Cosmopolitan Cocktail – Perfect Cosmo Recipe

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Of all the classic cocktails, the Cosmopolitan is my favorite. This recipe for This cosmo recipe 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 drink too!

cosmopolitan in a long stem glass next to a shaker bottle
pink cosmo drink with lime garnish

I’m so excited to share this cosmo 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! It’s one of my favorite mixed drink recipes.

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.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • The sweetness of cranberry juice is perfectly balanced with the tartness of fresh lime juice, while the smoothness of vodka ties everything together.
  • It’s incredibly versatile – it’s perfect for a cozy night in or a glamorous evening out. 
  • This cosmo recipe use only the highest quality vodka, fresh-squeezed lime juice, and top-notch cranberry juice to create a drink that’s worthy of its reputation.
cosmopolitan cocktail in a martini glass

Ingredients

Have you ever wondered, “What is in a cosmo?” Well, I’m about to break that mystery – it only has four simple ingredients. Remember, using fresh ingredients is crucial for any cocktail, but it’s especially important for a Cosmopolitan.

  • Vodka: Use citrus-flavored vodka for the best flavor. I recommend using a high-quality brand that is smooth and subtle.
  • Orange Liqueur: I prefer Cointreau. This adds amazing depth of flavor.
  • 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: Fresh-squeezed lime juice is a must. It gives the cocktail a bright, tart flavor and provides balance to the sweetness of the cranberry juice.

You’ll also need a cocktail shaker. I really love this Mason Jar one.

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

I’m sharing 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.

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.

The Perfect Cosmo Cosmopolitan pinterest image

How to Make

The instructions for making a delicious cosmo recipes are pretty straightforward. I’ll walk you through them here. For your convenience, I’ve also provided a full ingredient list and detailed instructions in the printable recipe card below.

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

It’s that simple! I promise.

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

long stem martini glass filled with cranberry lime cosmo drink

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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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.

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.

What is the difference between a Cosmopolitan and a vodka cranberry?

While both cocktails contain vodka and cranberry juice, the Cosmopolitan typically includes lime juice and triple sec as well, giving it a more complex flavor profile.

Can I use different types of vodka in my Cosmopolitan?

Absolutely! While traditionally made with citrus-flavored vodka, you can experiment with different types and brands to find your perfect blend.

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.

close up of The Perfect Cosmo drink

Recipe Variations

Now that you’ve got the basic Cosmopolitan recipe down pat, it’s time to get creative and try out some variations. The following are some fun twists on the classic recipe that you can experiment with.

  • Peach Cosmo – I’ve made and shared a delicious peach cosmo here on the blog. It’s a fresh take on the classic cosmo drink recipe. Made with peach vodka this Peach Cosmo has fun and fruity flavor!
  • Carnival Cosmo – This carnival cosmo is a twist on the classic cosmo drink that add limoncello to the recipe. It’s a bright, delicious, and unique twist on the classic.
  • Mocktail Cosmo – If you want to go alcohol-free, you can substitute the vodka with a non-alcoholic spirit such as Seedlip. This alternative still imparts the same botanical flavors as gin or vodka, without the alcohol content.
  • Fruity Cosmo – For those who prefer a sweeter drink, try adding a drizzle of raspberry or strawberry syrup to the mix.

With these variations, the possibilities are endless. So, go ahead and mix up a few versions until you find your perfect Cosmopolitan. Cheers!,

cranberry martini drink recipe

More Martini Recipes You Will Love

I hope you enjoyed this classic cosmo drink recipe. Shake one up and let me know what you think. Cheers! Love it? Please leave a comment and a 5-star rating below. 

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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 6 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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • 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.

Nutrition

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




43 Comments

    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