Best Cosmopolitan Recipe – Perfect Cocktail for Anyone!

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This is the best cosmopolitan recipe! It’s easy to make and uses only 4 simple ingredients. The vibrant color and flavors make this cosmopolitan drink cocktail perfect for parties and year-round sipping.

It’s also one of our best vodka cocktails to make. Read below to learn fun facts and the history of this go-to cocktail too.

Cosmopolitan cocktail with a lime wheel in a coupe glass. - fresh lime juice

A cosmo is one of our favorite, easy cocktails. Don’t let its bright pink color fool you, as it’s surprisingly lower in calories and sugar. It’s also a cocktail that can be enjoyed year-round and is perfect for holiday parties or summer get-togethers!

Before we dive into the recipe for our cosmopolitan drink, it’s useful to know something about its history! You can use these fun facts to entertain your guests as you prepare their drinks.

History Of The Cosmopolitan Cocktail

Accounts vary, but many attribute the invention of the cosmopolitan cocktail to a Miami bartender, Cheryl Cook, who worked in Miami’s South Beach during the 70s. She wanted to create a cocktail that would make customers look sophisticated without being difficult to drink. So, she went for something sweet.

Cosmopolitan drink overhead picture with lime. - cranberry juice cocktail, martini glass, martini glasses, sex and the city
Lime juice, pink cocktail in a shaker and a bottle of vodka. - chilled cocktail glass

Cosmopolitan Cocktail Ingredients

There are 4 main cosmopolitan cocktail recipe, and the ingredients in this cosmo! Just keep these ingredients on hand, and you can whip one up anytime.

Cranberry Juice – Use sweet cranberry juice, like Ocean Spray. The organic, unsweetened cranberry juice will not work when making a cosmo.

Lime Juice – Always use fresh-squeezed.

Vodka – See below for some good options.

Cointreau – You can also try it with triple sec too.

Another option is using a cranberry-pom juice blend or a cranberry-apple blend of Ocean Spray!

Small bottles Cointreau - sweetened cranberry juice

How to Make a Cosmopolitan Cocktail

Many mixologists add their flair to their Cosmopolitan cocktail recipes. However, there are certain elements shared by every self-respecting cosmo.

1 — Combine high-quality vodka, lime juice, cranberry juice, and Cointreau into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

lime juice, cranberry juice in a cocktail shaker  - orange peel, cosmopolitan cocktails

2 — Shake it vigorously for at least 30 seconds. The outside of the shaker should be ice cold just before serving. Use a strainer or slotted spoon to strain the drink into a martini glass.

Shaking a pink cosmopolitan cocktail in a shaker. - rose's lime juice

3 — Garnish with a lime wedge. If you want to spin the drink, add fresh cranberries for the holidays!

Pouring a cosmopolitan drink into a coupe glass. - vodka cocktail

Best Vodka for this Cosmopolitan Drink

The following shows up on various lists of the top vodkas for martinis, including Chilledmagazine.com. You can also see more of the best vodkas here.

— Grey Goose Vodka

— St. George All Purpose Vodka

— Barr Hill Vodka

— Reyka Vodka

— Belvedere Vodka

— Death’s Door Vodka

— Titos

Adding a lime wedge into a pink cosmopolitan cocktail recipe. - vodka cointreau cranberry juice
Two cosmopolitan cocktail on a marble table with ingredients. - elegant cocktail, fresh lime

When to Serve this Cosmopolitan Drink

This cocktail is perfect for celebrations! Here are some fun ideas:

Tropical Party

Garden Party

Dining Alfresco

Colorful Backyard Carnival Party

Last Minute Birthday Party

Flamingo-Themed Pool Party

Close up photo of a cosmopolitan cocktail recipe with a lime wheel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are cosmopolitans strong?

Cosmopolitan martinis are strong, but the ingredients make them smooth and quite tasty. Be careful! You can make pitchers of perfectly mixed ingredients or prepare martinis for two for a date night at home.

What does a cosmopolitan drink taste like?

Lime presents a sour flavor that sets the tone for the drink. The Cointreau has a layer of sweetness and refreshing orange flavor. The cranberry gives the cosmopolitan its signature pink hue and adds tartness to the mix.

Finally, vodka dilutes the flavors and lifts them for a complex drink profile with many fans.

Is Cointreau the same as Triple Sec?

Cointreau is a top-shelf orange liqueur. It is a triple sec style of alcohol, although it’s not labeled as one. Grand Marnier is another heavyweight in the triple sec category.

After adding triple sec, she experimented until she came up with the lime and cranberry juice combination, which gave it a pretty pink color.

The drink made waves on South Beach, where it was the splash hit. It soon became one of the favorite drinks of up-and-coming professionals in Manhattan as well.

Pink cocktail with a lime wheel

Is a cosmopolitan a woman’s drink?

It depends on who you ask. The Cosmo was the favorite drink of Carrie Bradshaw on the 1990s show Sex in the City, which targeted young urban professionals.

Chances are, you will see more women than men enjoying this particular cocktail. However, men are welcome to enjoy the refreshing flavor too!

More Cocktails You’ll Love

Cosmopolitan drink in a couple glass

 Let us know if you try this cosmopolitan cocktail recipe, and leave a comment and review below, letting us know how it turned out!

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Cosmopolitan Cocktail

This is the best Cosmopolitan Cocktail recipe! Made with only 4 simple ingredients this cosmopolitan drink is perfect for parties!
4.53 from 17 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 Cocktail
Calories: 187kcal
Author: Eden

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 1/2 ounces cranberry juice, Ocean Spray brand
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau, any orange liqueur

Instructions

  • Squeeze the lime to make fresh lime juice.
  • Pour in the cranberry juice, vodka, lime juice, and Cointreau into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
    lime juice, cranberry juice in a cocktail shaker
  • Shake for 20-30 seconds.
  • Strain the cocktail into a coupe glass.
  • Garnish with a lime wheel, wedge, or twist.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Always use freshly squeezed lime juice. 
Use your favorite vodka for this recipe. 
Shaking the cocktail with ice is a very important step to diluting and mixing the cocktail.
Switch it up and use cranberry-pom juice or cranberry-apple juice for a fun twist!
Add cranberries or rosemary to make it festive for the holidays!

Nutrition

Calories: 187kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin C: 8mg
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