A lost classic, the daisy, is being reinterpreted as the perfect refreshing summer drink.
Take a spirit, add citrus, then sweeten it with a cordial and, if you like, top it off with soda water. The result? An effervescent cocktail favored by the 19th-century man about town before being swept into the dustbin of drinking history. Lucky for us, imaginative variations on the daisy—like those below—are blazing into trendsetting bars across the country.
The Dead Rabbit, New York City
At this financial-district saloon the whiskey daisy ÿ la Fouquet, a 19th-century French drink, is refashioned with a mix of fruit and vegetable notes: Raspberry cordial, some rhubarb-based amaro and soda, along with lemon and orange juices and Wild Turkey rye.
The Violet Hour, Chicago
In an Odin's Holiday, the cocktail maestros at this hot spot tame notoriously bitter Malört with crème de cacao, but it's the float of Peychaud's bitters that's key: Its sweet anise character unites the disparate elements into a smooth, citrus-flavored sip.
Colt & Gray, Denver
The barkeeps at this sleek restaurant barely have to buff their 1920s-inspired whiskey daisy to make it glow. A 10-year-old single-barrel bourbon, herbaceous yellow Chartreuse, and lemon juice make a refreshing libation with a slow, lingering burn.
Subbing in champagne for the usual soda water, Jamie Boudreau gives a bubbly bite to the rich, mellow fruit notes of his Daisy Royale, which layers rum and Cognac with the exotic flavors of pineapple gomme syrup and cherry-based maraschino liqueur.
Lafayette, New York City
At Andrew Carmellini's new French hit, whet your appetite with the Ouest Daisy, a balanced Maestro Dobel tequila coacktail that combines sweetness, courtesy of the agave nectar, with anise-flavored kummel and garden-fresh lime and cucumber juices.
The Passenger, Washington, D.C.
It takes only a few small tweaks to an orthodox daisy to turn it into catnip. Case in point: At this Penn Quarter lounge, a dash of floral St-Germain and a house-made pomegranate grenadine infuse a gin-and-lemon-juice based with a rounded tartness.
Also on Details.com:
Riesling: The Perfect Summer Drink
How Fattening Is Your Cocktail? Calorie Counts of 20 Summer Drinks
The Ultimate Summer Beer Guide: Best New Brews, Styles, and Outdoor Drinking Spots