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The Cosmopolitan is a vodka-based cocktail that has become very popular with women, especially since its prominent appearance in the popular HBO television show "Sex and the City."

Left: A cosmopolitan.

The Cosmopolitan, or "Cosmo" is a sweet-tart combination of citrus and cranberry flavors that, conveniently, is an attractive pink color when mixed and served properly.

Mix 2 parts lemon vodka to one part triple sec combined with one part cranberry and the juice of half a lime. Cointreau or other high-quality triple sec provides a cleaner taste than cheaper triple sec, and is generally substituted in the cosmopolitan. The cranberry mainly adds colour and should not excessively dilute the drink.

A lime wedge is always used to garnish. Traditionally a coin sized piece of orange should be "flamed" across the top of the drink. This coats the drink with a slick of citrus oil.

Cosmopolitan Cocktail Ingredients

  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. triple sec liqueur
  • 1 oz. cranberry juice
  • dash Rose's lime cordial (or juice of 1/4 fresh lime)

Preparation Method

  1. Combine ingredients.
  2. Shake over ice.
  3. Strain into a cocktail glass garnished with flamed orange zest.
  4. The drink should be a frothy bright pink colour.

Serving Suggestion


Serve in a cocktail glass, straight up; without ice, garnished with lime wedge or lemon slice.




  • One variation is to squeeze a lime wedge into the chilled cocktail glass instead of including it with the ingredients to be shaken.
  • The original versions used Rose's lime cordial instead of fresh lime juice, and Triple Sec instead of Cointreau, and uses different proportions.
  • A blue cosmopolitan may be made by using white cranberry juice instead of standard red juice, and blue curaçao in place of the triple sec.
  • A Cosmocello substitutes limoncello for the lime juice.


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