If You Like Margaritas, A Gin Daisy May Completely Change Your…

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TikTok is exploding with brightly-colored spring drinks, and the recent resurgence of the gin daisy has us excited for all sorts of pink, sparkling cocktails. The drink’s combination of herbal and floral gin with fruity orange liqueur and grenadine, all topped off with soda water, looks like springtime in a glass—and is just the thing to sip inside a blooming garden. Oh, and did we mention it’s very easy to shake up your own? Here’s how to do it.

What Is a Gin Daisy

The gin daisy belongs to a class of drinks called daisy cocktails. These sippers are in the family of sours, which include classics like the whiskey sour, brandy sour and pisco sour, as well as more inventive offerings like the Latke Sour. They all share a similar flavor profile anchored by sour, citrusy and sweet ingredients.

Daisy cocktails have many variations and can be used with all different types of spirits like whiskey, brandy, vodka, tequila and, yes, gin. In fact, many consider the daisy cocktail as the stepping stone that brought the similarly flavored sidecar and margarita to the cocktail forefront in the 1900s.

The gin daisy unsurprisingly uses gin as its main liquor component, but there are two distinct versions of the gin daisy cocktail that are popular today. The old-school version uses orange liqueur for a citrusy kick, while the new-school version leans into grenadine for a fruitier flavor, according to The Essential Bar Book.

But what makes the gin daisy stand out most above other daisy-style drinks is the soda water top-off, which adds effervescence. It’s also often served over crushed ice, making it a springtime-ready concoction reminiscent of a snow cone.

Where Did the Gin Daisy Come From?

The gin daisy originated in the late 1800s in Washington, D.C., according to Mr. Boston’s Official Bartender’s Guide, but many variations have popped up since. The oldest published recipe for a daisy cocktail was found in Professor Jerry Thomas’ The Bartenders Guide or How to Mix Drinks: The Bon-Vivant’s Companion from 1862.

As for the actual moniker? “The name daisy seemingly derives not from the flower but from slang for something extraordinary—from which the word ‘doozy’ is also derived,” writes Rob Chirico in Field Guide to Cocktails.

What Does a Gin Daisy Taste Like?

A gin daisy is pale pink in color due to the addition of grenadine. It’s a refreshing and light drink, perfect for a breezy spring day or hot summer barbeque—almost like a grownup lemonade. The flavors tend to be bright, tart and delicate with notes of berry and citrus.

Depending on what brand of gin you use, the liquor typically brings herbal and botanical flavors, while lemon juice delivers its signature sour flavor. This version blends both old and new-school styles associated with daisy cocktails, marrying the latter’s grenadine-centric sweetness with the former’s citrusy notes. Finally, it’s topped with a splash of soda water for a hit of fizz.

How to Make a Gin Daisy

Recipe by Jacy Topps

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces dry gin
  • ¾ orange liqueur (preferably Cointreau)
  • ¾ ounce lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grenadine
  • Splash of soda water
  • Lemon slice, for garnish
  • Mint sprig, for garnish

Instructions

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine gin, orange liqueur, lemon juice and Grenadine.

Pouring gin daisy cocktail into a cocktail shakerPhotography by Antonis Achilleos

Shake until combined. Strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed or cubed ice.

Pouring seltzer into a cocktail glassPhotography by Antonis Achilleos

Top with club soda to fill the glass and garnish with a lemon slice and mint sprig.

adding garnish to a gin daisy cocktailPhotography by Antonis Achilleos

FAQs

What Is the Difference Between a Margarita and a Daisy?

The word margarita actually means daisy in Spanish, and it’s likely because it evolved from the daisy cocktail. Both use a similar formula, but the margarita leans on tequila or mezcal for its main liquor and lime juice instead of lemon.

What Is the Best Gin to Use in a Gin Daisy?

The classic recipe is often made with Old Tom gin, which delivers a richness and subtle sweetness, but any dry gin would work. Using an aged or botanical gin can bring out extra fruit or floral flavors to the glass. These are some of our favorite gins for any budget.

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