The Daisy was first concocted in the 1800’s. The oldest recorded account of the Daisy dates back to Jerry Thomas, an American bartender widely known as “the father of American mixology.” Mr. Thomas published the earliest known Daisy cocktail in his 1862 The Bartenders Guide: How To Mix Drinks. In a 2007 New York Times article, William Grimes notes that the works of Jerry Thomas “laid down the principles for formulating mixed drinks of all categories and established the image of the bartender as a creative professional.” Mr. Thomas was well known for his showmanship; he developed elaborate and showy techniques of mixing cocktails, sometimes while juggling bottles, cups and mixers. He often wore flashy jewelry and had bar tools and cups embellished with precious stones and metals. This showmanship paid off; Grimes tells us that at one point Thomas was earning $100 a week-more than the Vice President of the United States.
The Daisy, much like a sour, consists of three main ingredients; a spirit, a citrus, and a sweetening agent. While Mr. Thomas’s Daisy recipe called for Brandy, this cocktail easily allows one to utilize different spirits, such as gin, rum, or whiskey. Fresh citrus, typically lemon juice – but occasionally orange or lime juice – adds a refreshing element to the libation. Finally, a sweetener is essential (otherwise you simply have a Rickey), Mr. Thomas opted for curaçao & gum syrup – modern Daisy’s call for raspberry syrup or grenadine in additional to a minimal amount of sugar. There are several variations of this cocktail, so feel free to let your hair down and great creative.
We have decided to use a later recipe, one published in 1941 in Old Mr Boston’s De Luxe Official Bartender’s Book. (Our grandfather, a great man – a man who adores wine and deeply appreciates the spirits – bequeathed this guidance manual to us a few years ago).
2 oz Rye Whiskey or Bourbon Whiskey
juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp raspberry syrup or grenadine
½ tsp powdered sugar
Instructions: Shake well with cracked ice and strain into your favorite glass. (These daisy-etched antique wine glasses were a gift, we are still in the process of researching the origins and date of this beautiful glassware). Last, but not least, we have omitted this part from our process, but if desired, add a cube of ice and decorate with seasonal fruit. Cheers, friends!
In honor of loved ones, we create cocktails to that remind us of them – this one was crafted in honor of the Barrister’s Mother.