The Cosmopolitan Cocktail, or the Cosmo as it is informally called and asked for in bars and restaurants, is a cocktail made from ingredients like vodka, cranberry juice, triple sec, and fresh lime juice. It is one of the most popular cocktails in the world, because it is sweeter and women prefer it, because it usually features a bright red or pink color and because it was mentioned in numerous films, including the famous TV series Sex and the City, where it was the favorite drink of the show’s main character, Carrie Bradshaw.
The Cosmopolitan Cocktail is served in a traditional cocktail glass, straight up – meaning without ice. The bartender can choose to decorate the glass with a slice of lemon, or a lime wedge, and even to sweeten the lime juice from the mix. The origins and history of this alcoholic beverage are controversial and disputed, and the International Bartenders Association states that its original recipe featured vodka citron, which is lemon-flavored vodka. Furthermore, the Cosmo’s recipe is similar to those of two more cocktails, the Kamikaze and the Cape Codder. As far as origins are concerned, it is believed that the drink was invented sometime during the 1970s, but by a number of different bartenders, independently.
What is certain about the history of the Cosmopolitan Cocktail is that it was brought to San Francisco in 1987 from Ohio, by John Caine, the owner of several bars who helped popularize cocktails. However, other sources claim that the creation of the Cosmo is the achievement of the gay community in Provincetown, MA. Whatever its origins may be, one thing is certain: the Cosmopolitan Cocktail was and still is a popular cocktail, perhaps due to the fact that no two bartenders prepare it the same.
There are many variations of recipes for this pink cocktail; some of them call for ingredients like Absolut Citron, triple sec, Roses lime and enough cranberry to become pink. Another famous recipe created by Melissa Huffsmith replaces the triple sec with Cointreau and fresh-squeezed lime juice, and mentions that the resulting drink should only be slightly pink. As it travelled from state to state, the Cosmo gained more popularity and perhaps even more mystery, but it truly exploded when it became a motif in Sex and the City. This elusive potion served in a martini glass enchanted the taste buds and palates of many women since then, and probably those of a few men who won’t admit it, too.