0.0 stars out of 5 stars based on 5 reviews
Saved for later (11)

Total Time:

Active Time:

Makes: 1 drink

The Cosmopolitan is a vodka-based cocktail that has a fruity but tart undertone. In some respects, it is a cousin to the Margarita. The Cosmopolitan is a fresh and colorful variant of a Martini that needs little getting used to. If the HBO series Sex and the City is a reliable indicator of statistics, the Cosmopolitan is the yin to the Martini’s yang and is preferred by females.

Unlike many drinks that started out as fads, the Cosmo rapidly ascended into the pantheon of classic cocktails. While several bartenders seem to have experimented with the recipe, no single inventor has laid claim to creating this drink.

Since there are a number of twists on the basic recipe, as well as variations, you will need to try numerous cocktail lounges to find the Cosmopolitan that suits you. Once you have found it, ask the bartender what proportions he or she uses. Then, by all means, tell other bartenders your preferences before ordering: more vodka, lime, and so forth. This is also an essential cocktail for the home bartender.

You will find the Cosmopolitan in swanky bars and posh nightclubs, at elegant soirées, or on afternoons by the club pool. The Cosmopolitan is also known to go head-to-head and drink-to-drink with the Martini at high-powered business luncheons. Be advised to refrain from ordering a Cosmopolitan at places named Bubba’s or Hog Heaven.

Unlike the Martini, there is very little debate over whether a Cosmopolitan should be shaken or stirred. The consensus is that shaken is the only way to go, so you will need a good cocktail shaker to make this at home. Also, stay away from cranberry juice that is overly adulterated with other juices. Any lemon-flavored (citron) vodka works well for a Cosmopolitan.

The Cosmopolitan is always served neat. The rim of the glass may be rubbed with lime juice and then coated with sugar.


  1. 1Shake the vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice, and lime juice with ice; then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a slice of lemon.


Barbados Cosmopolitan: Use Mount Gay rum in lieu of vodka.

Cosmopolitan Morning: Use coffee-flavored vodka in place of lemon-flavored.

  • Cosmopolitan

This recipe, while from a trusted source, may not have been tested by the CHOW food team.
Copyright Quirk Books

Like this recipe? Never miss another one! Follow us: