This classic tastes, well, fresh as a daisy
Summer is winding down here, but the heat still lingers. So we need to sip something cool and refreshing. Like The Gin Daisy.
Its crisp taste is ideal for an afternoon by the pool, or as a predinner drink.
And here in the US, the long Labor Day weekend is approaching. Daisy would love to be invited to your annual cookout.
Recipe: The Gin Daisy Cocktail
A “daisy” is a type of mixed drink (in the same way that the julep, fizz, and Collins are specific drink types). It dates back to the 19th century, when it was quite popular. Today we call all mixed drinks “cocktails.” But the flowery moniker lives on in this drink.
You can make a daisy using any base spirit, plus citrus (usually lemon juice), sweetener, and fizzy water. In the past, we’ve made the Rum Daisy, which uses grenadine as the sweetener (along with a minimum of fizzy water) and is served “up” in a cocktail glass. That recipe reflects the modern method of making a daisy.
Originally, however, the daisy contained orange curaçao (plus a bit of sugar) as the sweetener. It was served over ice in a rocks or Collins glass, and contained more fizzy water — making it a more voluminous drink than the modern version. Because we have a thirst to quench this time of year, we’re making our Gin Daisy the old-fashioned way.
For more history about daisies (and all types of mixed drinks), we recommend Imbibe! by cocktail historian extraordinaire David Wondrich. Our recipe is adapted from his.
This recipe takes about 5 minutes to prepare, and serves 1.
- 2 ounces dry gin
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ ounce Grand Marnier (may substitute another orange curaçao – see Notes)
- ¼ ounce simple syrup
- 1 to 2 ounces fizzy water (such as seltzer or club soda)
- lemon or orange twist/wedge for garnish (optional)
- Fill a cocktail shaker half full with ice. Add all ingredients except fizzy water and garnish. Shake until well chilled (about 20 seconds).
- Strain into a rocks or tall (Collins) glass filled with ice cubes or crushed ice (use a glass that holds 8 to 10 ounces). Top with fizzy water. Stir briefly, add garnish if desired, and serve.
- Prefer to serve this drink “up”? Just strain the contents of the shaker into a cocktail glass, then add only ½ ounce of fizzy water.
- If you find this recipe a bit too sweet, reduce the amount of Grand Marnier to 3 teaspoons, and the simple syrup to a teaspoon or two.
- You can find generic orange curaçao at any liquor store. We generally use Grand Marnier, which is a premium curaçao. It has excellent flavor (and we always have it on hand).
- As noted above, you can make a daisy using almost any base liquor. Brandy daisies, for example, were once very popular. When making a brandy daisy, some bartenders like to substitute yellow Chartreuse liqueur for the orange curaçao and sugar.
- BTW, if you make a daisy with tequila – and skip the fizzy water – you basically have a Margarita.
“Yum,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “I like this is even better than the Rum Daisy.”
“Love them both,” I said. “But this one is a bit more refreshing. And it certainly goes down smooth.”
“I’ll say,” said Mrs K R, eyeing my glass. “You’ve inhaled that.”
“Whoops a daisy,” I said. “But you’re about finished, too. Shall I mix us another round?”
“Just one more,” said Mrs K R. “Don’t want to be daisied and confused.”
You may also enjoy reading about:
Bermuda Rum Swizzle
Gin Rickey Cocktail
Gin and Tonic
Tom Collins Cocktail
Or check out the index for more