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Perfect Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe!

 5 from 1 reviews

The cosmopolitan cocktail, sometimes known as the “cosmo,” sprang to prominence in the 1990s after appearing frequently on the television program Sex and the City. It’s a timeless classic because to the blend of vodka, orange liqueur, lime juice, and cranberry juice.

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Cosmopolitan Cocktail

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It has a bright pink color and a zesty, refreshing flavor: it’s a Cosmo! To be specific, a Cosmopolitan cocktail. This sweet alcoholic beverage is ready to spice up your next get-together, whether it’s a dinner party or drinks on the patio with pals. It’s a classic cocktail worth drinking for the sheer beauty of its color.

It has a bright pink color and a zesty, refreshing flavor: it’s a Cosmo! To be specific, a Cosmopolitan cocktail. This fantastic cocktail is ready to liven up your next get-together, whether it’s a dinner party or cocktails on the patio with pals. It was at its peak in the 1990s (hello, Sex and the City) and occasionally causes purists to roll their eyes. BUT! The Cosmo is a legitimate sour cocktail worth drinking: the gorgeous hue is reason enough. Alex and I have given it a modern twist. Here’s how you do it!


A cosmopolitan, or simply “cosmo,” is a vodka cocktail mixed with triple sec, cranberry juice, and lime juice. The drink was invented in the 1930s but gained popularity in the 1990s. It became considerably more popular as it was constantly featured on Sex and the City.

The Cosmo belonged to its era. Vodka was king in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but flavored vodka was only getting started. Absolut introduced its first flavored vodka, the lemony Citron, giving bartenders a new tool to play with. Cecchini combined it with Ocean Spray in the Cosmo, and the vodka-and-cranberry combination is still the most popular at most places today. Of course, you can use any citrus-flavored vodka and cranberry juice you choose. Just don’t drown your drink in cranberry juice. Other cocktails, like the Sea Breeze, call for a larger amount of cranberry juice, but here it’s only an accent, giving tartness and color.

A Cosmopolitan Cocktail is a classic alcoholic drink that is on the International Bartender Association’s official cocktail list. The Cosmo’s history is disputed: some claim it was invented in the 1930s, while others claim it was invented in the 1970s. (If you want to nerd out, read all about it.)

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What exactly is in a Cosmo? Citron vodka, cranberry juice (typically sweetened), Cointreau, and lime are used in the classic version of this cocktail. Why did we recreate this classic? Continue reading.


Alex and I have compiled a long list of cocktail recipes just for you: the home cook! You don’t have to be a cocktail expert to make our drink recipes! We have several variations on traditional cocktails, such as gin fizz, whiskey sour, French 75, and Moscow mule. Why do we put our own touch on the Cosmopolitan?

It’s simple! We’ve reduced everything to the fundamentals. Instead of purchasing a completely different variety of vodka, you can use normal vodka (more on that below).

It’s not very sweet, and you can adjust the sugar amount! The amount of sugar in versions you’d order at a bar varies; in this recipe, you may make it your own. (There’s more on that below.)

Alternative Video Recipe: The Original Cosmopolitan

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Traditional cosmos all use essentially the same components. Here’s what you’ll need for this cosmopolitan cocktail:

  • Vodka

Use high quality vodka for the most drinkable results.

  • Juice of lime

The best lime juice is fresh lime juice. Don’t waste that peel! It can be used as a garnish.

  • Triple Sec

Triple sec gives a pleasant, lemony flavor that compliments the vodka.

  • Juice from Cranberries

Cranberry juice, either bottled or fresh, can be used. If you think the completed cocktail is too powerful, add extra juice to taste.

  • Related: 25 Popular Cocktail Recipes You Must Know If You Enjoy Making Your Own Drinks
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Cosmopolitan Cocktail


The whole, step-by-step recipe can be seen below, but here’s what you can expect when you make this perfect cosmopolitan cocktail:

In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine vodka, lime juice, triple sec, and cranberry juice. Cover and shake well before straining into a cosmopolitan or martini glass.


Cosmopolitans are traditionally garnished with a twist of lime or lemon peel. Garnish with candied lemon peel or skewered fruits for added flair.


  • According to Allrecipes Allstar RainbowJewels, this is a “favorite drink to enjoy with your girls.” “Perfect as written; nothing would change.”
  • “I baked these on Christmas Eve,” sassygirl says. “They came out beautifully. I actually made a pitcher of them and sugar-rimmed the glasses. Everyone desired more.”
  • “I used vanilla vodka and it was fantastic,” Shari Williams says.
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A true Cosmopolitan drink uses citron vodka, according to a purist. It’s a lemon-flavored vodka with a refreshing citrus flavor. However, we wanted to use items that everyone had in their cupboard for our recipe. (We prefer to keep things as simple as possible.) So we used regular vodka and lemon juice in this case. If you have citron vodka on hand, definitely use it here! You can leave out the lemon juice.


Traditional Cosmopolitan cocktails contain sweetened cranberry juice. However, for our recipe, we utilized 100% unsweetened cranberry juice! There are many different kinds of cranberry juice on the market, and many of them have added sugar. For increased sweetness, cranberry juice cocktail bottles have added sugars or high-fructose corn syrup. Why should you use unsweetened cranberry juice?

It has less sugar and allows you to adjust the sweetness. Use 100% juice and adjust the sweetness of the drink with maple syrup or simple syrup. We prefer maple syrup as a sweetener because it is entirely natural and has a milder sweetness.

The color is more vibrant. Because 100% juice has a richer hue, this Cosmo is bright pink.


The sugar content of a Cosmopolitan cocktail is often derived from the use of sweetened cranberry juice. Alex and I want our drinks to be sour, and we avoid drinks with a lot of added sugars. We also had 100% cranberry juice from our cranberry champagne cocktail on hand.

The crisp and tart Cosmo drink is made with 100% cranberry juice. We’ve stated 1 teaspoon maple syrup or simple syrup, but you can make it more tart or sweeter if you choose. Alex and I favor maple syrup since it has a milder sweetness and is used in many of our dishes. However, if you have simple syrup on hand, you can substitute it.

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Cosmopolitan Cocktail


Do you have any cranberry juice left over? There are numerous cranberry cocktail recipes to choose from! Here are a few suggestions:

  • Madras The Madras is a sour and acidic drink made with vodka, cranberry, and orange juice. It’s a lot like the Cosmo!
  • Cranberry Vodka One of the simplest cocktails is vodka and cranberry juice on the rocks with a lime spritz.
  • Cocktail with Cranberries and Champagne Instead of vodka, use a splash of champagne for a fantastic holiday cocktail! For breakfast, try the Cranberry Mimosa.
  • Rum & Cranberry is a sweet tart, balanced drink made with rum, Cointreau, and lime juice.
  • Bay Breeze or Sea Breeze? The Breezes are classic and refreshing cocktails that are ideal for sipping al fresco, during a relaxed happy hour, or as a brunch drink. Sea Breeze is flavored with grapefruit juice, whereas Bay Breeze is flavored with pineapple.
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Cosmopolitan Cocktail

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)


  • Author: Emily Roselyn
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1x


The cosmopolitan cocktail, sometimes known as the “cosmo,” sprang to prominence in the 1990s after appearing frequently on the television program Sex and the City. It’s a timeless classic because to the blend of vodka, orange liqueur, lime juice, and cranberry juice.


  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) vodka or citron vodka*
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) 100% cranberry juice (do not use sweetened!)
  • ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) Cointreau
  • ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) lemon juice
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 1 teaspoon simple syrup or maple syrup**
  • For the garnish: lime wheel (optional)


  • In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine the vodka, cranberry juice, Cointreau, lemon juice, and syrup. Shake for 15 seconds, or until cold. Fill a martini glass halfway with the liquid.
  • Squeeze with the lime wedge and serve, garnished if desired with a lime wheel.


  • *For the most authentic Cosmo, use citron vodka instead of lemon juice if you have it. In our experiments, we discovered that using normal vodka with lemon juice was just as tasty, so you don’t need to buy another sort of vodka.
  • *Omit the syrup if all you can get is sweetened cranberry juice.
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: mixing
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Sugar: 8.2g
  • Sodium: 0g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.4g
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Protein: 0.2g
  • Cholesterol: 0g

Keywords: cocktail drinks, Cosmopolitan

FAQs About Cosmopolitan Cocktails

What is a Cosmopolitan made of?

In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice, and triple sec.

What is the flavor of a cosmopolitan cocktail?

How does cosmos taste? Cosmos are sweet with a sharpness from the lime. They taste like cranberry juice with orange (from the Cointreau), and despite the fact that there’s a significant amount of alcohol in it (equal parts alcohol to non-alcohol), you can’t taste it very much. They are extremely drinkable

What is the significance of the name Cosmopolitan cocktail

Neal Murray, a Minneapolis bartender, claims to have invented the cosmopolitan in 1975 at the Cork & Cleaver steakhouse. Murray claims that when he added cranberry juice to a Kamikaze, the first taster exclaimed, “How cosmopolitan.” This occurrence is said to have resulted in the naming of the new beverage.

What would you call a cosmopolitan cocktail?

The original Cosmopolitan is made with vodka, Triple Sec, cranberry juice, and ice, and is frequently topped with orange peel. To make it even more refreshing, some recipes include a splash of fresh lime juice or flavor-infused vodka.

Is Cosmopolitan an alcoholic beverage?

It has around the same ABV as vodka, at 40%, thus when mixed, they may be quite potent. When utilizing 80-proof vodka, the Spruce Eats estimates that a mixed cosmopolitan contains a 27% ABV.

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