Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe

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Cosmopolitan Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Cosmopolitan, often referred to as a 'Cosmo', is a classic cocktail that gained popularity in the 1990s, thanks in part to the hit TV show 'Sex and the City'. The origins of the Cosmopolitan are debated, but it is believed to have been created in the 1970s by a bartender named Neal Murray in Minneapolis. The cocktail quickly gained popularity and became a favorite among fashionable, cosmopolitan women.

  • The Cosmopolitan is a symbol of sophistication and style
  • It is often associated with glamorous social events and upscale bars
  • The cocktail has been featured in numerous movies and TV shows, further cementing its status as a classic drink

How Cosmopolitan Tastes?

The Cosmopolitan is a well-balanced cocktail with a slightly sweet, tart, and fruity taste. The combination of cranberry juice, lime, and orange liqueur creates a refreshing and zesty flavor, while the vodka adds a smooth and subtle kick.

Interesting facts about Cosmopolitan

  • The Cosmopolitan is sometimes mistakenly referred to as a 'Martini', due to its similar presentation in a martini glass
  • The cocktail has many variations, with some recipes calling for different fruit juices or flavored vodkas
  • The signature pink color of the Cosmopolitan is derived from the cranberry juice


A few good options for Cosmopolitan are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Absolut Citron
  • Khor De Luxe

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


  • Why 1.5 oz? It's the perfect amount to give the Cosmo its backbone without overpowering the other flavors.
  • Without it? You'd basically have a fancy fruit punch!
  • Alternatives: A flavored vodka could add a twist, but may overpower the delicate balance.

Mary Mitkina


  • Why 1 oz? Balances the tartness of the lime and the sweetness of the cranberry juice.
  • Without it? You might as well be drinking a vodka cranberry with a lime twist!
  • Alternatives: Triple sec can substitute, but Cointreau's quality improves the cocktail exponentially.

Emma Rose

Cranberry Juice

  • Why 0.5 oz? Just enough to color the drink and add a touch of tartness.
  • Without it? Say goodbye to the 'cosmo' in your Cosmopolitan.
  • Alternatives: Pomegranate juice could provide a similar color with a flavor twist.

Alex Green

Fresh Lime Juice

  • Why 0.5 oz? Adds crisp acidity, essential for cutting through the sweetness.
  • Without it? The drink would be too sweet and flat.
  • Alternatives: Lemon juice might work but it's not the same zesty vibe.

Mary Mitkina

Orange Peel

  • Garnish Purpose: It's all about the oils! Expressing the peel adds aromatic complexity.
  • Without it? You'd miss that subtle hint of citrus aroma that makes the first sip divine.
  • Alternatives: A lemon twist could be used, but orange is more subtle and traditional.

Emma Rose

Garnish: Lime Wheel

  • Visually Appealing: Every drink needs a hat! The lime wheel makes it pretty.
  • Without it? It's like going out without earrings – you'll still turn heads, but it's in the details!
  • Focusing on Flavor: Truth be told, it's more about the look than taste, but freshness is always key in cocktails.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Cosmopolitan Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  2. Add vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice, and fresh lime juice
  3. Shake well until chilled
  4. Strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass
  5. Express the orange peel over the drink and discard
  6. Garnish with a lime wheel on the rim of the glass

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh lime juice for a more vibrant flavor
  • Chill the martini glass before pouring the cocktail to keep it cold longer
  • Express the orange peel over the drink to enhance the citrus aroma

Perfect Pairings

Appetizers & Snacks

  • Sushi: The acidity in the Cosmopolitan cuts through the fatty fish nicely.
  • Goat Cheese Crostini: The tanginess of both the cheese and cocktail complement each other.
  • Smoked Salmon Canapés: The smoky flavor pairs well with the citrus notes of the drink.

Main Dishes

  • Grilled Chicken Salad: A light and citrusy Cosmopolitan is an excellent accompaniment.
  • Herb-Crusted Tilapia: The lime juice in the cocktail enhances the herbal notes in the fish.


  • Lemon Tart: The tartness of both the dessert and cocktail balance each other out.
  • White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake: The cocktail's cranberry juice complements the raspberry beautifully.

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What you could change in Cosmopolitan

  • Cointreau can be replaced with any other orange liqueur like Grand Marnier
  • Cranberry juice can be substituted with pomegranate juice for a different flavor profile
  • Vodka can be replaced with gin for a more botanical twist

Explore all drinks starting with C here

And of course - twists🍹

The Coco-Cosmo

  • Ingredients: Replace Cointreau with coconut flavored liqueur.
  • Recipe: Follow the original, but with the tropical twist of coconut.
  • Taste: Sweeter and beachier; think sandy beaches and sunscreen kisses.

The Berryopolitan

  • Ingredients: Add a splash of raspberry liqueur to the original mix.
  • Recipe: Shake up the added berry with the regular roster.
  • Taste: A berry blast that gives the cranberry a run for its money.

Spicy Cosmo

  • Ingredients: Muddle some fresh jalapeño slices before adding the vodka.
  • Recipe: Shake off the spice with the rest of the Cosmo crew.
  • Taste: Adds a kick to the sip, like a lover's quarrel, spicy but enticing!

In case you forgot basics how to make Cosmopolitan

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Cosmopolitan

What is the right glassware to serve a Cosmopolitan?

Traditionally, a Cosmopolitan is served in a martini glass.

What food pairs well with a Cosmopolitan?

Lighter dishes like seafood or chicken, and appetizers such as cheese and crackers pair well with a Cosmopolitan.

What is the best time to consume a Cosmopolitan?

A Cosmopolitan is typically enjoyed in the evening, at a cocktail hour or with dinner.

Who is Neal Murray?

Neal Murray is a bartender widely credited for creating the Cosmopolitan cocktail.

Is there an alcohol-free version of a Cosmopolitan?

Yes, an alcohol-free version can be made by substituting the vodka and Cointreau with non-alcoholic substitutes.

Can I use a different type of vodka in a Cosmopolitan?

Yes, although the classic recipe calls for plain vodka, you can experiment with flavored vodkas to add a twist.

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