Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Spirits >
Jun 11, 2012 04:40 PM

Daisy... how do you make?

I recently had a Daisy at a local bar and went on line to see how it was made... the recipe given was pretty vague (and I didn't ask at the bar how they did it) ... Recipe states 1.5 oz Brandy (or any spirit)???, 3/4 oz lemon, 3/4 St.Germain, and a bit of grenadine... Tried that, not bad, but not what I had....
Recently went to another bar and no St. Germain listed, but Lillet instead....

What the heck is a Daisy? Anything you want to throw together?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)

    ... but best to call the bar and ask them what you had. They'll probably be happy to tell you.

    1. My understanding is that it is a family of cocktails. I read about it in one of the cocktail books recommended here, but I'm afraid I forget which one. So there is a basic formula, base spirit + thing 1 + thing 2, etc. and you can change the base spirit around, but brandy is the most common base used. Sorry, I'm blanking on the things in the basic formula. I googled a bit and got very different answers among the links, so when I'm back home I'll check in my books and see if I can find an authoritative discussion of what best describes the Daisy family.

      1. I think Gary Regan described families of drinks best when he broke them down in his book, Joy Of Mixology. Ted Haigh, aka Dr. Cocktail's research, helped Gary to nail this down.

        Since 2003 when Gary published that book there has been a lot more research in cocktail families and subsets, so some definitions have changed slightly, but nothing that interferes with the following.

        A Daisy is a subset of the Sours family of cocktails.

        A Sour is made with base spirit, lemon or lime juice, sweetened with simple syrup, shaken on ice and strained either into a chilled glass, or occasionally, into an ice filled glass.

        Typical proportions are 1-1/2 to 2 oz base spirit, 3/4 oz fresh lemon or lime juice, 1/2-3/4 oz simple syrup.

        A Daisy is a subset of Sours and is when you replace the simple syrup with Grenadine.

        A Fix is is a subset of Sours and is when you replace the simple syrup with pineapple juice.

        Then you have three other families of Sours, Gary breaks them down as follows. Some people class them all as just subsets of the Sours family, which is where my thoughts lie.

        An International Sour is when you replace, or add in addition, a liqueur and/or another fruit juice.

        A New Orleans Sour replaces the simple simple syrup with Curacao or other triple sec / orange liqueur. Sometimes some simple syrup is added depending upon the sweetness of the triple sec. Drinks in this subset are the Margarita, the Sidecar, Corpse Reviver #2, Cosmopolitan, and Pegu Club.

        Sparkling Sours are a sour that has in addition, a carbonated beverage.

        Squirrel Sours are when you replace the simple syrup with a nut based liqueur, like Frangelico or Amaretto.

        3 Replies
        1. re: JMF

          Interesting info. So I make alot a Gin , with Lime juice, and simple Syrup/Agave. The bar where I first had it, sold it to me as a "Gimlet".

          <Eric Felten gave this gimlet recipe in his "How's Your Drink Column" in The Wall Street Journal Weekend Edition of August 4, 2006:

          2 oz. gin or vodka
          1/2 oz. lime juice
          1/4 to 1/2 oz. simple syrup
          Garnish with a lime

          Do you know what the difference is between a Gimlet and a Sour? Or for that matter, A Daiquiri? Is a Daiquiri the same thing but with Rum?

          1. re: FriendOfTheDevil

            A Gimlet is a type of sour. But it technically should be made using lime cordial (e.g. Rose's), not fresh lime juice.

            A Daiquiri is nothing more (or less!) than a rum sour.

        2. I've actually wondered about this as well, but in the context of a certain "daisy". Like JMF, I've read Joy Of Mixology, and thus, thought I knew what a "daisy" was. Unsurprisingly, Robert Hess backs up the concept. As far as I'm concerned, when those two guys lay it out, the case is closed. However, while perusing the notorious Anvil list of 100 Cocktails to drink before you die, I noticed that they defined a daisy as "bourbon, yellow chartreuse, lemon, lime". Turns out this version of a daisy (a whiskey daisy) is from Harry Johnson's New and Improved Bartender's Manual (a classic text from the late 1800's often referenced by cocktail purists and historians). Name notwithstanding, this actually seems like it should be filed under international sours, though it's still called a daisy. Maybe this helps, or maybe it just makes the whole thing more confusing.

          2 Replies
          1. re: The Big Crunch

            You have to remember that the terms International Sour, Sparkling Sour, and Squirrel Sour were coined as descriptive terms in 2003. Most folks don't actually use those three terms except cocktail professionals in geek conversations, if then.

            1. re: JMF

              Agreed. I basically meant to say that nomenclatures of any kind are rarely without exception. To answer the OP, a daisy can be a formulated family of cocktails, but it can also involve the odd outlier, such as the whiskey daisy referenced by the Anvil list. This also has me thinking that I'll give that recipe a try when I get home tonight.