Insect Cocktail Recipe: Squirmy Sunrise
Shocking citrus garnish on a classic citrus drink

Oct. 8, 2018
May 12, 2019

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The Tequila Sunrise is purported to have been invented in 1930's Arizona, but it was the 1970's and the Rolling Stones that made it famous. The British band took a liking to the sweet, fruity, drink at a private party in California and subsequently ordered them all across the United States in their 1972 tour. This variation of the classic does not involve any Rolling Stones, but rather Squirmy Worms topping off the drink. Complete the citrus theme by garnishing a traditional Tequila Sunrise with a mealworm or waxworm that has been fed orange peel, and then lightly boiled and roasted.

Recipe developed in collaboration with Diana Melin

Tequila Sunrise with Waxworm garnish

Squirmy Sunrise with Waxworm Garnish

Total 5 mins; Serves 1


  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 3/4 cup orange juice; freshly squeezed
  • 1 shot (1.5 oz) tequila
  • 1/2 shot (3/4 oz) grenadine


  • 1 orange slice, or orange rind
  • 1-3 herb-fed waxworms (recommended herb: lemon peel); roasted


1. Fill your glass with ice. A Tequila Sunrise is typically served in a highball glass, but any glass will do. Add tequila and orange juice. Add grenadine last, pouring slowly and allowing to slowly settle to the bottom. Stir very lightly, or not at all, to preserve the beautiful, sunrise-like color separation for which the drink is named.

2. If you would like to make an orange rind for garnish, simply use a sharp paring knife to cut off a thin section of orange peel, taking care to cut away from yourself. Cut as thinly as possible to avid getting the bitter white pith. Then, just twist the peel as you skewer it on a toothpick, with several lightly boiled and roasted orange-peel herb-fed waxworms or mealworms. Serve immediately and responsibly—ie not to minors, a person who is past the point of inebriation, anyone with a history of substance abuse problems.

This recipe is included in Bugs for Beginners, a cookbook which teaches Westerners how to prepare and safely eat insects. Text may include affiliate links

Meet Mic

I'm Mic. I love reading about, writing about, thinking about, photographing, and especially eating, food. Especially bug food. Enough talk, let's eat!

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