Gin and lemon are two ingredients that are made for one another. The fresh, floral complexity of gin blends beautifully with lemon and other citrus notes, which is why so many gin cocktails are based on mixing gin with lemon. The same is true with the Gin Daisy. This particular cocktail is rather unique as it takes a lemonade-like combination of ingredients and mixes it with gin. This is the kind of cocktail you get when you want to enjoy a summer day by the pool and have a bit of a sweet tooth. If you want your gin to be the primary ingredient and flavor provider of a cocktail this isn’t the drink for you. However, if you’re a sweet lover than loves margaritas, cosmopolitans, and other sugar infused cocktails, this is the drink for you.
The classic Gin Daisy is a bit different from some of the modern renditions. There are several Gin Daisy recipes that introduce grenadine into the cocktail as well. The grenadine is designed to not only give it a wonderful red-orange tint, but it adds additional sweetness to it. With the traditional Gin Daisy, it is more lemonade meets gin. Of course, as is the case with most gin cocktails, the traditional Gin Daisy is a great starting point for a cocktail. You can then from there build off of it.
Gin Daisy Ingredients
You only need a handful of ingredients to make the Gin Daisy. These ingredients are:
- 2oz Gin
- 3/4oz Lemon juice
- 3/4oz Orange liqueur
- Soda water
- Lemon peel garnish
Gin Daisy - Best How To Make Video
Best Gin For a Gin Daisy
Gin is perfectly paired with lemon notes and citrus. So you really can’t go wrong with any kind of gin. If you have a favorite gin it will go well with lemon. Now, with that said, this does have both sugar and carbonation, which will take some of the attention away from the gin. This is good for those drinkers who not yet big fans of gin (this usually means they just haven’t found the right kind of gin).
So while you can grab a gin that has a heavy juniper taste to it, it won’t be as pronounced. One thing to keep in mind whenever dealing with a sugar and carbonated cocktail is you don’t need to splurge on an especially expensive bottle of gin. Save these kinds of bottles for cocktails like a gin and tonic or a gin martini. While you’re more than welcome to do so, you can pick up inexpensive bottles such as Beefeater or even a Gordon’s (a company that also produces Tanquerey) for an affordable price (Gordon’s has a stronger juniper flavor while Beefeater has a mellow taste, if that helps with deciding the right gin for you).
Gin Daisy Variations
The classic Gin Daisy is a great starting point for variations. You already have the lemon, carbonation, and gin. Everything else is secondary and allows you to craft some rather exceptional cocktails off of the base.
Modern Gin Daisy
If you were to order a Gin Daisy at a restaurant or bar there’s a good chance you’d receive this version instead of the classic rendition. There are a number of bars that love breaking out the grenadine whenever possible (it boosts the sugar content and sweetness of a cocktail with just a quick splash). This recipe keeps the gin and lemon juice, but takes out the orange liqueur and swaps it for simple syrup and grenadine. So if you’re a fan of the original Gin Daisy but would realistically like more sugar (with a red presentation), this modern Gin Daisy is the cocktail option for you.
With Daisy in the name you just knew there would be some flower references at some point. That’s what the Yellow Daisy brings to the table. However, this variation is more martini than sugar cocktail. It uses gin and the Grand Marnier (orange liqueur), but instead of lemon juice or simple syrup it uses dry vermouth. Essentially it is a dry gin martini with Grand Marnier. This makes it an especially interesting cocktail, as it works for both Daisy lovers and martini lovers. Toss in a cherry and you’ve really got an excellent gin cocktail.
Cherry Gin Daisy
The Cherry Gin Daisy builds exceptionally well on the previous Gin Daises mentioned here. It keeps the gin and lemon juice element of the traditional Daisy, only this one swaps out the orange liqueur for agave nectar. So it has a unique taste to it while keeping to the basic fundamentals of the Gin Daisy. The one real difference here in terms of complexity is it doesn’t have any carbonation (of course, you’re more than welcome to add club soda to the cocktail if you’d like as there is extra room at the top of the glass).
Modern Long Style Gin Daisy
There are enough modern Gin Daisy options out there you need to make sure and ask what you’re actually getting at the bar if it doesn’t include the ingredients. This is another slight variation of the Gin Daisy plenty of bars serve. So ask the bartender how they make the drink before you order it (unless you like to be surprised when ordering a cocktail). This still keeps the dry gin and lemon juice. It also brings in the grenadine (although the brand of grenadine can vary and does play a role in the overall flavor of the drink). This version comes topped either with soda, club soda, or sparkling water and is served in a Collins glass. When ordering a modern Gin Daisy feel free to request for it to be topped with soda instead of sparkling water. Make it your own when ordering.
The Celery Gin Daisy has all kinds of interesting flavors going on with it, which is what makes it not only unusual but a great variation to check out. In fact, this daisy doesn’t even use gin in it. Instead, it swaps out gin for silver tequila. When picking out a silver tequila it is important to go with a quality tequila. You can also go with a mescal, as each mescal has more of a unique, regional taste to it (mescals are not as heavily regulated on production as tequila, so some will have a whiskey-like smokiness to it while others will run cleaner). So basically the only crossover between this Daisy and others is the inclusion of lime juice. Add in elderflower, fresh pressed celery juice, a dab of raw honey (instead of simple syrup) and a few other flavor enhancements and you truly have something that is different from the other Daisy drinks out there. Of course, you are more than welcome to test the Celery Daisy out using a gin. Tequila just happens to contain a rather interesting new flavor palette.