Once upon a time the Cosmopolitan was simply a delicious pink cocktail, visually striking in a martini glass, with a taste that appealed to a wide range of drinkers. But during the heyday of “Sex and the City,” when the insufferable Carrie Bradshaw was knocking back Cosmos at dozens of New York hot spots, I think Americans began to suffer from a bit of Cosmo Fatigue.* Now the Cosmo has become something of a joke–it’s almost embarrassing to order one in a bar because someone will inevitably ask you if you’re a Charlotte or a Samantha.
But I am here to defend the Cosmo’s honor! Despite the pink color and the unavoidable cultural reference, there’s no reason to relegate this cocktail to a bachelorette party novelty drink. It’s tart, it’s fruity, it’s fun, and it’s also very easy to make.
1.5 oz vodka
1.5-2 oz cranberry juice (make sure to get one that’s 100% juice!)
0.5 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
0.5 oz Cointreau or triple sec
Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake until cold then strain into a martini glass.
Why the variable amount of cranberry juice? Because the Cosmo is delightfully adaptable that way. Cranberry juice has such a strong, tart flavor that adding more to your cocktail doesn’t make it taste weak or watered down. So if a 1:1 ratio of booze to mixers sounds too strong for you, feel free to up the amount of cranberry juice. But don’t add more vodka than cranberry juice — that will make the cocktail taste weirdly watery.
* I actually really enjoyed SATC, except for Carrie, whom I found annoyingly clueless.