Whether its popularity is due to its role on HBO’s Sex and the City or its light, fruity taste, the cosmopolitan has become one of the most popular cocktails at bars, restaurants, and parties. Most bartenders today know how to make a cosmopolitan, called a “cosmo” for short.
Making a cosmopolitan requires one and a half ounces of vodka, one ounce of triple sec, half an ounce of fresh lime juice, and one-fourth an ounce of cranberry juice. The cranberry juice should mainly be used to add color to the cosmo, and should not excessively dilute the drink. Plus, Cointreau or another high-quality triple sec provides a cleaner taste than cheaper triple sec, and is generally used in a good cosmopolitan. You simply pour all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker, shake with ice, and then strain the liquid into a large, chilled cocktail glass, also called a martini glass. (Because the cocktail is served in a martini glass, the drink is sometimes mistakenly categorized as a type of martini.) Finally, garnish the drink with an orange peel or a wedge of lime.
There are hundreds of variations on the cosmo. Some use more or less cranberry juice and some include a citrus vodka. Actually, the original recipe is based on vodka citron, a lemon-flavored vodka. Making this cocktail is all a matter of personal preference — it’s up to you how courageous you want to be. One way that cosmopolitans are served is that rather than including the lime with the shaken ingredients, the lime is squeezed into the chilled cocktail glass. Another variation is to make a blue cosmopolitan by using white cranberry juice instead of the standard red cranberry juice, mixed with blue curaçao in place of the triple sec. You can also stir your cosmo in a mixing glass rather than shaking it.
If you’re planning to have a cocktail party, it’s a good idea to add cosmopolitans to the list of cocktails that you’re planning to serve. They are absolutely a crowd favorite. But, in order to really please your guests, you should follow this important tip: always serve your cosmopolitans in chilled glasses.
You can chill your glasses in two different ways. One way to keep your glasses chilled before you use them is to pour a bag or two of ice cubes into a portable chiller near the bar, and then place the glasses into it. When you need a glass, simply take one from the chiller just before the cosmopolitan is ready to be poured. The other way to keep cocktail glasses chilled before you use them is to place the glass inside your freezer for about sixty to eighty seconds. You should remove the glass once you’re finished making the drink and it’s ready to be poured. Putting your glasses in the freezer for sixty to eighty seconds is plenty of time to chill them sufficiently. Chilled glasses will impress your guests and give your drink creations a high-quality factor.