The iconic Cosmopolitan, a cocktail made with simple ingredients such as vodka, Cointreau, lime juice, and cranberry, has a vibrant color and a taste that’s dangerously easy to sip.

A Cosmopolitan cocktail in a martini glass with a twist of orange peel floating in it.

Consider your most memorable Cosmopolitan moment, whether a drunken epiphany or a happening while out with friends or even vicariously while watching the sassy ladies from Sex and the City. Now toss together this simple cocktail and see if you can’t make a new most memorable Cosmopolitan happening.–Renee Schettler Rossi


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  • (3)
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  • 5 M
  • Makes 1
5/5 - 3 reviews
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Special Equipment: cocktail shaker


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Pour the vodka, Cointreau, lime juice, and cranberry juice in a cocktail shaker. Toss in some ice and vigorously shake.

Strain the pale pink Cosmopolitan into a martini glass, garnish with the twist, and serve. Originally published May 9, 2014.

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Recipe Testers Reviews

This is the first time I've tasted a Cosmopolitan and I love it. It's simple to make and very smooth going down. A nice refreshing drink that I can see myself making for guests during summer.

This is the quintessential Cosmopolitan—perfectly proportioned with a nice, sweet tang. I highly recommend purchasing 100% cranberry juice to elevate the flavor of this cocktail. Chilling your martini glass is a plus, too. Cheers!

This is now my "go-to" Cosmo recipe.

The proportions in the recipe are perfect, although I usually add an additional splash cranberry juice. I very much prefer the orange twist as a garnish rather than a lime wedge. I always use vodka l'orange because I like the fact that it further adds to the orange, which is a great combination with the lime and cranberry. Depending on your preference, a plain or vodka citron would also be appropriate.

My only complaint is that it makes just 1 serving. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled in your cocktail shaker. All of the proportions would remain the same.

It's always nice to have a cocktail recipe that works. I've enjoyed many Cosmopolitans in restaurants and bars, and this one is right up there. I think it's the perfect blend of ingredients to warrant a really well-balanced Cosmopolitan.

I enjoyed it using Ketel One Citron and garnished it with an orange slice and a lime slice. For something a little different, I think this would be quite delicious using pomegranate vodka and POM juice.

Simple. Really good. Elegant in a martini glass. Fun. Definitely not what I usually drink, and not something that I would ever order out. However, I really enjoyed this and will be enjoying it again. Maybe this evening.

I think this has the right amount of all ingredients. It was refreshing, sweet, and just a little tart all at the same time. I've had as good—and much worse—at restaurants before. But for a make-at-home version, this is a good go-to recipe.


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  1. I’ve been craving a Cosmopolitan recently, but for one reason or another each night I’ve decided not to have a mixed drink. Tonight I grabbed the opportunity to try this. It’s now “My Perfect Ten Cosmopolitan.” See, I experiment with proportions to find the right balance for me for various cocktails, and now I need look no further for a go-to Cosmo recipe. Besides having the proportions that suit my taste, this recipe makes the right amount for me. The twist of a nice, fresh, sweet orange clinched it.

  2. Cosmo Moment: My Mother -in-Law was a chronic insomniac. We Cosmo drinking cocktail hour denizens decided we would give her a Cosmo every evening to see if it would help. She drank it down much too fast (being a Methodist Tea totaler and having no notion of how to drink) and proclaimed she felt very relaxed but WOOZY with her voice going up several alarming octaves on the last syllable of the word. Thus was born a Cosmo tradition of never having one again without proclaiming our WOOZY-ness.

  3. Some years ago a friend introduced me to a drink he like which was just a custom order of vodka with a splash of cranberry juice. One night I ordered it at a restaurant and the waiter said “so you want a cosmopolitan?” Who knew – I led a sheltered life. But I started drinking and completely and thoroughly enjoying them. Couldn’t order them around the kids – they would crawl under the table. Keg beer to them was the order of the day. Now I see this recipe. Got an dinner party coming up in a few weeks. Guess what I’ll be serving? Thanks David for the reminder!

  4. Improbably, I can only remember having this once. But it was memorable. I was visiting friends who I’d first met here in Kathmandu, Nepal, but who had moved to Goa, India, where the husband was a Food and Beverage Manager in a large, elegant hotel. They’d invited me to dinner, and when I arrived, the wife had been held up, so her husband and I sat in the bar of the hotel, waiting for her. I was pretty overwhelmed by the amazing atmosphere and also pretty clueless when he asked me what I wanted to drink. This was some years ago, and while I’d have an answer now, I didn’t then, so he ordered two Cosmopolitans. They were served in larger, slightly round glasses, and were amazing. The perfect prelude to one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten.

  5. Just a quick note: Before the Harpoon there was the Scarlett O’Hara. Southern Comfort, cranberry juice, and lime. The mixture was shaken in a cocktail shaker with ice, then set to mingle flavors for a bit. I remember my parents enjoying them with some of my mother’s relatives in 1947. How I would beg for a sip! A delicious drink! Thanks for the delightful memories!

  6. I still really love these drinks, just the right amount of sweet and tart to vodka, it has to be very, very cold. My best memory is one of my besties and I in Las Vegas after a spa day at Canyon Ranch in the Venetian. We had some wonderful fresh sushi and then after a few Cosmos we giggled and danced the night away.

  7. I still love a well made Cosmo when I go out for drinks with my girlfriends – we all do, even some of our husbands like them! A delicious drink isn’t something that should lose favor simply because it’s iconic to a particular era.

    This recipe is perfect, but it’s also great with the cranberry replaced by pomegranate or tart cherry juice—which means it’s a health food! So drink up!

    1. Erin, agreed. I’m happily secure enough in my masculinity that I have no hesitation asking for one! And I do thing a good drink should never go out of fashion just because it’s no longer trendy.

  8. That looks sooooooo yummy!!! Thank you for sharing with us David. I also want to wish your special women in your life a very Happy Mother’s Day.

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