The original liquid accessory of the 1990s.

cosmopolitan cocktail

Before the “Cosmo” became the must-have liquid accessory of Sarah Jessica Parker acolytes, there was the Cosmopolitan, created by bartender Toby Cecchini at the Odeon in New York City, in 1988. Adapted from a pink-hued mock-Martini recipe that had been floating around Florida and San Francisco, Cecchini retooled the ingredient list with higher-quality mixers, choosing Citron vodka, lime juice, Cointreau and cranberry juice. Renowned in the Miami and New York club scene, the drink gained national exposure via Sex and the City, and, in the late 1990s, would go onto become the go-to order for upwardly mobile urban women. Strip away all the silly cultural associations, however, and what you’re left with is a doctored-up Cape Cod—a little sweet, not too alcoholic and pink.


Serving: 1

  • 1 1/2 ounces citron vodka (preferably Absolut)
  • 3/4 ounce Cointreau
  • 3/4 ounce lime juice
  • 3/4 ounce cranberry cocktail, such as Ocean Spray

Garnish: lemon twist

  1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add ice and shake until chilled.
  3. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Editor's Note

Despite common pop culture associations, the original Cosmopolitan is a rather dry cocktail. The recipe can be tweaked with other orange liqueurs such as Combier, which will result in a slightly sweeter recipe. Or, ditch the cranberry cocktail for natural, tart cranberry juice.

Related Punch A-Z


(n.) A close relative to neutral grain spirit, vodka is made by distilling almost anything—potatoes, grains, fruits, sugar—to above 190 proof, filtering the distillate and then bottling at more than 80 proof. Flavored vodkas are usually made by adding extracts. Though by legal definition vodka must be odorless and colorless, champions of the spirit insist [...] More A-Z →