Cosmopolitan – How to make a Cosmopolitan cocktail

TL;DR: You make a cosmopolitan cocktail by mixing and shaking vodka, lime, cointreau (or triple sec) and cranberry juice. Pour it in a chilled glass and serve.

Just like the mojito has become more and more popular over the last couple of years, the Cosmopolitan has found its way to more and more drinks menues lately. A part of the popularity of the Cosmopolitan should likely be attributed to Sex and the City (you know, the tv series) which has made it both sexy and fun to drink cocktails – not just the Cosmopolitan, but cockatils at large.

Several people are claiming to have invented the original cosmopolitan recipe (or “the cosmo”) but no one seems to know the true story. The IBA (International Bartenders Association) do however support a recipe that leans closely to this version:

What overwhelmed me was the number of people who ordered Martinis just to be seen with a Martini glass in their hand. It was on this realization that gave me the idea to create a drink that everyone could palate and was visually stunning in that classic glass. This is what the Cosmo was based on.”
— Citat: cheryl Cook

Her original recipe goes like this:

“Absolut Citron, a splash of Triple Sec, a drop of Roses lime and just enough cranberry to make it oh so pretty in pink.”
— Citat: cheryl Cook


  • 3 cl vodka
  • 2 lime wedges
  • 1 cl triple sec or Cointreau
  • 5 cl cranberry juice

How to mix

  1. Lime wedges are crushed in the shaker.
  2. Vodka, triple sec/Cointreau and cranberry juice are added in a shaker together with lots of ice.
  3. Shake thoroughly until the shaker is covered with condensation.
  4. Pour the the mix through a strainer, into a chilled cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish to glass edge with a lime wedge.
  6. Serve immediately.

This recipe I present here is not 100% identical with IBA’s official Cosmopolitan recipe – it is the recipe I prefer over it, and it has followed me for years.

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