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 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
Liquor.com 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
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
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.
- 2 ounces SKYY Citrus vodka
- 1 ounce Campari
- 1 ounce orange juice
- Splash of triple sec
Dutch company Lucas Bols makes a variety of flavored liquors. Their bright red watermelon liquor is a great way to vary the classic cosmopolitan recipe. 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
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
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.
- 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 Cosmopolitan recipes will you try? 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.