The Daisy cocktail has been around since the mid-19th century. It’s not a particular type of cocktail, but one of the classic styles belonging to a branch of the sour cocktail family.
Just as there are “mother sauces” in classic French cuisine, there are also several different families in the world of cocktails. A Daisy cocktail starts as a pure sour cocktail—which combines 2 ounces of liquor, ¾ ounce of citrus juice and 1 ounce of simple syrup—but then is modified by the addition of a liqueur. The addition of Cointreau, triple sec or other liqueur turns this classic sour cocktail into a Daisy. You can make it with any base liquor, though brandy was used in the original recipes, followed by gin during the 1930s and ’40s. Common variations include the Gin Daisy, margarita, cosmopolitan and sidecar, just to name a few.
We decided to give the true Daisy cocktail a little recognition, considering its longevity and how many of our favorite summertime cocktails actually stem from it. We like making ours with vodka and Cointreau. For an added twist, we created a homemade raspberry-infused simple syrup. It not only gives the cocktail a sweet and fruity touch, it’s also a wonderful way to sweeten iced tea and fresh lemonade.
RASPBERRY SIMPLE SYRUP
Servings: Yields 1 cup of syrup
16 ounces fresh raspberries
2 cups water
1 cup sugar or ¾ cup sweetener
Place the raspberries into a strainer and rinse thoroughly. Set aside.
In a heavy sauce pot, combine the water and sugar or sweetener over medium heat. Gently stir the mixture until the sugar is dissolved.
Add in the raspberries and allow the mixture to come to a boil. Use a large spoon to skim off any foam created as the berries begin to boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, skimming any more foam if necessary.
Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the raspberry mixture into the strainer. Use a small spatula to press all the excess liquid out of the raspberries, making sure to get as much of the liquid out of them as possible.
Rinse the pot and place it back onto the stove. Pour the strained mixture back into the pot, and turn the heat back on low. Simmer the raspberry syrup for another 7 to 10 minutes or until the syrup is thick and coats the back of a spoon.
Turn off the heat and allow the syrup to cool completely. Pour the syrup into a container with a tight-fitting lid. Store the raspberry simple syrup in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
DAISY COCKTAIL RATIOS
1½ ounces vodka, gin, rum or brandy
1 ounce liqueur (such as Cointreau or triple sec)
¾to 1 ounce fresh lemon or lime juice
1 ounce simple syrup
2-3 ounces sparkling water
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
Pour in your favorite liquor followed by the liqueur, fresh lemon or lime juice and simple syrup.
Shake vigorously and strain into a festive glass. Top with a little sparkling water, and serve.
Note: Daisy cocktails may be served straight up or on the rocks.
This article was originally published in the June 2021 issue of 225 magazine.