How to Make a Cosmo the Right Way

Very few cocktails have the ability elicit more scorn in a modern bar than the Cosmopolitan. We take a look at this overly-maligned cocktail and why you should try giving the cranberry concoction another chance.
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Ah, the Cosmo. Is there any other recipe more emblematic of the terrible excesses of bar culture in the ’80s and ’90s? After skyrocketing success due to its association with HBO’s hit show Sex and the City, the Cosmo has fallen badly out of fashion.

However, the real joke is on people scoffing at what can be a delicious, refreshing, well-balanced drink. Cosmos are firmly in the sour family of drinks, and not too far removed from daiquiris, margaritas, whiskey/gin sours and others that don’t bear the same stigma.

At its core, the Cosmo is just a kamikaze (an equally terrible cocktail name that just means vodka, sugar and lime) with a couple of small tweaks. Simple syrup is swapped out with triple sec for a touch of citrus, and a splash of cranberry is added for tartness. That’s it. No special flavored vodkas or sugary supermarket mixers required here. You could think of it as a vodka margarita with a touch of cranberry. In fact, the basic structure of the Cosmo (spirit, liqueur, lime and a touch of fruit juice) isn’t far removed from that of a Hemingway Daiquiri, a classic cocktail lauded by bartenders and revered by classy drinking types the world over.

So, the next time you’re binge watching old episodes of SATC on your couch, here’s how to fix yourself a proper Cosmo.

Ingredients
  • 1 ½ ounce vodka
  • ¾ ounce fresh lime juice
  • ½ ounce triple sec
  • ½ ounce cranberry juice
  • Orange twist, for garnish
Directions

Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously until chilled. Double-strain (from shaker through fine mesh strainer) into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with orange twist.

Published on June 6, 2018
About the Author
Dylan Garret
Associate Digital Editor

A veteran of New York City’s bar and restaurant scene, Garret has lived, breathed and sweated spirits for more than a decade, working as a bartender and beverage director at establishments ranging from Michelin-starred eateries to local Brooklyn pubs. Joining Wine Enthusiast in 2015, he has very strong opinions on proper cocktail garnish.
Email: dgarret@wineenthusiast.net
Instagram: @dillinisillin



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