The Story Behind The Daisy de Santiago

In layman’s terms, the Daisy de Santiago is a fizzy Daiquiri served over ice with a splash of yellow Chartreuse, and dolled up with a mint sprig. It looks like a modern classic, tastes like one, too, but was born in the 1930s. The first person to document the Daisy de Santiago simply called it “a lovely thing,” and nearly 100 years later, that sentiment still rings true.

The cocktail’s name is a nod to the original Bacardi distillery in Santiago, Cuba, but it was actually invented by an unknown bartender at the former Bacardi HQ in Havana. Though we can’t say for sure when the drink was invented, it was first recorded by American writer Charles H. Baker Jr. in his 1939 book “The Gentleman’s Companion.” Baker married into a mining fortune and spent much of his eloped life galavanting around the globe, writing about his unique eating and drinking experiences along the way. During an extended stay in Cuba, he frequently visited the Bacardi HQ, which housed “a brilliant modern bar smart enough to make New York jealous, where visitors may go for free Bacardi drinks.” It was there he was introduced to this cocktail, which he dubbed “the best Bacardi drink on record along with the immortal Daiquiri.” In Baker’s book, we also see the first mentions of a number of other classics, including the Remember the Maine and the Mexican Firing Squad.

Unfortunately for the Bacardí family, in light of their support of the rebels in the Cuban Revolution of the ‘50s — as well as their opposition of Fidel Castro’s policies in the ‘60s — the family and company left Cuba in exile. This was, by the way, not long after the Cuban government had stripped away the brand’s properties and assets without compensation in October 1960. Luckily, the Bacardís saw this coming, and had already transferred much of their operations to the Bahamas, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, where Bacardi rum is still produced today. As for the HQ, 1965 marked the year the brand established its current offices in Bermuda.

But we digress. The Daisy de Santiago is named as such partly because it’s indeed a Daisy, which is a whole category of cocktails in itself. Although the original spec recorded by Baker fits the Daisy profile, his recipe is anything but exact, calling for “the strained juice of one green lime,” an optional 1 to 1 and a half teaspoons of simple syrup, and a garnish of “green mint and fresh fruit.” We took some liberties with our recipe below, but did some in-house R&D to pin down what we believe to be the best version of this drink, while remaining as true to Baker’s guidelines as possible. Any white rum will do here, but naturally, Bacardi is preferred.


  • 2 ounces white rum
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • ½ ounce yellow Chartreuse
  • Club soda, to top
  • Garnish: mint sprig


  1. Add all ingredients, except for club soda, to a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Shake until chilled.
  3. Strain into a chilled goblet over crushed ice.
  4. Top with club soda.
  5. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Rate This Recipe:

(2 votes)

Yield: 1
Calories: 210
Updated: 2024-05-07

Daisy de Santiago Recipe Video