There are some drinks with recipes that change over time (or between different cocktail books.) The Daisy is certainly one of them. It’s designed as more of a serving suggestion than a specific cocktail — it’s essentially a Collins made with a longer measure of soda, with a bit of liqueur used to sweeten the drink instead of sugar. A Daisy can be made with gin, brandy, whiskey, even rum, and the sweetening liqueur can be curacao, grenadine, raspberry syrup (or liqueur), or any other liqueur, occasionally with a bit of sugar to further appeal to your sweet tooth. And to make life more confusing, several versions of the Daisy seem to overlap with other drinks. (The version with brandy, lemon juice, and Cointreau yields, essentially, a sparkling version of a Sidecar, which isn’t a bad thing, but why not call it that?)
Today’s drink is one of the better, simpler variations of the Daisy, and features Chartreuse, one of the most underused of the old liqueurs. Chartreuse is a complex herbal liqueur that comes in green or yellow varieties, and traces its recipe back at least a couple of hundred years (though you should take those stories with a grain of salt.) It’s got a lot of the complexity that Campari would have, but without the bitter alkaline flavors. In fact, it’s almost sweet, like a brighter, herbal version of absinthe. This version of the drink comes from the Burke cocktail handbook; for more information on the drink, and a similar recipe, consult David Wondrich’s post on the drink in Esquire’s cocktail database.
- 2 oz. brandy
- 1 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Soda water
Dissolve sugar and lemon in a lowball or highball glass with a dash of soda water. Add liquor and cracked ice, stir, fill with soda, and serve with a fruit garnish of your choice (older recipes assume you’ll use whatever’s in season, but I wouldn’t blame you for sticking with a cherry and/or an orange wedge.) Technically, this drink should be served in a silver tumbler, much like a julep. Good for you if you’ve got a set of those sitting around.