Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe & Ingredients

The Cosmopolitan cocktail was popularized by the TV show "Sex and the City", but have you ever actually tried it? Let's have some fun.

The Cosmopolitan cocktail was popularized by the TV show “Sex and the City”, but have you ever actually tried it? And is it worth all the hype?

What is a Cosmopolitan?

A cosmopolitan, sometimes known colloquially as a cosmo, is a cocktail composed of vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and freshly squeezed or lime juice.

​​History of the Cosmopolitan?

With this being such an iconic and popular cocktail, you can assume many claims have been made to its origins. 

Cosmopolitan cocktail in martini cocktail glass and lemon twist garnish
Cosmopolitan Cocktail In Martini Cocktail Glass And Lemon Twist Garnish

Neal Murray claimed to have created the Cosmopolitan in 1975 at Minneapolis’ Cork & Cleaver steakhouse. According to Murray, he added cranberry juice to a Kamikaze, and the first person to taste the drink  said, “How cosmopolitan.” This is supposedly how the drink got its name.

Cocktail historian Gary Regan claims Cheryl Cook of the Strand Restaurant in South Beach, Florida created the drink sometime between 1885 and 1986.

Cheryl Cook of the Strand Restaurant in South Beach, Florida created the cocktail sometime between 1885 and 1986.  Sarah Jessica Parker’s character Carrie Bradshaw frequently ordered it with her friends. The movie adaptation to the show even references its rise in popularity when Miranda asks Carrie why they stopped drinking cosmopolitans, to which she replied: “because everyone else started.”

Variations of Cosmopolitan Cocktail

Below are a few common variations of the cosmopolitan.

1. White Cosmopolitan

The White Cosmopolitan uses white cranberry juice instead of red cranberry juice, giving it a crisp, white color that does not sacrifice the tartness of the original iconic cocktail.

2. The Cosmobellini

The Cosmobellini is a hybrid cocktail that combines the original Cosmopolitan and the Bellini to create something new. This wonderful breakfast drink is bubbly, fruity, and lemony. Recipe Cosmobellini

3. The Cosmocello

The Cosmocello is a Cosmopolitan that uses Limoncello instead of lime juice. You don’t need to use citrus-flavored vodka for this variation due to the added citrus from the Limoncello.

4. The French Cosmocello

The French Cosmopolitan cocktail utilizes Grand Marnier instead of Cointreau as the orange liqueur and is topped with a splash of grenadine. Try adding an orange, or lemon twist to this variation. Doing so adds a wonderful hint of citrus oils and color.

5. Raspberry Cosmopolitan

The Raspberry Cosmopolitan cocktail includes fresh muddled raspberries instead of the typical dash of cranberry juice. You may use raspberry vodka instead of citrus vodka

What Glass is a Cosmopolitan Served In?

The always served in a martini or cocktail glass. If you don’t own the right glassware for this cocktail, consider some of the options below.

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What are the best spirits and Ingredients for a Cosmopolitan?

Using top-shelf alcohol is one of the simplest methods to make your cocktails taste amazing. A five-dollar and forty-dollar vodka are radically different. And the five-dollar vodka isn’t going to lead to the best drink.

A citrus-flavored vodka is a must for a cosmopolitan cocktail; unflavored vodka will not suffice. Also, if you’re making a cosmopolitan, don’t use triple sec. Do yourself a favor and grab a bottle of Cointreau.  You’ll never use triple sec again after upgrading your bar cabinet with Cointreau. Cointreau has a wonderful orange hue and is smooth and fantastic.

How to Make a Cosmopolitan

Below are the ingredients and directions for a Cosmopolitan cocktail. We hope you love this drink as much as we do.


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Recipe by Julian Solorzano Cuisine: Classic CocktailDifficulty: Easy ????




Total time



A cosmopolitan, sometimes known colloquially as a cosmo, is a cocktail composed of vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and freshly squeezed or lime juice.


  • 1.50 Ounces Absolut Citron Vodka

  • .75 Ounces Cointreau

  • .25 Ounces Lime Juice

  • 1 Ounces Cranberry Juice

  • Flamed Orange Zest Coin for Garnish


  • Shake all of the ingredients (except the garnish) with ice.
  • Strain into a chilled martini or cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with the flamed orange zest coin.

Recipe Video


So what do you think of the Cosmopolitan cocktail? Love it? Hate it? What would you rate it? Let us know in the comments below. 

If you want to see more awesome mixology content, check out our full blog here, and subscribe to our newsletter to get great recipes just like this one, straight to your inbox. Until next time, stay safe, get hammered.

Written by Chris Harris, Staff Writer

Howdy. I’m Chris Harris. One of the writers here at Cocktail Hammer. I have a passion for all things food, wine, and mixology. When I’m not I’m behind the bar or writing for this awesome blog, you can find me riding my bike all across New York City.

Edited by Julian Solorzano, Staff Editor

Hailing from Queens, New York, Julian Solorzano served four years in the United States Air Force, traveling throughout Europe and experiencing the best of the local cultures, including their passion for good food and wine. He has since grown an appreciation for all things wine and mixology. Julian fuses that passion with his skills in writing, photography, and video production to share his passion with the world.

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