Classic Cosmopolitan Cocktail

The cosmopolitan, a classic cocktail that has been popular for years! It was originally made using citron vodka, lime juice, Cointreau, and a dash of cranberry juice to add some colors. Nowadays, some variations use more cranberry juice to add sweetness to the drink, while others serve it with different flavors of vodka. A classic Cosmo is often served in a martini glass with a twisted lemon peel garnish.

The many origins of the cosmo

What makes this Cosmopolitan cocktail so peculiar is that it has no official origin. However, there are plenty of theories and speculations of where it could come from. One story says the drink originates from Provincetown Massachusetts, where the gay community came up with this fancy recipe.

However, a bartender called Neil Murray is convinced that he created the Vodka Cocktail in 1975 in a steakhouse when he added a bit of cranberry juice to a Kamikaze cocktail. A customer then called the taste “Cosmopolitan.”

Lastly, a cocktail historian, Gary Regan, credits bartender Cheryl Cook for the creation of this cocktail. Some people believe that Cheryl Cook is a fictional character, but Cook allegedly wrote a letter to Regan detailing the creation of the cocktail in the 1980s.

While there are, of course, more theories about the origins of this classic drink, I won’t mention them here, or we’ll get a full book!

_Cosmopolitan cocktail square

It’s a matter of taste

After the appearance of the Cosmopolitan in the infamous TV series “Sex and the city”, it soon was labeled feminine. However, cocktails don’t have a gender, and everyone should be able to enjoy a sweet or dry cocktail every now and then.

The common recipe of the Cosmopolitan is quite a dry cocktail as it contains citron vodka, lime, Triple Sec and only a small dash of cranberry juice. A suitable occasion for this drink would be a formal event, like a romantic dinner, at the bar of a wedding, or in your armchair reading an intriguing book.

For a sweeter vodka cocktail, all you have to do is to add an extra dash of cranberry juice, and it’s like you have a whole new drink. Sweeter cocktails like this one are perfect for a girls’ night out, a bachelorette party, or to drink at the beach with your friends.

Cosmopolitan cocktail recipe
_Cosmopolitan cocktail square


Yield: 1
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Get the recipe for a classic Cosmo and learn how to vary this drink to suit any taste.


  • 1.5 oz citron vodka
  • 1.5 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • Dash of cranberry juice for color


  1. Add all ingredients to an ice filled shaker and shake well. Strain into a glass and serve with a lemon twist.


Vary the taste of this classic cosmo by using more cranberry juice or another type of flavored vodka.

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Cocktail variations

As you may have read above, there are both dry and sweet Cosmopolitans. However, the most important factor about this cocktail is that you enjoy the taste! Therefore, there is no harm in varying a bit with ingredients to please your taste buds.

If you want to give your cocktail a dash of extra sweetness besides the cranberry juice, you can use a different flavored vodka, like strawberry or cherry. You can also add a maraschino cherry as garnish, rather than a lemon peel.

To give it a French twist, you can add a dash of grenadine syrup as well. It’s just a splash but adds so much more sweetness.

The fun thing about a Cosmopolitan is that the juice indicates the color of the drink. So, if you want to have a dark, and sophisticated looking drink, you can add some grape juice instead of cranberry juice. And when you want to be fruity, adding some white grape juice and melon syrup gives you an almost neon-green drink!

Try out some different juices, vodka flavors, or add a bit of syrup. The possibilities are endless, as long as you enjoy your drink!

If you want to try this cosmo cocktail be sure to pin and save the recipe.

cosmopolitan cocktail
cosmopolitan cocktail

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2 thoughts on “Classic Cosmopolitan Cocktail”

  1. A quick correction: you state that the cosmo was “originally made using citron vodka,” but that’s not accurate. Whether one believes it was Neal Murray or Cheryl Cook who created the original cocktail, it was regular vodka, not citron, that they were using. It was only once the drink made it to New York that Toby Cecchini / Dale DeGroff started using citron vodka.

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