Like most every cocktail The exact origin of the Cosmopolitan is unknown mostly because until the late ‘80s it was a similar drink that went by a different name.
In the late nineteenth century a cocktail known as the Daisy emerged as a delicious drink that was loved for its ability to modify harsher flavors of booze.
The classic recipe called for spirit, sweetener and citrus, which is similar to the structure of the Cosmo – this recipe is now known as the classic “sour family” recipe structure – but vodka wasn’t a spirit used much in cocktails like this back then, mostly because it already had little flavor to begin with and the citrus used was not cranberry, because cranberry isn’t a citrus. That being said, it’s possible that this proven drink structure is the foundation for which the Cosmo is based.
A more direct connection comes from 1968, when the folks at Ocean Spray were looking for more inventive ways to market their cranberry juice to adults. While the drink was popular to serve to children, the marketing execs were looking for ways to expand their market share, so they printed a recipe on the side of every carton of cranberry juice for a drink they called the “Harpoon.” The Harpoon called for an ounce of vodka, an ounce of cranberry and a squeeze of lime, close to the Cosmo recipe, but still missing the sweet Cointreau.
The cocktail that we commonly know as the cosmo was probably concocted in the late 80’s as a way to use the new category of flavored vodka’s, but by the late 90’s the cosmo was the drink of the decade thanks to the cosmo being the drink of choice on the HBO series “Sex in the City”. It was introduced in the second season of the hit show and 9 years later in the closing moments of the Sex in the City movie you see the 4 women drinking cosmos and as they sipped the slightly pink cocktail. Charlotte says “its so delicious” and then Miranda said “why did we ever stop drinking these” which Carrie replies “Its because everyone else started”. Thus the 10+ year rise and fall of the Cosmo.
Even today this is a cocktail that is made countless times a month at most bars. The most common mistake made with this cocktail is too much cranberry. The use of the cranberry is just a splash for color is the right amount
- 1 1/2 ounces citrus vodka - Originally made from Absolute Citron
- 1 ounce Cointreau or Gran Manier or Triple sec
- 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
= 1 splash cranberry juice
- Garnish: lime wedge
Add the Vodka, Cointreau, lime juice and cranberry juice to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.
As always I am open to hear your take and your input.