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Perfect Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe

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 or watch our quick recipe video showing you how we make it.

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.

Making our Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe

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.

How to Make the Best Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe

Old Fashioned Cocktail RecipeYOU 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.

Perfect Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe

It’s such a fresh, bright and happy drink. Don’t you think?

TAKE A LOOK: You may also like these cocktails Ginger Cosmopolitan Cocktail or this Champagne Cosmopolitan Recipe

Perfect Cosmopolitan Cocktail 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 Recipe

  • PREP
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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.

Makes 1 drink

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

Ice

Directions

    Fill 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.

    Garnish 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

Nutrition Per Serving: Calories 205 / Protein 0 g / Carbohydrate 13 g / Dietary Fiber 0 g / Total Sugars 9 g / Total Fat 0 g / Saturated Fat 0 g / Cholesterol 0 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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73 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Mary Ann July 22, 2018, 9:51 pm

    Absolutely perfect! Not too sweet, not too tart, wonderful!

    Reply
  • Tracy March 5, 2018, 8:46 pm

    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!

    Reply
  • Mariann December 31, 2017, 6:39 pm

    You are using Cranberry juice and not Cranberry juice cocktail right?

    Reply
    • Adam May 2, 2018, 3:52 pm

      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.

      Reply
  • Mech88 December 31, 2017, 6:03 pm

    My (wife’s) tastes tend to gravitate to more sweet and less alcohol. I add 1/4 oz simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water ) and beef up cranberry juice a bit. 1.5 oz vodka, 1/2 oz Triple Sec, 1 oz cranberry juice, 1/2 oz lime juice, 1/4 oz simple syrup.

    Reply
  • Van November 30, 2017, 7:09 pm

    Add some fresh micro-grated ginger.

    Reply
  • BigOrangeDave November 28, 2017, 12:47 pm

    This is my go to recipe for Cosmos. When I ask who wants what cocktail, I always get the most requests for Cosmos. I’m pretty sure what takes it over the top for most of these folks is the orange oil that sprays into the glass when you peel it over the top. I used to use Ketel One, but have found that a cheaper vodka is almost as good (Wheatly is good for a crowd). Also, when I’m out of limes, I have substituted sweet and sour mix with good results. Thanks for introducing me to your recipe.

    Reply
  • Wayne Snyman October 28, 2017, 7:18 am

    This is not a great Cosmo… The Vodka is way too much… Didn’t enjoy it at all. Will use another recipe rather.

    Reply
    • Joanne November 16, 2017, 2:59 pm

      Hi Wayne, So sorry you didn’t enjoy the recipe. Next time, you could reduce the vodka — maybe start with 1 ounce and go from there.

      Reply
  • carolinagirl August 20, 2017, 5:01 pm

    Delicious Cosmopolitan. I used a bit more “real” cranberry juice cocktail than the recipe, and the twist of orange at the end, I squeezed the peel first. It made it special and smelled great. I almost left out the orange peel, but then decided what the heck and was very glad I added it!

    Reply
  • PizzaG June 17, 2017, 11:10 am

    I made this Cosmo but found I didn’t like how the lime juice tasted in it, so now I omit that. I didn’t have any triple sec so I used Gran Marnier. My cranberry juice was 100% juice and I did not find it necessary to add sugar or simple syrup. It was delicious – I had three!

    Reply

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