All glitz and glamor, you'll know a classic Cosmo from its bold pink hue.


Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Lucy Simon

Few drinks are as synonymous with glitz and glamor as the Cosmopolitan, the cheerful pink, vodka-based cocktail made famous in the 1990s on HBO's Sex and The City. First created by writer and bartender Toby Cecchini at New York City's Odeon in 1988, a classic Cosmo calls for just a few ingredients — citrus vodka, lime juice, Cointreau, and cranberry juice — all of which are simply shaken in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and strained into a chilled coupe glass. While glassware can become a bit of a dealer's choice situation for many home bartenders (be honest: How many times have you swapped a coupe for a rocks glass because your coupes were in the dishwasher?) the Cosmopolitan is one of those classic cocktails that really deserves the pomp and circumstance of a chilled coupe.

Typically garnished with a lemon twist or wedge, the Cosmopolitan is a drink for all seasons that feels especially perfect around the November and December holidays, when fresh cranberries are easy to find and make for a perfect additional garnish; the Cosmo also lends itself nicely to a sugar rim, and is easy to batch for a large group. If you're seeking out a tart, crisp version, opt for unsweetened cranberry juice, which will underscore the sour profile of citron vodka and lime juice. Want a little extra sweetness to round out each sip? Cranberry juice cocktail will add a kick of sugar into your drink, but it'll also dilute the color into more of a blush hue— for a truly stark pink, bold Cosmo, you'll want to go with the unsweetened stuff. It's also worth noting that while citron vodka remains the traditional choice for this drink, you can also experiment with other citrus vodkas. Once you've got that bottle of cranberry juice open in the fridge, you're ready to make a few of our other favorite recipes, like this Sparkling Cranberry-Ginger Punch for a crowd, or this centerpiece-ready Cranberry-Orange Sparkling Wine Gelatin.


Cosmopolitan Recipe

  • 1 1/2 ounces citron vodka

  • 3/4 ounce Cointreau

  • 3/4 ounce unsweetened cranberry juice

  • 1 lemon twist (for garnish)


  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake for 15-20 seconds.

  2. Strain into a chilled coupe glass, garnish with lime wedge.

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