Daisy Week: Fancy Gin Daisy Cocktail Recipe

Daisy Week: Fancy Gin Daisy Cocktail Recipe

Daisy Week: Fancy Gin Daisy Cocktail Recipe

We’re spending this week acquainting ourselves with a very old, mostly forgotten class of cocktail called the Daisy, a sort of sour with something(s) extra. It’s a deliciously refreshing and aptly named cocktail for the current season of warming temperatures and blooming flowers.

We mentioned yesterday that we got a little help from David Wondrich’s Imbibe! in making the translation from the 19th century terms in The Bon Vivant’s Companion to measurements we can find on a modern jigger. There’s little in the world I find more fascinating and frustrating then classic cocktail books. They present a whole world of strange and wonderful forgotten recipes, and of looks at the little known pasts of remembered ones; but the entire lack of context or explanation, the somewhat splapdash organization of the books, and the seemingly whimsical standards of measurement, make it damnably hard to figure out how to actually make the drinks. Thankfully, Wondrich is willing to do the hard work of dusty research into how big a ‘small wineglass’ is, and the probably more interesting work of tracing the historical development of a drink.

One of the things Wondrich realized is that the Daisy, rather like Rod Stewart, had two distinct phases: a classic period, and a glam period–he calls them old school and new school. As Wondrich says it, the daisy became ‘something of a dude’s drink,’ which is the Gilded Age version of a Girly Drink. It goes to show just how unfair a descriptor ‘girly’ is, because long before women were even allowed in the saloons, men were deciding all alone that they might prefer their drink to be a little sweeter, a pretty color, and dressed up a bit.

The glam period daisy involves a little less liquor, a little more sugar, a nice pink hue, and gin.

Fancy Gin Daisy Cocktail Recipe

From Hugo Ensslin’s Recipes for Mixed Drinks, again with measurement help from David Wondrich


  • 2 oz gin
  • Juice of 1/2 lime (about 3/4 oz)
  • Juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 1 tsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp grenadine
  • 1/2 oz club soda
  • Mint sprigs, for garnish
  • Fresh berries, for garnish


  • Combine the lemon juice, lime juice, powdered sugar, and grenadine in the bottom of a julep cup or some other fancy rocks glass.
  • Stir to dissolve the sugar.
  • Add the gin.
  • Stir gently to mix.
  • Add ice to the level of the liquid.
  • Add the club soda.
  • Garnish with the most fantastic arrangement of mint and berries you can concoct.

Roberts & June