Cosmopolitan Cocktail – The Perfect Cosmo Drink

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Of all the classic cocktails, the Cosmopolitan drink is my favorite. This recipe for The Perfect Cosmo drink is what I consider to be sheer perfection. With simple but quality ingredients and a tiny bit of know-how, you can shake up the perfect cosmo recipe too!

cosmopolitan in a long stem glass next to a shaker bottle

I’m so excited to share this cosmopolitan cocktail recipe with you! It’s one of my favorites. The colors are a playful shade of pink, perfect for all kinds of parties and celebrations.

I can see this as a flirty drink at brunch or a boozy cocktail for a bridal shower. It’s basically the perfect thing to shake up when you have something to celebrate!

pink cosmo drink with lime garnish

The Perfect Cosmo

I just love how simple it is to make this gorgeous drink! A cosmo is a classic drink that sounds and looks complicated but is actually not that at all!

The flavors combine in the perfect way. All the different citrus flavors enhance each other and bring out their unique notes. It’s a delicate dance of tart cranberries, sour limes, and sweet citrus vodka.

shaker bottle filled with cranberry, lime, and sweet citrus vodka


Have you ever wondered, “What is in a cosmo?” Well, I’m about to break that mystery – it only has four simple ingredients.

  • Vodka: Use citrus-flavored vodka for the best flavor.
  • Orange Liqueur: I prefer Cointreau.
  • Cranberry Juice: Use a no-sugar-added juice to get the strongest flavor. If you prefer really sweet drinks, use a cranberry juice cocktail.
  • Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice: Jarred lime juice isn’t as strong, so use fresh lime.
cosmopolitan cocktail in a martini glass

How to Make a Cosmopolitan Cocktail (Cosmo):

Today, I’m mixing up what I like to call “The Perfect Cosmo.” Many cosmopolitan drink recipes claim to be perfect, and I’m sure a lot of them are, but this one is perfect for me.

I love a good cosmo drink, but it’s rare for me to order one out, especially around my little town, because I’m nervous about what I will get. Will it be too strong? Will it be too sweet? Will there be sugar around the rim? (This is a bad thing, by the way – never rim a martini glass with sugar for a cosmo.)

long stem martini glass filled with cranberry lime cosmo drink

So when I want a good cosmo, I usually make them at home. What I’ve found over the years (and this applies to any martini) is that you must use very good ingredients.

Since most martinis are pretty much straight alcohol, this is not the time for cheap vodka. So pay a couple of extra bucks for the good stuff. Cointreau, versus an off-brand triple sec (an orange-flavored liqueur), also makes a big difference.

My #recipe for the Perfect Cosmo drink! #cosmo #cocktail #recipe #cosmopolitan

To make this cosmo, just pour all of the ingredients into your favorite cocktail shaker. Give it a good shake, and then pour it into your martini glass. Don’t forget to garnish with a lime wedge!

Sidenote: I really love this Mason Jar Cocktail Shaker.

close up of The Perfect Cosmo drink

Frequently Asked Questions about Cosmo Drinks

Before I get to the printable recipe card, here are some questions people often ask about how to make a cosmo at home. If you don’t see your question in this list, please leave it in the comments.

What does a Cosmo taste like?

I think a cosmo is the perfect blend of flavors. The lime adds sour, the Cointreau adds citrus and sweetness, and the cranberry adds berry and tartness. It’s a really delicious combination!

I don’t want to sound like a snob, but I think when any recipe is comprised of just a few ingredients, you should use the best ingredients possible. A lesson I learned from Ina Garten, actually.

What is the difference between a cosmopolitan and a martini?

This is a fantastic question. Actually, a cosmopolitan is a fruity mixed martini. It’s a type of martini, so there really isn’t a difference between them.

The Perfect Cosmo recipe being made in a cocktail shaker

Why is it called a cosmopolitan?

The history of this drink goes back further than Sex And The City, surprisingly! Back in 1975, a bartender named Neal Murray at Cork and Cleaver steak house in Minneapolis added a splash of cranberry juice to a kamikaze. After a taster responded, “how cosmopolitan,” the name just stuck.

Is Cointreau the same as Triple Sec?

A triple sec is a family of dry orange liqueurs. It’s confusing, but Triple Sec is both a category name and the name of a specific orange liqueur. I think Cointreau has a smoother and stronger flavor, so it’s my choice in this cocktail.

The Perfect Cosmo Cosmopolitan pinterest image

That’s a Wrap on My Cosmo Drink Recipe!

I hope you enjoy this cosmo as much as I do! Serve it in a martini glass or another party glass. It’s a fun and fruity drink with a complex dance of sweet and tart flavors.

cranberry martini drink recipe

Delicious, right? I told you! And that pink color is perfection. When I’m out and order a cosmopolitan, I can tell by the color whether it’s going to be good even before taking a sip!

I hope you enjoyed this classic cosmo drink recipe. Shake one up and let me know what you think. Cheers!

Like this Cosmo drink recipe? Here are more of my favorite martinis:

Learn How to Make The Perfect Cosmo! You'll love this classic drink recipe! #cosmo #cocktail #martini #recipe

The Perfect Cosmo

Of all the classic cocktails the Cosmopolitan is my favorite. This recipe for The Perfect Cosmo drink is what I consider to be perfection. With simple but quality ingredients, you can shake up the perfect cosmo recipe too!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cocktail, cosmo, cosmopolitan, martini
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 cocktail
Calories: 161kcal


  • oz citrus vodka
  • ¾ oz Cointreau
  • ¾ oz cranberry juice
  • ½   oz fresh lime juice
  • Lime cut into wedges


  • Add the vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice, and lime juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  • Shake vigorously.
  • Pour into a martini glass and garnish with a lime wedge.


Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.04g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 34mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 17IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.1mg

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Recipe Rating


    1. I typically use Cranberry Juice cocktail as I like the added sweetness. It’s also a bit more vibrant in color. Either will work though.

      xo Michael

  1. I am making this for my Cook Book Book Club luncheon here. We meet and each person makes a recipe from the same cook book, chosen from the host that month. The host doesn’t cook, just provides a wonderful tablescape, as well as drinks. We are having a Valentine’s theme, and this cocktail looks perfect! Question: What do you mean Citrus Vodka? Orange, Lemon, which one? I love them all, but it would change the flavor, depending on the Vodka. Thanks. My luncheon is this Friday, January 25th. Thanks so much!

    1. Susan, great question. Honestly any will work. I even like this with just plain Grey Goose. Most citrus vodkas should be clear. (I wouldn’t buy one that wasn’t.) I would try Grey Goose Le’ Citron or Hanger One Citron if you want great quality and flavor.

      xo Michael

  2. Question, where did you get those martini glasses? They remind me of the Camille wine glasses from Crate and Barrel (aka the “Scandal” glasses). Thanks!

    1. They are actually from Crate and Barrel but I got them about 4 years ago. I’m not sure if they still make them. I wish they did because I’m always terrified to use them for fear of breaking them. They’re my favorite!

      xo Michael

  3. I am totally going to try this cosmo next bunco group:) We always have a signature drink and this sounds perfect. I totally agree, no cheap vodka LOL! Who wants a headache even after just one. Btw, I love your blog design. These past few months I am on a serious gingham kick and your header is awesome! I also came by to thank you for repinning something of mine..whew, you made my blog blow up, I hope it’s still there in the morning:) XO Thank you Michael.

    1. Thanks a million Debbie! Glad to hear my pin helped! Glad you are loving the design too! Gingham will always be a favorite of mine.

      xo Michael

  4. THANKS for your recipe, Michael; I love it (almost as much as your blog). It’s quite yummy.
    However, in spite of what you say (& I usually bow to your superior hosting knowledge), I DO like the bartenders to rim my glass with sugar if they offer to do so. I LOVE my Cosmos sweet (and even a little less alcohol is fine with me as I don’t like a strong alcohol taste, but the sugar usually takes care of that – oh, and if they want to throw in a cherry or two, fine with me, as long as there’s a lime wedge). I know you’re probably cringing right now, but our differences are what make the world interesting, right? So I’ll take your very delicious Cosmo recipe and make a few tweaks or additions to make it just a little bit sweeter for me (& risk your probably eye roll – I already get it anyway from my daughters & son-in-law). YUM

    1. Haha! You are too funny Mimi! Whatever way you like it – go for it! Life it too short not have it exactly the way you want it. 🙂 Right? Who cares what I think.

      Cheers friend! xo Michael

      1. I care what you think (and so do the rest of your faithful followers — that’s why we read your blog voraciously). But you’re so right, life’s too short not to have a drink exactly the way you want it (I’m going to remember that line the next time my “kids” sigh when I ask for my Mint Julep, Cosmo, etc sweeter). Oh, and I prefer DESSERT wines, Sherry, Port, or Auslese (the sweetest riesling) with any & everything (haven’t found a red wine I like very much except for Port & red dessert wines)– so, yes, it’s definitely me, not you! I guess I have a very “immature palate” when it comes to alcoholic beverages.

      2. Awww. Well, thank you so much. But yes, enjoy things exactly how you like them and make no apologies.

        xo Michael

      3. I use Rose’s lime juice instead of fresh lime juice. It is sweet, so you may like it that way better. I would probably prefer it with the unsweetened kind bc I like things a little less sweet. I’ll have to try it

    2. I just made this fir the first time. It was yummy, but like you, MimI, I agree. I like my drinks a little sweeter or less alcohol. I like the dessert wines, too!

      1. Generally speaking, martinis are mostly alcohol, so they tend to be stronger. However, if you like sweeter drinks, you can add a couple splashes of simple syrup. It’s really easy to make (or just buy) and will definitely add a sweeter touch to your cocktails.

        xo Michael