The Daisy cocktails are actually a family of drinks that are all made in pretty much the same style. You begin with some fresh citrus juice, add in your base spirit and a secondary spirit that seems to be Grand Marnier in a lot of recipes, shake everything with ice and pour into your glass of choice. Some versions are served up in a cocktail glass, others over crushed or shaved ice in a Collins glass, and many are topped with soda for just a bit of effervescence. Quite a few muddle the fruit in the shaker first in lieu of actually adding juice, many use grenadine as a sweetening agent, but a few early versions also contained a dash of Chartreuse. If you begin to consider these options, you’ll quickly notice that many modern drinks, like the Cosmopolitan, are actually types of daisies that have just earned their own names. What I love about cocktail families like these is that you can easily create your own interpretation, using any combination of spirits, citrus, a sweetening syrup, and even additional muddled fruit that’s in season.
For today’s cocktail, I decided to go with Dale DeGroff’s version from his The Craft of the Cocktail book, which he adapted from a recipe that appeared in Harry Johnson’s Bartender’s Manual in 1888. In this variation, the fruit is muddled in the bottom of the shaker first, so there’s no additional citrus juice in the recipe. I loved the addition of the Chartreuse which pairs so nicely with darker spirits. It gave the drink a layer of depth that actually surprised me. I could see this drink being served up in a cocktail glass, but I think it worked very well over crushed ice as a refreshing summertime cocktail that would appeal to bourbon and rye drinkers. Let your imagination run wild with this one and consider all the possibilities ahead as we move into strawberry, blueberry and peach season here in New Jersey. Pairing those with fresh herbs like basil, rosemary, and thyme will take things in a whole new direction. Happy creating!
The Whiskey Daisy
1½ oz your favorite bourbon or rye
½ oz Yellow Chartreuse
¾ oz simple syrup
½ lemon, quartered
1 lime wedge
Muddle the lime wedge and the lemon with the simple syrup and the Chartreuse. Add the whiskey with ice and shake well. Strain into a Collins glass over crushed ice. Garnish with a lemon and lime wheels, and a cherry. Enjoy!
De Groff does not call for any soda in his recipe, but if that’s something you’d like to add then feel free to top off this drink with just a splash of club.