“A” Gin Daisy — not “the” Gin Daisy

There is not one Gin Daisy. There are many. But this one is a great place to start.

image
One of many Gin Daisies: A handsome, gin-forward version with the tart punch of grenadine.

Not long ago, in one of those slightly embarrassing episodes that can happen when ordering a third adult beverage of the evening, I learned something about a drink I thought I knew well. Suffice to say it involved a mis-heard order, a mis-tasted drink, and my own ignorance that a Gin Daisy, in some formulations, includes grenadine.

It all ended amicably, and the drink as ultimately delivered and consumed was a revelation.

And so I began poking around in the turf of the Gin Daisy. I soon discovered that, like so many long-tenured cocktails, it’s not really one drink but a cluster of several drinks lassoed by the same name, some of them quite unlike the others.

I can’t promise I won’t inflict both regular readers of A Measured Spirit with the findings of my Daisy investigations. In fact, sadly, I can promise that I will.

But to start almost randomly, here’s one that was immediately interesting, mostly because it seemed like the esteemed Difford’s had committed a misprint. How could a well-balanced drink have two shots of a single base liquor and so little of the modifiers?

A Gin Daisy recipe (courtesy Difford’s)

  • 3 oz gin
    • I used Plymouth
  • .33 grenadine
    • Stirrings [if you use Rose’s you will suffer, perhaps eternally]
  • .33 yellow Chartreuse
  • .33 lemon juice

Shake, strain, and garnish with Luxardo cherry.

nb Difford’s calls for 2 shots [@1.5 oz each] gin, and .25 shots of each of the other ingredients. .25 of a shot = .375 of an ounce. So use a .33 ounce measure and cheat up a bit.

Gin Daisy tasting notes

All that gin! So little of the other stuff!

But this Daisy is a splendid drink.

  • Nearly as gin-forward as a Martini, but with a dense little flavor pack of lemon, Chartreuse, and Grenadine standing in for the vermouth.
  • Tart, sour, sweet, herbal, a little honey-ish — all against a backdrop of juniper and citrus. At once soothing and stimulating.
  • Also a small pleasure to look at, like dusk after a quietly happy day.

And, better still, one of half a dozen more Gin Daisies yet to try.

Author: Craig Stoltz

Cocktail enthusiast with no professional standing, former Time.com Top 25 blogger, and ex-Washington Post editor. I live in Bethesda, Maryland.

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