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Cosmopolitan Cocktails

15 mins Cook
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Copy of NomNom Recipes 1 115

Cosmopolitan Cocktails, celebrated as a timeless and sophisticated vodka-based drink, gained fame through the iconic ladies of Sex and the City. This delightful libation strikes a harmonious balance between sweetness and tartness, and it’s remarkably quick to prepare, featuring cranberry juice, lime juice, vodka, and Cointreau.

Cocktails Cosmopolitan Cocktails

Whether you’re looking to serve it as an elegant pre-dinner aperitif, toast the arrival of the New Year, or simply enjoy a relaxed evening with friends, Cosmos fit the bill perfectly. What I adore about Cosmos is how effortlessly enjoyable they are, making me feel like I’m channeling my inner New York fashionista as I savor each delicate sip.

Cosmopolitan Cocktails

Admittedly, I call the Northern Beaches of Sydney my home. My daily attire typically consists of flip flops, denim shorts, and cozy tees, with my days filled with a whirlwind of activity between the kitchen, photo shoots, and my computer.

It’s a lifestyle that couldn’t be further from the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple. However, when I hold a Cosmo in my hand, even in this laid-back beachside setting, I can’t help but feel a bit closer to the glitz and glamour of New York City.

What you need for Cosmos

Here are the essential ingredients you’ll need:

  1. Cranberry juice – Make sure it’s sweetened cranberry juice; unsweetened cranberry juice is too tart for this cocktail. If you accidentally have unsweetened cranberry juice, don’t worry, you can save it by preparing a simple syrup with equal parts sugar and hot water, dissolving it, letting it cool, and then adding it as needed.
  2. Vodka – Opt for plain, unflavored vodka. Since Cosmos have a generous amount of vodka, you can use a mid-shelf variety. If your budget allows, you can go for top-shelf vodka, although I typically serve top-shelf vodka neat.
  3. Cointreau – This is a clear, orange-flavored liqueur known as triple sec. Cointreau is a well-known brand of triple sec and, in my opinion, the best choice.
  4. Lime juice – Always use fresh lime juice for the best flavor.

How to make Cosmopolitan Cocktails

Simply add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake vigorously to chill, and then strain the mixture into a martini glass.

For that iconic finishing touch, adorn your Cosmopolitan with a twist of orange peel. The aromatic essence it imparts as you sip your cocktail enhances the orange flavor and adds a delightful touch to the experience.

When to serve Cosmopolitan Cocktails

Cosmopolitans rank among the cocktails known for their elegance, making them a perfect choice for serving as a pre-dinner drink at sophisticated dinner parties. Their relatively compact size, unlike larger, high-volume drinks such as Tequila Sunrises, ensures that you won’t fill up on cocktails before the main course.

Despite their classy reputation, Cosmos also exude a sense of fun. Picture them as the life of the party at Girls’ Nights In, Bachelorette Parties, festive gatherings like Christmas (matching the holiday theme colors beautifully), Thanksgiving, and various other celebratory occasions!

What to serve with Cosmos

I find that Cosmos are the perfect cocktail to complement finger foods. You can experiment with options like Crostinis topped with your favorite ingredients, Mini Quiches, or delectable Smoked Salmon Appetizer Bites. Feel free to explore my selection of Party Foods for more ideas.

Additionally, Cosmopolitan Cocktails make an exquisite pairing with homemade Gravlax. It’s a simple yet impressive choice that adds an extra layer of sophistication to your culinary offerings!

Cosmopolitan Cocktails

Cosmopolitan Cocktails

Cosmopolitan Cocktails, celebrated as a timeless and sophisticated vodka-based drink, gained fame through the iconic ladies of Sex and the City. This delightful libation strikes a harmonious balance between sweetness and tartness, and it's remarkably quick to prepare, featuring cranberry juice, lime juice, vodka, and Cointreau.
prep time
10 mins
cooking time
15 mins
total time
25 mins



  • 60ml/ 2 oz Vodka (Note 1)

  • 30ml/ 1 oz Cointreu

  • 90ml/ 3 oz cranberry juice , sweet (not unsweetened, Note 2)

  • 2 tsp lime juice , fresh

  • Ice

  • Orange peel , optional garnish


Begin by filling a cocktail shaker with ice.
Add vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice, and fresh lime juice to the shaker.
Shake the mixture vigorously with ten brisk shakes.
Strain the well-blended concoction into a chilled martini glass.
Complete your creation by garnishing it with a twist of orange peel.


Vodka - Since Cosmopolitan Cocktails contain a substantial amount of vodka, it's important to use a quality vodka. My preferred mid-shelf choice is Absolut. I save top-shelf (expensive) vodka for sipping straight. Cointreau - This is a sweet orange-flavored liqueur known as triple sec. If you can't find Cointreau, another brand of triple sec will work just fine. Cranberry juice - Make sure you choose cranberry juice that is not labeled "diet" or "unsweetened" as it would make the drink overly potent. The sugar in the cranberry juice is essential for achieving the right balance. If you accidentally purchased unsweetened cranberry juice, you can quickly remedy the situation by preparing a simple syrup with equal parts white sugar and hot water. Dissolve the sugar, chill the syrup, and then add it to your drink to mellow the tartness. In case of a cocktail emergency (I understand!), you can expedite the process: Use 2 parts white sugar, 1 part boiling water, mix to dissolve, and then add 1 part ice for rapid cooling. Nutritional information per serving.
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