagne” is my favorite song from Amanda’s latest album, To the Sunset. It’s a wryly funny bop about imagining the end of the world in various situations. The response to all of which? Break out the Champagne!

In that vein, I broke out the Champagne—well, the Trader Joe’s sparkling wine—to create this cocktail.

tequila sunrise spritz cocktail
Photo: Casey Barber

The tequila sunrise portion of this cocktail is a nod to Amanda’s Texas roots. She loves her tequila drinks, and occasionally, her mom even pops into the I So Lounge with a cocktail recipe.

In place of the grenadine or creme de cassis that usually adds the red hue, I’ve added Aperol to make it a tequila sunrise spritz.

Not only is it a perfect dancing partner with the sparkling wine and orange juice, but Aperol’s bitterness prevents the drink from being too cloyingly sweet.

Shaking the tequila and orange juice together might seem like extra work, but it aerates the cocktail and kind of “wakes up” the citrus. It’s not 100 percent mandatory, but hey. When you’re iso-lounging, you’ve got time!

tequila sunrise spritz cocktail
tequila sunrise spritz cocktail

Tequila Sunrise Spritz Cocktail

Yield: 2 drinks
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This tequila sunrise spritz cocktail will make you break out the Champagne - inspired by the musician Amanda Shires and her song of the same name.


  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from 1-2 oranges)
  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • Champagne or other sparkling wine
  • 1/4 cup Aperol


  1. Fill 2 12-ounce Collins or highball glasses with ice.
  2. Fill a pint-size mason jar or small cocktail shaker halfway with ice and pour in the orange juice and tequila.
  3. Shake for about 30 seconds, until the outside of the jar or shaker is cold.
  4. Divide between the two glasses.
  5. Break out the Champagne and slowly add enough to each glass to fill, letting the bubbles settle and refilling as needed.
  6. Pour about 2 tablespoons Aperol into each glass—it will settle to the bottom.
  7. Drink up! Here goes a toast....
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 267Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 9mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 0gSugar: 17gProtein: 1g

The nutritional information above is computer-generated and only an estimate.

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