Drink — The Cosmopolitan

Pretty pink drink is the current queen of cocktails

Not just for Sex and the City fans anymore, cosmos come in a delicious variety

By Seth Hoy [shoy@hippopress.com] 

Whether you’re watching Desperate Housewives or you are a desperate housewife, feigning conversation at a cocktail party, a fan of Sex and the City or waiting for that not-so-special someone in a trendy club, the pretty-in-pink Cosmopolitan remains the reigning queen of cocktails.

Known for its pink cranberry-induced hue, the Cosmopolitan largely caters to a female crowd—although some men, secure in their manhood, will give it a swill. Although any drink served in a slender curvaceous long-stemmed glass might induce a limp in the wrist or a slight lisp to the lips, that is, unless your name is Sean Connery or Frank Sinatra. (Note: Levels of manhood are directly proportionate to the ability to womanize.) Some men who do enjoy themselves a cosmopolitan have been savvy enough to disguise the drink’s color by using white cranberry juice instead of regular.

The history of the Cosmo is uncertain, steeped in urban legends and lies. Perhaps Al Gore utilized his incredible powers of initiation to create the Cosmo much like he did the Internet? But chances are that the Cosmo originated from its bastard cousins, we’ll call them the Hilton Sisters, the Cape Codder and the Kamikaze respectively. The Cape Codder is simply vodka and cranberry juice (Nicky), the Kamikaze merely vodka, triple sec and lime juice (Paris)—both are dressed up with no place to go.

So what makes a good Cosmopolitan? Generally, a Cosmopolitan is made of two parts premium vodka, one part cranberry juice, one part Cointreau orange liqueur and a dash of lime juice and/or a lime wedge. An error in measurement, however, can ruin the whole lot. Just ask Linda Robinson, who has been bartending for more than 26 years. For 12 of those years, Robinson has been teaching at the Boston Bartenders School in Nashua.

“A good bartender makes a good Cosmo,” said bartending instructor Linda Robinson, “that’s the number one thing. Bartenders really have to know the correct measurements to make a good drink. I’m sure you’ve gone to one bar or restaurant and had a really good drink, like a Long Island Iced Tea, then gone to another place and had a really lousy Long Island. It’s all about using the right measurements.”

Bartenders really don’t have time to measure out each component, so a lot of them just guesstimate what looks right. But I’m willing to make the wager that the better looking someone is, the better the drink tastes. It’s just the way of the world. Also an integral part of the Cosmo equation is the quality of product. If you use second-rate vodka, you’ll have a second-rate drink.

“The second most important key to a good Cosmo,” Robinson said, “is to use the best possible vodka. No matter how well the bartender mixes the drink, if it’s a low quality cheap brand the drink will taste bad. If the bartender doesn’t ask you want kind of vodka you want, you should make a point to tell the bartender yourself.”

Robinson also pointed out that unlike the margarita, which is the most popular summer drink, the Cosmo is popular all year round —a drink for all seasons.

Curious as to what kind of permutations the Cosmopolitan has experienced over the years, I checked out a few different recipes.

The Classic Cosmopolitan

1 oz. premium vodka

½ oz. Cointreau

½ oz. lime juice

1 splash cranberry juice

The Cosmoblanca

2 oz. Skyy Citrus

1 oz. white cranberry juice

Splash of triple sec

fresh lime juice

The Blue Cosmopolitan

2 oz. Absolut Citron

1 Maraschino cherry

1 oz. blue Curacao

½ oz. grapefruit juice

½ oz. sugar syrup

The Caribe Cosmopolitan

1 ½ oz. Barcardi Limon

1 oz. cranberry juice

1 oz. Cointreau

½ oz. lime juice

The French Cosmopolitan

3 oz. Grey Goose L’Orange

½ oz. Cointreau

1 splash cranberry juice

1 squeeze of lime

garnish with a spiral lime peel

The Cupid’s Cosmopolitan

3 oz. vodka

2 oz. Grand Marnier

1 oz. cranberry juice

1 oz. lime juice

The Cosmobellini

1 oz. Absolut Citron

½ oz. Cointreau

1 spalsh of cranberry juice

1 lime wedge

½ oz white peach puree

Top with Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine)

The Cosmo Katie

2 oz. Absolut Kurant

1 oz. Grand Marnier

1 splash lime juice

1 splash cranberry juice

The Cosmoquila

2 oz Casa Noble Reposado Tequila

1 oz Cointreau

1/2 oz lime juice

1 splash cranberry juice

The Cosmonaut

2 parts Tang

1 oz. vodka

3 cubes ice, crushed

Rude Cosmopolitan

1 ¼ oz. Jose Cuervo Clasico

¼  oz. Grand Marnier

1 lime’s juice

1 oz. cranberry juice

Recipes courtesy www.drinksmixer.com, www.skyy.com , and www.greygoose.com.

- Seth Hoy

2004 HippoPress LLC | Manchester, NH