What’s so Wrong About a Cosmo?

CosmopolitanFor me?— nothing. I know many people dismiss the cocktail, which probably saw its peak about 5-10 years ago thanks to the ladies of Sex and the City. Since then, bars across the U.S. have continued to push the drink, with wild fruit variations in every color of the rainbow. What was once a good, simple cocktail has been so bastardized it’s now a punch line for cocktailians everywhere.  That fact, combined with the small uprising against all-things-vodka taking place on the internet and in speakeasy-style bars the world-round, has helped to feed a campaign to crush the Cosmopolitan. I just wanted to voice my humble opinion that it’s a rather fine drink, if made properly, and should not be entirely overlooked by cocktail lovers.

I liken a Cosmopolitan to the band Kings of Leon, and I’ll tell you why. I think Kings of Leon is a fantastic band—I enjoy their music and have heard wonderful things about their live performances. But for some reason, I feel a compelling urge to hate them. Why? Because they’re a bit played out. They’re getting too popular. Every time I turn on the radio—they’re there. They’re at every awards show, and on the lips of every super celebrity. I’m getting tired of them—just like so many of us got tired of Cosmopolitans after being served too many icky-sticky sweet ones.

But should something be hated just because it’s popular? I think not. So fix yourself this Cosmopolitan (recipe below), add some KOL to your playlist (oh c’mon…you know it’s there already…) and live without shame. Have a lovely weekend! Cheers!


1 ½ oz. Vodka (some people prefer citrus-flavored vodka-your call)

1 oz. Triple Sec (Hiram Walker)

½ oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

¼ oz. Cranberry Juice

Garnish with an orange peel and Enjoy!

*Cosmopolitan recipes should never call for sour mix or grenadine. They shouldn’t be garnished with a cherry, and shouldn’t have more cranberry juice than Triple Sec. If you’re cocktail came out blood-red, try, try again!


Filed under Recipes

8 responses to “What’s so Wrong About a Cosmo?

  1. Same thing with Coldplay, but hey, the songs are great, and so’s the drink, only problem is the color.

  2. I think the problem with them is that they did get so popular as a cocktail among a bunch of girls who were used to drinking white wines when they went out. Therefore, a lot of Cosmo’s got sent back because they weren’t sweet enough.

    The end result is most bartenders making them too sweet for real cocktail drinkers in order to be on the safe side and make sure it doesn’t get sent back.

    I’m a fan of Vanilla Cosmo’s lately (thanks to Jamie Boudreau’s concoction at Tini Biggs in Seattle).

    • cocktailculture

      Rick-couldn’t agree more. When I was behind the bar, I hardly ever got away with making a decent Cosmo. They’d always get sent back as “not sweet enough.”

      As for this Vanilla Cosmo…do share! Got a recipe?

  3. Have you seen the official IBA recipe itself has more triple sec than cranberry juice?

  4. I agree with both of you. My take on a “Appletini” got sent back for being too much Granny Smith and not enough Jolly Rancher.

  5. Pingback: What’s wrong with Cosmos? + seven other links - The Jolly Inebriate

  6. I’ll admit (with a bit of reservation) 🙂 to liking a cosmo now and again. I usually buy some nice pure cranberry juice at the health food store, which obviously makes this drink a whole lot better than thin, watery processed stuff.

    I was recently at a bar in Hamburg (Christiensens) and owner Uwe told my friend and I that he was nearly single-handedly responsible (along with the help of Dale Degroff) for the explosion of the cosmo. Is it the case? Dunno, but I always like to get a little extra story with a cocktail. (although I didn’t order a cosmo…not sure how that story came up.)

  7. Pingback: The Walker Blackberry Cosmo « Cocktail Culture

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