The Sweet Cosmopolitan Cocktail

If life hands you lemons, make lemonade; if it hands you Vodka and certain citrus juices, make yourself some Cosmopolitan Cocktail. Also known as "Cosmo," the Cosmopolitan Cocktail is a reddish-pink drink made with Vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and fresh, sweetened lime juice.

Perhaps because of its sweet taste and color, or probably due to its role in the popular 1990s series Sex and the City, where it was portrayed as a trendy cocktail for ladies. However, the Cosmo is a drink for everyone, and it is undoubtedly considered one of the best cocktails of our time.

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The origin of the Cosmopolitan Cocktail is obscure. Some believe it's an invention dating back to the late 1960s when a brand known as the Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice sought a way to get more adults to take their juice. They supposedly came up with a recipe consisting of Ocean spray cranberry juice, lime cordial, vodka, and soda, naming it "Harpoon" at the time. The name "Cosmopolitan" was the name given along the line after several bartenders had experimented on the Harpoon and settled for the original recipe of vodka, cranberry, fresh lime, and triple sec.

Maybe the similarity between the Kamikaze cocktail and the Cosmo gave room for the likes of Neal Murray to claim originator. The bartender claimed he created the cocktail at a steak house in Minneapolis called Cork & Cleaver in 1975 by adding a splash of cranberry juice to a Kamikaze. This is where his story became wrinkled at the edges. The first taster exclaimed, "How cosmopolitan," and thus the name stuck.

However, some people, including cocktail historian Gary Regan, credits Cheryl Cook of the Strand Restaurant in Florida with the Cosmopolitan's original creator. Although there's the belief that Cheryl is a mythical character, a piece of letter evidence to Regan relating the story of how she created the cocktail suggests she might really have existed and is the original creator after all. Her recipe included "Absolut Citron, a splash of Triple sec, a drop of Rose's lime and just enough cranberry to make it oh so pretty in pink." She intended to create a drink "that everyone could palate," and that "was visually stunning in that classic [Martini] glass."


The popularity of the Cosmopolitan cocktail is sometimes credited to two men, John Cain and Toby Cecchini. Having seen variations of the cocktail in Provincetown in the 1970s, John opened a bar in San Francisco, where he introduced it to a large gay community. For his part, Toby is said to have created the internationally recognized version in 1989, which is an improvement of earlier versions that used lime cordial, replacing it with fresh lime.

Although those men played a role in the spread of the Cosmopolitan; the series, Sex and the City sealed its popularity in the United States and the world. It was portrayed as a trendy cocktail by Sarah Jessica Parker's character, Carrie Bradshaw, who consistently ordered the cocktail when out with the girls.


All you need to make you a Cosmopolitan Cocktail for your good pleasure is about

  • 5 cl of citrus vodka
  • 15-20 cl of triple sec
  • a splash of cranberry juice
  • 10 cl of fresh lime juice 

Now you've got what you need, all you have to do is mix all ingredients with ice and strain in a martini glass and shake. You may decide to add garnish in the form of round-cut orange peel. Hold a small flame between the peel and the cocktail, and then squeeze the oils so that they pass through the flame and into the drink. Drop the orange peel into the drink after using it to wipe the rim of the glass.

There are several variations of the Cosmopolitan cocktail, many of which are achieved by just adding to or replacing some of the original recipes. In any case, very few feelings can be likened to sitting back and sipping a glass of the Cosmopolitan cocktail!