Cosmopolitan is a popular blush-pink cocktail with a light, crisp flavor of sweet and tart notes from cranberry juice and fresh lime juice. It’s a simple combination of vodka, orange liqueur, lime juice, and cranberry juice that became an cultural sensation. You can find it at every bar and restaurant across the country but more importantly, you can make it at home in just a few minutes.
WHAT IS COSMOPOLITAN COCKTAIL?
True to its name, no other cocktail bares a more debated and sorted history than this one. Credit goes out to so many people with creation of this cocktail, from San Francisco to Manhattan.
This cocktail became nationally known after the debut on the popular HBO show Sex and the City. It was the cocktail of choice for the main character, Carrie Bradshaw. Just as Carrie became the cultural icon, so did her cocktail (and her fashion.) Although, this cocktail saw many celebrities and was already popular even before its on-screen appearance.
Roots of Cosmopolitan go back to some old classics like The Gimlet or Kamikaze cocktails but the most known one is the cocktail created in San Francisco. It was a bright pink martini style cocktail that, to be honest, sounds absolutely disgusting. (It had well vodka, Rose’s lime juice, and grenadine). When requests for this cocktail appeared in Manhattan, this is where another credit for Cosmopolitan inventions come in.
A bartender named Tobey Cecchini at the The Odeon in New York got a request for this hot pink mess of a cocktail. He reworked it to the modern classic that we know today. This cocktail became so popular among the staff and the regulars (who happened to be well known celebrities) that it spread like wild fire.
It’s no wonder that this simple four ingredients can make a cocktail that has a perfect balance between sweet and tart flavors. Cosmopolitan is not super sweet or overwhelming, does not taste strong, and wonderfully refreshing so you can sip on it all night.
WHAT INGREDIENTS DO I NEED?
Vodka – I prefer to use the classic vodka and make sure to get the brand that you like to drink. Well vodka taste will come through in this cocktail, so try not to use it. In the Manhattan original recipe, he used a citron vodka and you can try it as an alternate.
Orange liqueur – Cointreau, Grand Marnier, or Triple Sec will work well here. Cointreau and Grand Marnier are considered top shelf and will cost more, while Triple Sec is your cheaper option.
Cranberry Juice – 100% cranberry juice is the best choice. Don’t get any mixed flavors or cranberry cocktail juices, just simple cranberry juice.
Lime juice – fresh squeezed lime juice is the way to go.
HOW TO MAKE IT
Chill the glass – it’s best to serve martinis ice cold so you will want to chill the glass first. Add a few ice cubes to each martini glass and then fill them with cold water. Let the glasses chill while you prepare the cocktail.
Mix ingredients – add some ice cubes into the cocktail shaker and pour in vodka, orange liqueur, lime juice, and cranberry juice. Close the shaker well and shake vigorously for a few seconds.
Pour cocktails – discard iced water from the martini glasses and pour the cocktail in through the strainer.
Lime twist – to get the zest, peel off the outer green skin of the lime and try not to get any of the white part. White part of the rind tastes bitter so you don’t want to add that to your cocktail. Twist and squeeze the green peel over the cocktail. You will see some juice spritz out and oils surface. Rub the twisted lime peel over the rim of the martini glass and toss it into the cocktail.
LET’S TRY SOME MORE CLASSIC COCKTAILS
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- 2 oz vodka
- 1 oz orange liqueur Cointreau, Grand Marnier, or Triple Sec
- 1 oz 100% cranberry juice
- 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
- Add a few ice cubes to a martini glass and then fill it with cold water. Let the glass chill while you prepare the cocktail.
- Add some ice into the cocktail shaker and pour in vodka, orange liqueur, lime juice, and cranberry juice. Close the shaker well and shake vigorously for a few seconds.
- Discard iced water from the martini glass and pour the cocktail in through the strainer.
- Peel off the outer green skin off the lime and try not to get any of the white part. White part of the rind tastes bitter so you don’t want to add that to your cocktail. Twist and squeeze the green peel over the cocktail. You will see some juice spritz out and oils surface.
- Rub the twisted lime peel over the rim of the martini glass and toss it into the cocktail.
Originally published on Will Cook For Smiles on June 19, 2012. Updated on July 22, 2020.
My all time Favorite Drink!
Amy Tong says
How beautiful and refreshing. I love Cosmopolitans and hate it when the bars add too much cranberry juice.
Hey, this is just great! I love the lightness of this cosmo…not too much lime
I agree. Nothing better than a cosmo!
Taste Buds says
When it comes to drinks, I usually prefer a bramble or a manhattan. But on those days where you just crave something a bit sweeter, the cosmo is the drink to go for.