Best Cosmopolitan Recipe

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Best Cosmopolitan Recipe

The Best Cosmopolitan Recipe

What a Girls’ Night Out with a round of decadently pink Cosmopolitans? This Friday night favourite is deliciously sweet and tangy combination of citrus vodka, triple sec, tart cranberry juice and a scintillating splash of lime. It whisks you away to imaginings of pulsating nights on the town; Manhattan skylines and the sassy buzz of an upmarket nightclub. But how did this legendary cocktail originate? And more importantly, can it be made at home?


The beginnings of the Cosmo are highly disputed, with many claiming it was invented by master bartender Cheryl Cooke in Florida in the late 70s. Others came it emerged from the fern bar scene in San Francisco, when bartender and Cosmo expert John Caine introduced the refreshing and flirty cocktail to the upscale and preppy local market. Few also claim it was borne in the thriving bar scene of Provincetown, Massachusetts, marked by an explosion in innovation in the gay community.

However, the Cosmopolitan as we know it – fresh, tangy, and ever so slightly pink – was conceptualised in Manhattan. Brought to the Big Apple in the 1980s by Toby Cecchini, New York’s the place where the cocktail underwent the ultimate transformation.

 In the late 80s, Mellissa Huffsmith took the ordinary mix of Absolute Citron, triple sec, Rose’s lime cordial and “pretty in pink” cranberry juice and gave it a sophisticated revamp. Triple sec was replaced with Cointreau, and the Roses made way for freshly-squeezed lime juice. However, this new cocktail retained the defining feature for which is it still recognised – the audacious use of the elegant martini glass, and a cheeky garnish of lemon.

Popular Culture

It goes without saying that Cosmos have been fuelling ladies’ nights for years now. But how did that connection arise? The popularity of the drink surged in the 1990s with the release of the hit TV show, Sex and the City. The Cosmopolitan was the drink of choice for Carrie Bradshaw, the lead character, and her fellow gals-in-arms.

Fans of the show sought to imitate the perceived glamour of Sex and the City’s imagining of Manhattan, and soon enough, the Cosmo was very single lady’s staple drink. Comically, the show itself references the Cosmopolitan’s reputation in a film sequel. Miranda asks Carrie why she’s stopped drinking Cosmopolitans. Carrie drily replies, “Because everyone else has started.”

How to Make a Cosmopolitan

The recipe that is commonly used today consists of three parts citrus vodka (Absolut Citron comes highly recommended), two parts cranberry juice (it should only be enough to give the drink its signature pink blush) one part Cointreau (or triple sec) and one part lime juice.

Note that you can opt for triple sec instead of Cointreau. However, go for a high quality triple sec, as this will keep the palate crisp and clean. Throw all of the ingredients into a metal shaker with lots of ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a sexy martini glass. You can garnish the traditional twist of lemon. However, why not follow the latest developments and substitute the lemon with a contemporary wedge of lime?

With the right ingredients, equipment and technique, you’ll be able to shake up a Cosmo worthy of some of Manhattan’s top bars. It’s the perfect way to kick off a dinner party or night on the town. Cheers!