Picture of two cosmpolitan cocktails with lime wedges on a black background with

The wonderful, classic Cosmopolitan Cocktail

Yes, this is it. The one and only wonderful, classic Cosmopolitan cocktail. It’s perfect for the end of hot summer days … but beware, these things pack a punch. They’re definitely not a soft drink!

Drinking a Cosmo always takes me back to the early 2000s, in my early 30s, watching Sex & the City with a girlfriend on her couch. But it was the glam women on the screen who were drinking the cocktails – we probably indulged in peppermint tea. But the vibe was there – and it’s all about the vibe, right?

A very Cosmopolitan history

According to Diffords Guide, the Cosmopolitan cocktail … first appears in the “Cocktails Round Town” chapter of Harry McElhone’s 1927 book, Barflies and Cocktails. The article goes on to say the cocktail in question looked nothing like the Cosmopolitan we know today, as it comprised of:

1/6 Italian vermouth, 1/6 French vermouth, 1/6 Swedish punch, 1/6 Scotch whisky, 1/6 Irish whisky, 1/6 Russian vodka

Arthur Moss, 1927. Source: Diffords Guide

Now I have to say, if that didn’t knock your socks off, nothing will! I think that concoction would be illegal to serve in a bar today – well an Australian one at least. We have become quite the over-nannied country after all. No wonder personal responsibility is on the decline. Sigh. Enough said.

Some decades later …

Image of a Vintage cranberry cocktail poster

The next potential contender for the Cosmo as we know it was designed by Ocean Spray in the 1960s. The Harpoon was made as a way to make the company’s cranberry juice more appealing to adults.

Containing cranberry, vodka or light rum and served “over the rocks or tall with soda”, The Harpoon also suggested an optional addition of lime or lemon juice.

But even The Harpoon is disputed as the mother of the modern version of the Cosmopolitan. This may have come closer to the 1990s after all.

At left:
A vintage advertising poster of an Ocean Spray cocktail. Could this have been The Harpoon?

Image via Pinterest, with credit to HoozeStuff on Etsy.

All things considered, cocktails like the Cosmopolitan have evolved over the years and no one knows for sure how they began – or even who made the first one ever. The Diffords Guide article is a good one to read if you have an interest in this, so head to the website and read the full article to find out the rest.

But for now I’m going to share my version of how I like to make the Cosmpolitan.

The wonderful, classic Cosmopolitan Cocktail

The wonderful, classic Cosmopolitan Cocktail

Recipe by Marti Cuatt

Take a seat with your friends and enjoy this refreshing boozy blend of yum

Course: Cocktails, RecipeDifficulty: Easy
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Prep time


Shaking time


Clever Cooking

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You will need

  • 90 ml good quality vodka, chilled

  • 60 ml cranberry juice

  • 45 ml Triple Sec liquer (or Cointreau)

  • 20 ml freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 1 strip of orange rind, twisted – for garnish

Here’s what to do

  • Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice
  • If desired, add a couple of strips of orange rind with no pith
  • Put the lid on and shake vigorously for 30 seconds to a minute
  • Strain into chilled cocktail glasses of your choice and garnish with orange rind

Tips and tricks

  • Replace plain vodka with citron vodka for another authentic version.
  • Mix it up and replace cranberry juice with raspberry juice for a fruity change.

More fabulous cocktails to try

A picture of two Espresso Martinis and some coffee beans

The Espresso Martini – another favourite. Perfect for kicking off Friday nights after work.

Image of a jungle bird cocktail in a vintage tumbler glass.

A happy bird is a Jungle Bird – and what can be happier than rum, campari, pineapple and lime to get the toes tapping.

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  1. Pingback: The Espresso Martini, perfection in a glass - The Infatuated Foodie

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