Not overly sweet or too tart, our cosmopolitan cocktail recipe is perfect to shake up for one or even prepare in advance for a crowd. Jump to the Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe
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Making a Cosmopolitan Cocktail
While there are many variations, ours comes from what we (and most of our friends) keep stocked in our pantry. Good vodka, triple sec (we like to use Cointreau) and fresh lime. A twist of sweet fragrant orange peel and you’re set.
When choosing the vodka, go for something mid to high range. We’ll usually stock Stolichnaya or “Stoli,” but use what you know you enjoy. The other thing to remember, here is to use fresh lime juice – not the bottled stuff. We realize it’s a little more work, but the taste is so much better.
You May Also Like: How to make one of our favorite cocktails — The Old Fashioned. See our recipe and tips for making the best Old Fashioned at home.
Lastly, we love adding a little orange peel to this. Sure, it may look like an unnecessary garnish, but if you do it right, it’s adds a little sweetness and as you go into to take a sip of the cosmopolitan cocktail, you’ll get orange essence, which hides the strength and scent of the vodka.
When you add the orange peel, peel it over the drink. This way, any oils that spray out from the orange, fall into the drink. Rubbing the edges of the glass doesn’t hurt either.
It’s such a fresh, bright and happy drink. Don’t you think?
More: You may also like these cocktails Ginger Cosmopolitan Cocktail or this Champagne Cosmopolitan Recipe
Recipe updated, originally posted December 2012. Since posting this in 2012, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. – Adam and Joanne
Perfect Cosmopolitan Cocktail
Not too sweet or too tart, this cosmopolitan cocktail recipe is perfect to serve one or many. We like to use unflavored or citrus flavored vodka in this. If you can, since there is quite a lot of vodka in the recipe, choose vodka that is medium priced or that’s even top-shelf. We like to use Stolichnaya. We love adding a little orange peel to this. Sure, it may look like an unnecessary garnish, but if you do it right, it’s adds a little sweetness and as you go into to take a sip of the cosmopolitan cocktail, you’ll get orange essence, which hides the strength and scent of the vodka. When you add the orange peel, peel it over the drink. This way, any oils that spray out from the orange, fall into the drink. Rubbing the edges of the glass doesn’t hurt either.
Watch Us Make the Recipe
You Will Need
2 ounces (1/4 cup) vodka
1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) triple sec, Grand Marnier or Cointreau
3/4 ounce (1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons) cranberry juice cocktail, see notes
1/4 to 1/2 ounce (1 1/2 teaspoons to 3 teaspoons) fresh lime juice
One 2-inch orange peel/twist
1Fill a cocktail shaker with ice then add vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and lime juice. (We like the extra bite of extra lime juice, so we use 1/2 an ounce in our cosmopolitan cocktails. However, use what is best for your taste). Shake the cocktail shaker for about 30 seconds until well chilled. Then, strain into a martini glass.
2Garnish with orange peel/twist. For an extra burst of flavor, peel the orange twist over the filled cocktail glass. This way, the orange oils spray into the glass.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Cranberry juice: You can use sweetened cranberry juice (often called “cranberry juice cocktail”) or unsweetened plain cranberry juice. If you use unsweetened, you will likely find that you need to add a small splash of simple syrup or agave since it can be quite tart.
- To make 4 drinks at one time, add 1 cup vodka, 1/4 cup triple sec, 1/3 cup cranberry juice, and 2 to 4 tablespoons of fresh lime juice to a pitcher. Stir and adjust to taste. Refrigerate. When ready to serve, pour into four martini glasses and garnish with orange peel/twist.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste
Made this a few times now and this is the first recipe that my wife will consistently finish.
The holiday crowd loved it. Dropped some sugared cranberries in as a garnish.
Very tasty, but I have a question. What kind of glass does one serve this in? I like the look of a full Cosmo glass, but one drink using the max measurements doesn’t come close to filling it up. What am I missing?
I tried about 4 or 5 Cosmopolitan recipes in the past few months. This one is my favorite by far! Just the right balance for my taste! Not too sweet, not too tart!!
This was great! Very balanced. Two oz of vodka is perfect in my opinion. You’re right – it must be fresh squeezed lime. The bottled stuff ruins it.
I love Cosmos and this is my go-to recipe and has been for a number of years. I use GranGala (a less expensive version of Gran Marnier) and during the holidays when I have my homemade Spiced Apple Cranberry relish on hand, I add a very little dollop of that to my shaker.
Absolutely perfect! Not too sweet, not too tart, wonderful!
Excellent balance for a Cosmo!! This is my go to now for making them. Really really good!!! Not too sweet and not too sour. I didn’t think at all it was too strong either! Nice!
You are using Cranberry juice and not Cranberry juice cocktail right?
For our recipe we use cranberry juice cocktail. If you use unsweetened, you will likely find that you need to add a small splash of simple syrup or agave since it can be quite tart.