Daisy Cocktail

When you know how to make a Daisy you know how to make dozens of other cocktails

The Gin Daisy is having a moment. After 120 years it has finally made it into the Oxford English Dictionary. The first citation the OED quotes is from 1887. 130 years later it is now officially recognized as a classic cocktail.

  • If you’ve been following our series on classic cocktails you know it’s one of the seven fundamental classic cocktail recipes. It is one branch of the sour family tree.If
  • The Daisy is one of my favorites in this group. It is a sour cocktail modified by a liqueur. That means you will start with two parts spirit, one part sweet, and one part sour.
  • The difference here is that the spirit is divided between a base spirit and a liqueur. The ratio is 3:1 spirit to liqueur. In most cases that is 1 ½ ounces of your base spirit and ½ ounce of liqueur.
  • The amount of sugar or syrup you add will vary depending on the sweetness of the liqueur you’re adding. Usually an orange liqueur (Harry Johnson preferred green chartreuse)

Classic cocktail recipes that will make you a better bartender:

If you’ve already got the first four of the classic cocktail recipes nailed it’s pretty simple to move into the sour variations. There are three broad variations on the sour that are established enough to be considered classics in their own right. The Daisy, the Collins and the French 75.

Common Variations

  • Margarita is the most popular variation
  • Cosmopolitan and sidecar
  • Sometimes lengthened with soda

Classic Daisy Cocktails

  • Gin Daisy
  • Margarita
  • Sidecar
  • Daisy de Santiago


  • Standard recipe
    • 1 ½ oz spirit
    • ½ oz liqueur
    • 1 oz citrus
    • ¾ oz syrup +\-

The Spirit

The great thing about the daisy format is that it works with any base spirit. The Gin Daisy is the most well known drink that uses the daisy name. The Margarita is the most popular drink in North America and it is a daisy. A Cosmopolitan is simply a vodka daisy lengthened with cranberry juice.

The Sweet

When you are developing daisy cocktail recipes start with the 2:1:1 ratio of the sour. Keep in mind, you are modifying the base spirit with a liqueur. Liqueurs have added sugar and varying levels of alcohol. That means you will have to adjust the amount of sugar you add to your drink to get the right balance.

The Sour

The sour component is lemon or lime juice. You could experiment with citric, malic or tartaric acid. Be aware that substituting different acids changes the pH level. Most acids will have a higher pH than lemon or lime. Because acid balances sugar you will want to use less sugar as your drink becomes less acidic.

The Method

A classic daisy cocktail is incorporating liquids of different densities. That means it is typically a shaken drink. Shake it vigorously for 10 – 15 seconds. Strain and serve.

The Ice

The classic gin daisy is usually served over cubed ice. It’s a refreshing summer drink. Best served very cold. But, this is a drink where a lot of elements are optional. You serve a brandy daisy up in a coupe or a martini glass. Make a Hemingway Daiquiri blended or poured over crushed ice.

The Glass

Again with the options. For glassware you should choose whatever works best for the drink you are making.

Related Drinks

Hemingway DaiquiriStrawberry Gin DaisyBrandy Daisy

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