Finding my Daisy Jane

One of the most popular cocktails we sell at Lark is the Daisy Jane. It’s a concoction of vodka, orange, elderflower, herbs, fresh lemon and simple syrup that I’ve been working on to get just the right balance for a couple years. A little more of this, a little less of that … A little funky, not too sweet, summery and golden.

Honestly, I don’t futz around with cocktail recipes all that much except for this one. Perhaps it’s my attempt at alchemy. I’m trying to distill the essence of my big sister into something I can share and a cocktail seems as good a medium as any.

I was 10 years old when America’s “Daisy Jane” came out in 1975 (yeah, I’m old). My sister Jane was 21, engaged to be married to afro-haired, gangly and funny Rick. My only sibling, she was the most beautiful, perfect person in my young world. A teacher, she was great with kids and always happy to have me hanging around. So it’s no wonder that I somehow convinced myself that “Daisy Jane” was a song about her.

I still get moony over ‘70s California rock and “Daisy Jane” still makes me stop in my tracks 42 years later. “Does she really love me?” After a couple of these cocktails, hopefully the sky will be bright and everything all right.

My Daisy Jane died of brain cancer on September 9, 2010. She was way too young and full of life to be gone. There’s a hole in the world that is only partially filled with time. It’s particularly tough during the summers that she loved so much. Her son Andy and his family were at Lark’s Friends and Family dinner, which was an incredible gift. One of these days her son Sam and his family will visit from the East Coast, too. And we’ll sit at the Lark bar and raise a toast to my wonderful sister and their amazing mom.

When I see that golden cocktail sitting at our guests’ tables, it feels like Jane’s a part of Lark. Maybe now when you join us and order a Daisy Jane, you can toast her, too.

Joan Neenococktails, 70s rock