Learn how to make this simple and iconic Cosmopolitan Cocktail for the next time you want something easy but elegant!
For decades, the Cosmo has been a staple cocktail. This beautiful drink and its signature pink color signify glamour and success. But you don’t have to be a wealthy New York City resident to enjoy one of these tasty drinks!
Gather up a few ingredients and put together one of these gorgeous vodka cocktails. Much like this Blood Orange Vodka Cocktail, a Cosmo is perfect to sip and lounge and unwind.
Why You’ll Love this Classic Cosmo
Popularized by its frequent appearances in the hit show Sex and the City, the Cosmopolitan cocktail is a simple but distinguished drink that’s been around for decades. Despite its reputation, making a Cosmo is actually quite simple! You’ll need only 5 ingredients to make this subtly sweet and sophisticated drink.
Flavored with beautiful red cranberry juice and orange liqueur, the fruity flavors of this cocktail are brought to the surface by the addition of sour lime juice. In just a few minutes, you can easily prepare this iconic cocktail, served in a pretty cosmopolitan cocktail glass.
Impress your guests and ramp up the presentation, or just make one of these satisfying and refreshing beverages for yourself at the end of a long day. Either way, the Cosmopolitan cocktail is a foolproof drink for a guaranteed good time!
Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe Ingredients
- 2 Ounces Vodka – we love Grey Goose for cocktails, but feel free to use your preferred vodka for cocktails.
- 1 1/2 Ounces Orange Liquor (Triple Sec) – provides an extra boozy bite and a sweet and citrusy orange flavor.
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice – plays perfectly off the more subtle citrus of the orange liqueur.
- 1 Ounce Cranberry Juice – gives your cocktail and sweet-tart finish and a stunning reddish pink color.
- Ice Cubes – you’ll want to enjoy your Cosmo ice cold!
- Lime Slices – for garnish.
Recipe for Cosmopolitan Cocktail
- Pour in the vodka and orange liqueur into a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Squeeze in the lime juice. Top off with cranberry juice.
- Shake well. Pour into a martini glass or cocktail glass and garnish with a lime slice.
Is a Cosmopolitan a type of martini?
While this drink has a lot of similarities to a martini, one signature ingredient is missing that would make this a true vodka martini: vermouth. If you like, you can add some vermouth to your Cosmo. The slightly bitter taste will play well with the vodka and cranberry juice.
Why is the drink called a Cosmopolitan?
One origin story of the Cosmopolitan drink meaning involves a woman named Cheryl Cook in the late 1970s. In her attempt to create a sweeter drink to rival the martini, she combined the classic Cosmo ingredients.
She named it after the magazine of the same name, as she partially took inspiration from the magazine’s aesthetic and was looking to target the same general demographic.
Why is the Cosmo so popular?
This cocktail has a long history that weaves through pop culture. It’s meteoric rise to becoming a classic is largely due to New York City’s popular social circles starting back in the 1980s.
A man named Toby Cecchini introduced the drink to TriBeCa’s Odeon bar in 1987, and Dale DeGroff then brought the drink to The Rainbow Room. By the late 90s, the cocktail was a staple drink for the characters of Sex and the City and found itself a permanent place in pop culture.
What’s the difference between cranberry juice and cranberry juice cocktail?
Cranberry juice is sometimes labelled as 100% juice, meaning there are no additives. There may be other fruit juices to balance out the cranberry flavors.
On the other hand, cranberry juice cocktail typically has added ingredients like sugars or corn syrups to create a much sweeter drink. I recommend going with the 100% juice when making cocktails.
Popular Variations and Substitutions
- For some extra sweetness, add about an ounce of simple syrup.
- If you love citrus flavor, substitute the plain Grey Goose for a good citrus flavored vodka. Absolut Citron vodka is famously used in variations of the Cosmo.
- Lemon juice can be used instead of (or in addition to) lime juice for a slightly different take on the citrus component.
- Raspberry Cosmopolitan Recipe – Add an ounce of your favorite raspberry liqueur, in addition to or instead of the orange. Garnish with some fresh or frozen raspberries.
- Winter Cosmopolitan Recipe – Make your Cosmo the same way, but garnish with frozen cranberries and a sprig of rosemary for a pungent and piney finish.
- Blood Orange Cosmopolitan Recipe – Use blood orange juice instead of cranberry juice, or combine them.
More Recipes You’ll Love
- Cranberry Moscow Mule – Love cranberries in your cocktails? Make this tart take on the classic Moscow Mule.
- Apple Cider Margarita – A distinctly autumnal margarita recipe that includes crisp apple flavor and sweet, warm cinnamon.
- Pineapple Screwdriver – Make this 2-ingredient cocktail as a tropical twist on the iconic cocktail. Perfect for brunch!
- Cranberry Curd Tart – Looking to continue the cranberry theme into a delicious dessert? Make this curd tart from Running to the Kitchen for a gorgeous and stunning treat!
- Skinny Bitch Cocktail – With only 100 calories, this cocktail only takes 3 easy ingredients and is ideal for sipping with friends.
- Jalapeno Chicken Poppers – This healthier take on jalapeno poppers is baked instead of fried, but still loaded with flavor!
- Strawberry Shortcake Shooters Dessert – Compatible with the keto diet, this sweet and delicious dessert shooters are a fun novelty treat your guests will adore.
Easy Cosmopolitan Recipe
- 2 Ounces Vodka
- 1 1/2 Ounces Orange Liquor (Triple Sec)
- 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
- 1 Ounce Cranberry Juice
- Ice Cubes
- Lime Slices (garnish)
- Add ice cubes into a cocktail shaker.
- Pour in the vodka & orange liquor.
- Squeeze in the lime juice.
- Top off with cranberry juice.
- Shake well.
- Pour into a martini glass & garnish with a lime slice.
- Use a vodka flavored with citrus to bring out the citrusy notes in your Cosmo.
- To make this more like a classic martini, add a dash of vermouth.
- Any kind of citrus juice will work, including lime juice and lemon juice.
- Add other flavors of liqueur like raspberry to make different flavored Cosmos.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 297Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 2gSugar: 15gProtein: 1g