The Cosmopolitan Cocktail: The Best Cosmopolitan Recipe for Your Next Party

A cosmopolitan, informally referred to as a cosmo, is a popular cocktail. This beverage is made with vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and freshly squeezed lime juice. The history of this drink is up for debate, but its popularity is not in question. The cosmopolitan cocktail was made trendy by the lead character in the popular television show Sex and the City in the 1990s and is still an often requested drink. Here are several variations of the world’s best cosmopolitan recipe that you can try at your next party.

The First (?) Cosmopolitan

Some argue that the cosmopolitan cocktail is a relatively modern development, but others point to a recipe that appeared in a 1934 book. Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars 1903-1933 shares the following recipe:

  • Jigger of Gordon’s Gin 1 ounce
  • 2 dashes Cointreau
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1 tsp Raspberry Syrup (homemade)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Classic Cosmopolitan Cocktail


Classic Cosmopolitan Cocktail: The Best cosmopolitan recipe
Photo Courtesy of Liquor shares a brief list of all the contenders for cosmo inventor and comes to one conclusion. Toby Cecchini devised a Cosmopolitan recipe in 1988 during his time at New York City’s Odeon. While he may not have been the first, the consensus is that he is the person who popularized the vodka and cranberry cocktail. This is Cecchini’s recipe:

  • 2 oz Citrus vodka (Try it with Absolut Citron)
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 2 ounces Fresh lime juice
  • 1 dash Cranberry juice

Add all the ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake. Strain the drink into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish it with a lime wedge.

World’s Best Cosmopolitan Recipe


World's Best Cosmopolitan Recipe The Best Recipes for Your Next Party
Photo Courtesy of Noble Pig


Noble Pig shares all of her secrets for making her cosmopolitan cocktail which may be the world’s best. For starters, only use top-shelf alcohols. The vodka must be a citron version and not unflavored. She uses a zester to add the decorative and tasty skins of orange to the mix. She also uses snow cone style ice to make the drink perfect.

  • 2.5 ounces Citron vodka
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice
  • 0.5 ounce fresh lime juice
  • Finely crushed ice
  • Orange peel for garnish
Be sure to read her post to learn exactly how she combines these ingredients to make the world’s best cosmopolitan recipe.

Campari Cosmo Recipe


Campari Cosmo Recipe cosmopolitan cocktail
Photo Courtesy of The Spruce Eats


This version is a great variation on the classic cosmopolitan cocktail. The citrus vodka is sweet and balances nicely with the bitter Campari. The orange juice and triple sec make great counterparts. You might even think it is the best cosmopolitan recipe.

  • 2 ounces SKYY Citrus vodka
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • Splash of triple sec

Watermelon Cosmo Cosmopolitan Recipe

Dutch company Lucas Bols makes a variety of flavored liquors. Their bright red watermelon liquor is a great way to vary the classic cosmopolitan cocktail. It is a very sweet syrup, so feel free to cut back on the amount added if you like your cocktail less sweet.

  • 1 1/2 ounces Bols Watermelon Liqueur
  • 3/4 ounce vodka
  • 3/4 ounce cranberry juice
  • 1/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 squeeze of a fresh lime

Pink Honey Martini Recipe


Pink Honey Martini world's best Cosmopolitan Recipe
Photo Courtesy of The Spruce Eats


The distinctive Bärenjäger honey liquor is perfect for this variation. The honey flavored liquor is sweet but is balanced nicely by the sour cranberry juice. Here are the ingredients for this German-inspired cosmo martini.

  • 1 ounce Barenjaeger honey liqueur
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • Splash cranberry juice
  • Dash of sweet and sour mix

Very Berry Cosmo

Van Gogh Acai-Blueberry Vodka makes this version of the Cosmopolitan cocktail very berry. The mix of natural blueberries and black raspberries creates a dark purple color. The strong berry flavor makes the original cosmo seem rather bland. Some even feel that this is the world’s best Cosmopolitan recipe. We will let you decide!

  • 2 ounces vodka (Van Gogh Acai-Blueberry Vodka)
  • 1/2 ounce Chambord
  • 1/2 ounce triple sec
  • 1/2 ounce cranberry juice
  • Garnish: fresh blueberries

So, which of these is the world’s best Cosmopolitan recipe? You might have to try them all to decide. For more excellent home bar recipes in addition to the Cosmopolitan cocktail, see our article about the scotch drinks you can mix up at home.

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The Cosmopolitan Cocktail: The Best Cosmopolitan Recipe for Your Next Party