Tequila Daisy

Tequila Daisy

2 oz Tequila Ocho Blanco*
Juice 1 Lime
1/2 oz Bols Dry Orange Curacao
1/2 oz Rich Simple Syrup
Soda Water

Peel a lime as for an apple, and place in a cocktail glass. Shake other ingredients thoroughly on cracked ice and strain over fresh crushed ice in the glass. Garnish with fresh fruit, in season, Mint Sprig, and fill with soda water.

One of the many theories about the name of the Margarita is that it is the Spanish word for “Daisy”. That the Margarita is exactly that, a Tequila Daisy.

It’s an OK theory, I suppose, holds about as much water as any of the other ones. The main problem being, every Daisy recipe I’ve read calls for Soda Water and I’ve never, ever, seen a Margarita recipe which calls for Soda.

Delicious, though the Tequila Daisy is, if you’re going to go in the drink family direction, I think you’re better off sticking with the Tequila Sidecar.

But, to wrap it up, what exactly is a Daisy?

A Daisy should have a generous pour of a base spirit, citrus, sweetener and fizz. Many examples include elaborate garnishes.

As far as preparation goes, it seems like most of the early recipes for Daisies are shaken and strained into a glass, NOT served on ice. Personally, like Hugo Ensslin, I usually serve them on cracked ice, just to differentiate them from the Fizz category.

After that, the sky’s the limit. Pretty much any sweetener, any citrus, and any spirit seem to be allowed in the category. Heck, I see no reason not to mess with the fizz aspect.

Experiment and tell me what you get.

*I received the Tequila Ocho Blanco from a firm promoting the brand.

Stone Daisy

Stone Daisy

2 oz Compass Box Great King St Artist’s Blend
Juice 1/2 Lemon
1/4 oz Rich Simple Syrup
Samuel Smith’s Organic Hard Cider
Apple Peel
Fruit, in season for garnish

Peel Apple as for Crusta and line wine glass with peel. Half fill with Cracked ice. Shake drink with ice and strain into glass. Fill with Hard Cider. Garnish with strawberry, sliced apple, and mint sprigs.

Again thinking Apple was sorely under-represented in the Daisy category, I wondered if a Daisy made with Hard Cider was still a Daisy or something else. I was tempted to make this one again with Apple Jack, but then I remembered the Stone Fence. Scotch and Hard Apple Cider, now there’s something to try…

You know how everyone writes the lemon technique in Crusta recipes always, “Peel Lemon in spiral fashion, as you would an Apple”? Being the perverse cuss that I am, I felt strangely compelled to write a recipe where the Apple would be peeled as you would the lemon in the Crusta.

The Great King St Artist’s Blend is a relatively reasonably priced Blended Scotch Whisky intended as a remedy to the slightly moribund territory of Mr. Walker and his friends. Scotch Whisky geeks disagree on whether this new expression from Compass Box quite as good as they were hoping it would be. It is an enjoyable whisky and works pretty well in this cocktail. If I had any criticism, it would be that it is priced only nominally reasonably, and for the price of the Great King St Blended Whiskey, you can get a pretty decent Single Malt Scotch. Though, of course, no one will bust your balls about using the Great King St in a Highball or Daisy.

Regarding the drink… I used an English hard cider from Samuel Smith’s. I don’t really like most English Hard Cider. I find the Samuel Smith’s Hard Cider very nearly enjoyable in the Stone Daisy, as long as you don’t use too much, and it is maybe the best English Hard Cider I’ve tried so far. The drink would be better with a nice, dry hard cider from France.

Jersey Daisy (for Deragon)

One evening while working at Heaven’s Dog, I was graced with the presence of another man who lives a double life in Tech and Booze. John Deragon was, at the time, working for PDT and at the same time maintaining a second life as a highly placed Information Technology worker in some aspect of the Hearst organization.

I had made him my version of the Aviation and he was next interested in a cocktail of a more aromatic bent. Thinking something Brooklyn-ish, I wondered about what I could make that he hadn’t already experienced. He suggested a cocktail which I believe was of his own devising, The Jersey.

Composed as follows, it turns out to be quite delicious, amazingly taming two rather extreme liqueurs by pitting them against one another:

Jersey Cocktail
2 oz Laird’s Bonded Applejack
3/4 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1/4 oz Fernet Branca

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an Orange Twist.

Looking through the Daisy recipes I’d made so far, I felt they were strangely amiss without one based on Apple Brandy. Thinking back on Mr. Deragon’s Jersey, I came up with the following.


Jersey Daisy (for Deragon)

1 oz Rittenhouse Bonded Rye*
1 oz Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy*
Juice 1/2 Lemon
1/4 oz Rich Simple Syrup
1/4 oz Fernet Branca (for float)

Peel lemon as for Crusta and line wine glass with peel. Half fill with Cracked ice. Shake all ingredients other than Fernet Branca with ice and strain into glass. Fill with Soda and float on Fernet. Garnish with strawberry and mint and serve with a straw.

*In the event of actual New York Bartenders, please bump the Laird’s and Rye up to at least 1 1/2 ounces each.

Whisky Daisy

Here’s the Savoy Cocktail Book’s Whiskey Daisy:

Whisky Daisy.
Use small bar glass.
3 Dashes Gomme Syrup.
The Juice of 1/2 Small Lemon.
1 Wineglass Bourbon or Rye Whisky.
Fill glass 1/3 full of shaved ice.
Shake thoroughly, strain into a large cocktail glass, and fill up with Apollinaris or Seltzer Water.

Well, OK, but here’s my adaption:

Flannestad Whiskey Daisy.

1/4 oz Rich Simple Syrup;
Juice 1/2 Lemon;
2 oz Hudson Four Grain Bourbon;

Peel half a lemon as for an apple, and place in a cocktail glass. Shake thoroughly on cracked ice and strain over fresh ice in the glass. Garnish with fresh fruit, in season, and fill with soda water.

One of the biggish questions about the Daisy family of drinks is whether or not the ice should be included in the final drink. In the Savoy recipes for the Gin and Santa Cruz Rum Daisies, it seemed like the drinks should either be built over crushed ice or shaken and strained over new crushed ice.

As you’ll recall, in his 1914 book, Hugo Ensslin described the Daisy as follows:

All…Daisies are made as follows: Juice of ½ Lime and ¼ Lemon; 1 teaspoonful of Powdered Sugar; 2 dashes of Grenadine; 1 drink of liquor desired; 2 dashes Carbonated water. Use silver mug, put in the above ingredients, fill up with fine ice, stir until mug is frosted, decorate with fruit and sprays of fresh mint and serve with straws.

Which sounds, more or less, like a Julep with some Citrus in it.

However, when we get to the “Whisky Daisy” we find this is not the case, picture above to the contrary.

So I thought I would check some other early cocktail books and see how they advised the construction of the Daisy.

First off, I will note, that there are no recipes for Daisies in the original 1862 edition of Jerry Thomas’ Bartender’s Guide.

However, in the 1900 edition of Harry Johnson’s “New and Improved (Illustrated) Bartenders’ Manual and a Guide for Hotels and Restaurants”, he includes the following recipe for a Whiskey Daisy:

Whiskey Daisy.
(Use a large bar glass.)
1/2 table-spoonful of sugar;
2 or 3 dashes of lemon juice;
1 dash of lime juice;
1 squirt of syphon, vichy, or selters; dissolve with the lemon and lime juice;
3/4 of the glass filled with fine shaved ice;
1 wine-glass of good whiskey;
Fill the glass with shaved ice;
1/2 pony-glass chartreuse (yellow).

Stir up well with a spoon; then take a fancy glass, have it dressed with fruits in season, and strain the mixture into it and serve.
This drink is very palatable and will taste good to almost anybody (see illustration, plate No. 10).

Unfortunately, here we see Mr. Johnson is fairly clear that the Whiskey Daisy’s ingredients are stirred and then strained into another glass.

He even goes so far as to present an illustration with the drink on ice ready to be strained and the glass prepared for the drink to be strained into:

The 1908 edition of Cocktail Bill Boothby’s “The World’s Drinks and How to Mix Them” also agrees with Mr. Johnson, his drink is shaken and strained into another glass.

Brandy Daisy.

Half fill a medium-sized mixing-glass with cracked ice, add the juice of one lemon, three dashes of orange cordial and a jigger of brandy. Shake, strain into a punch-glass, fill up with siphon seltzer and serve.

One of the questions I’ve always had, though, is where the 19th Century drinks in the Savoy Cocktail Book come from. They don’t appear to be Johnson, nor do they appear to be Boothby. And there are drinks in it, which aren’t in the original edition of Jerry Thomas.

However, around 1928, Herbert Ashbury edited and published an expanded version of Jerry Thomas’ guide, complete with many of the stories and legends about Mr. Thomas, which we would also later come to think of as fact.

I personally suspect that this rather high profile reprint of the book, perhaps half remembered, is the basis for the 19th Century-ish drinks in the Savoy Cocktail Book.

The recipes are still not exactly the same as the Savoy Cocktail Book, but it does include a Santa Cruz Rum Daisy, a (Holland!) Gin Daisy, and a Whiskey Daisy.

Whiskey Daisy
Use small bar glass.
Three dashes gum syrup.
Two dashes orgeat syrup.
The juice of half a small lemon.
One wineglass of Bourbon or rye whiskey.

Fill glass one-third full of shaved ice.

Shake thoroughly, strain into a large cocktail glass, and fill up with Apollinaris or selzer water.

Well, using orgeat, instead of the more typical Maraschino is a bit odd, but it does underscore the odd seemingly random nature of the sweeteners used in the Daisy family. I think it’s best not to get too strict about the sweeteners in a Daisy. Feel like using Orgeat to sweeten your Daisy? Why not? Jerry Thomas did.

But anyway, other than the addition of the Orgeat in the 1928 Thomas, the Savoy recipe is verbatim from Thomas, down to the usage, ingredients, and measures.

But what about the ice? Unfortunately, for me, since I sort of prefer these drinks on cracked ice, it appears that almost all of the early recipes I can find for Daisies are shaken, or stirred, on ice and then strained into another glass.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the drinks in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, the, uh, Sauterne Cup.

Santa Cruz Rum Daisy

Santa Cruz Rum Daisy

Use small bar glass.
3 or 4 Dashes Gomme Syrup. (1/4 oz Rich Simple Syrup)
2 or 3 Dashes Maraschino or Curacao. (1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur)
The Juice of 1/2 Small Lemon. (Juice 1/2 Lemon, Juice 1/2 Small Lime)
1 Wineglass Santa Cruz Rum. (2 oz Cruzan Single Barrel Rum)

Fill glass 1/3 full of shaved ice. Shake thoroughly, strain into a large cocktail glass, and fill up with Appollinaris or Selzer Water.

Figured I should use Rum which was actually from Saint Croix for the Santa Cruz Rum Daisy.

As usual, I find Cruzan Single Barrel to be fairly non-descript in this cocktail.

It’s a very fine Rum, but it doesn’t have enough “oomph” to stand up to this amount of ice, citrus, and sweetener.

Now, an Agricole or Navy Rum Daisy would be something to write home about…

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the drinks in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, the, uh, Sauterne Cup.

Gin, er… Genever Daisy

According to the Savoy Cocktail Book, the Gin Daisy should be made as follows…

Gin Daisy.

The Juice of 1/2 Lemon.
1/4 Tablespoonful Powdered Sugar.
6 Dashes Grenadine.
1 Glass Gin.

Use long tumbler. Half fill with packed ice, stir until glass is frosted. Fill with Syphon Soda Water, put 4 sprigs of green mint on top and decorate with slices of fruit in season.

I dunno, that sounds a little boring, if labor intensive.

And according to Hugo Ensslin, the Daisy category is simple:

All…Daisies are made as follows: Juice of ½ Lime and ¼ Lemon; 1 teaspoonful of Powdered Sugar; 2 dashes of Grenadine; 1 drink of liquor desired; 2 dashes Carbonated water. Use silver mug, put in the above ingredients, fill up with fine ice, stir until mug is frosted, decorate with fruit and sprays of fresh mint and serve with straws.

Uh, right, so, in general, the only things definite I can figure about the daisy as a drink category:

Booze. Citrus. Sweetener. Fine ice. Soda Water.

So, if a Gin Daisy is nice with Gin, I bet a really old school Daisy with Genever is nice-er!

Genever Daisy

2 oz Bols Aged Genever
Juice 1/2 small Lemon
1 TBSP Rich Simple Syrup
Cracked ice
Soda Water

Use Wine Glass. Half fill with packed ice, stir until glass is frosted. Fill with Syphon Soda Water, put 4 sprigs of green mint on top and decorate with slices of fruit in season.

Well, if you like Genever, this is a fine use, even if you do not yet have the Bols Aged Genever in your “market”. Smoke what you’ve got. Bols Genever, Anchor Genevieve, Boomsma Oude Genever. It’s all good.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the drinks in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, the, uh, Sauterne Cup.