Cosmopolitan: The Revered Libation of Mega-Metropolises T he light fruity flavor of the Cosmopolitan cocktail packs a vibrant punch of bo...

Cosmopolitan: The Revered Libation of Mega-Metropolises

The light fruity flavor of the Cosmopolitan cocktail packs a vibrant punch of boozy excitement to it, much like its disputed history. While the modern formulation of this popular cocktail seems to have developed in the 1970s, earlier versions claim it could be as old as the 1930s.

The Cosmopolitan, or Cosmo as we tend to nickname it, is fashioned from a hefty pour of Citron vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice and freshly squeezed lime juice. These ingredients are added to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shaken, and poured into a large cocktail glass. If you’ve done it just right, it should appear pink and frothy.

Naturally, it seems that every cocktail ever created has some sort of vague history that allows just about everyone to attempt to stake a claim in having a hand at creating it. Despite a recipe published in 1934 that is strikingly similar, the Cosmopolitan as we know it today arrived on the scene in the 1970s.

Where it started is a mystery though, as some people credit the drink to the gay community of Provincetown, Massachusetts. Others give credit squarely to a man named Neal Murray of the Cork & Clever, a steakhouse in Minneapolis. Rumor has it he added a touch of cranberry juice to the traditional Kamikaze and served it, to which it was declared, “How cosmopolitan!”

Perhaps the most compelling story of Cosmopolitan creation comes, not surprisingly, out of Miami. A bartender named Cheryl Cook from the famed Strand restaurant on South Beach was said to be the original mixer of this cocktail. Her original recipe calls for the use of Absolut Citron, which was not officially launched until 1988, however it was test marketed in Miami prior to that time, giving Cook access and credibility to her tale.

And there are plenty more Cosmopolitan creationism theories than these! Whatever you choose to believe though, you can’t argue with the fact that Sex and the City catapulted this cocktail into iconic status in the late 1990s. By the early 2000s, it was one of the most popular cocktails anywhere. It was the signature drink for Carrie Bradshaw and her bevy of fascinating New Yorker friends. Because of the friendships depicted in the series, it became THE drink for every woman.

It became so popular that when the Sex and the City movies came out, Carrie famously answers Miranda’s question as to why they stopped drinking Cosmopolitans with, “Because everyone else started.” No doubt, the writers had great fun working that in.

But it’s been some time now so you won’t be seen as a shark jumper for ordering a Cosmopolitan now. Plus, you can try some nifty variations. Substitute Limoncello for the lime juice and you’ll have a Cosmocello. Even pregnant women, designated drivers, and children can enjoy the Cosmopolitan, in virgin form of course. Simply swap out the vodka and triple sec with pink lemonade and orange juice.

Have you ever had a Cosmopolitan? What did you think of it?


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The Cocktails Portal: Cosmopolitan
The Cocktails Portal
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