Travelers crawled down the paths between the dunes, their lips dry and cracking, their lungs aching from breathing in the thick smoke constantly. Most of their small caravan had collapsed miles before, unable to live in the unforgiving heat. Those that remained knew their days were numbered.
The Gin Daisy is a natural desert wildflower, completely at home in the scorching heat and thick, dry earth. In fact, it is incredibly easy to over water a Gin Daisy, causing the entire plant to grow limp and dark, eventually bursting with the strain of holding all the water inside.
Just when most had given up hope, resigning themselves to being lost in the desert, their names scratched next to countless other lost travelers, They saw it. A mess of fat, sun-bleached green vines intertangled over the neighboring dune, thick, flat leaves glistening under the noon-day sun. White, yellow, and golden flowers placed on each curve of a vine, each seat of a leaf, spare petals floating away with the sand when a gust of wind barreled past.
The Gin Daisy grows in a mess of vines and leaves pale against the sand. Their roots specifically built to burrow down quickly into sand, both creating an anchor to survive in the desert winds, and to locate deep water wells and rivers, snatching whatever water they need.
The most eye catching part of the Gin Daisy is indeed its bud. In brilliant warm hues this glower grows, stark and noticeable against whatever sands it happens to be growing on, whether light beige or scorched, ashy grey. Each flower is about the size of ones palm and thick with thin, soft petals that can dislodge with the slightest movement. Connected to these petals are tiny seeds, around 3 per petal, that are then spread by the wind to other dunes.
The Travelers surged forward. Where there was plants, there was water, there had to be. But when they scrambled up the southern dune face, they found nothing but sand. Sand and roots that stretched deep into the earth. Crestfallen and dejected, they slid down the dune, practically believing themselves dead already.
All but one, that is.
The youngest, Jon Creal, pulled his knife from his withered leather belt and plunged it into the vine with held in a desperate bid at life. If cacti could hold water to survive on, why not a flower? Liquid spewed from the gash, soaking into the sand in seconds. The men, shocked as they were, nearly cried as the shouted, each scrambling back up with their own knives brandished. They would not die today.
The most well known use of a Gin Daisy is its water retention capabilities. Finding a Gin Daisy bush out in the wild means life for travelers, at least for another day of travel. However, there is danger with the water it contains. If harvested from an older shoot, Gin Water is harvested, a sweet, faintly colored, thicker liquid with a slightly floral aftertaste that lingers at the top of the mouth.
While not deadly, drinking too much of this water can greatly lower your inhibitions, slow your thinking process temporarily, and lower your own perception of your body heat, increasing the risk of heatstroke. In addition to this, most people have said they feel incredibly numb yet strong after drinking, almost as if impervious to any injury. Once the effect wears off there all the pain returns, but it can be useful when in need of temporary courage.
In short, you get drunk.
It's not the exact same effect, as Gin Water is still incredibly hydrating and there is less of a hangover, as well as a lack of addictive qualities past the overarching numbness. However, to the common person, the differences are so minor few work to tell the difference.
In many dishes, such as the Bud Roast, this flower, along with several others, is roasted in extreme heats after being coated in a thick, salted batter. These are either eaten as is, on a stick or by hand, or placed around roast meat on a platter, usually boar if they can find it.
Another use is in sauses. The flower is boiled down into a creame of sorts, mixed with whatever spices found around. After the spices, add somewhere between .5 to 2 cups of milk and a splash or two of either Gin Water or a real alcohol depending on your needs. Leave the mixture to simmer for a few minutes then serve hot over filleyed, sugared meats of almost any kind. Almost every grandmother has their own personal recepie they swear is the best. In the end, if made right, the sauce should be incrediably thick with a light, spicy, flavour colored by floral overtones.
Almost every single coctail can be recreated with Gin Water instead of a real alcohol, giving all the same effects without the drastic aftermath. These drinks are generally cheaper than the "real" version, and are considered weak or gateway drinks, made for those that can't handle anything more.
Many young adults choose drinks with a Gin Water base to get started drinking, gradually working their way up to something stronger.
There are some drinks specifically made with and for Gin Water, like the Thottha Straight, a drink made specifiacally to offer temporary strength and endurance to people in battle or about to make some stupid decision.