Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe

The Cosmopolitan, affectionately called “Cosmo,” is a stylish cocktail that gained considerable fame in the 1990s, largely thanks to the hit TV show “Sex and the City.” Created with a blend of vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice, and a dash of lime juice, it’s a drink that fits the bill for almost any occasion. It gained modern fame thanks to iconic bartender Dale DeGroff, who served it to Madonna. 

Dale DeGroff became famous for adding a flaming orange peel as a garnish to his Cosmo, making it a showstopper at his Rainbow Room bar in New York City.

This cocktail is perfect for celebratory events, dinner parties, or a girls’ night.

Fun fact: Did you know that the original Cosmopolitan was likely born in the 1970s, before its televised popularity?

Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe

Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe

This cocktail is perfect for celebratory events, dinner parties, or a girls' night.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 4 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1 drink
Calories 240 kcal


  • Cocktail shaker
  • Martini glass or coupe glass
  • Double strainer
  • Peeler for orange zest
  • A match or lighter
  • Jigger for measuring


  • 1.5 oz Vodka Ketel One recommended; substitute: any premium vodka
  • 0.5 oz Cointreau substitute: Triple Sec
  • 1.5 oz Cranberry juice substitute: cranberry juice cocktail
  • A squeeze of fresh lime juice substitute: pre-packaged lime juice
  • Ice cubes


  • Choose your desired glass, either a martini glass or a coupe. Also, have your cocktail shaker ready.
  • Pour 1.5 oz of vodka into the cocktail shaker.
    1.5 oz Vodka
  • Add 0.5 oz of Cointreau to the mix.
    0.5 oz Cointreau
  • Go for a balanced flavor with 1.5 oz of cranberry juice instead of 1 oz.
    1.5 oz Cranberry juice
  • Just a few drops will do; do just what is necessary.
  • Fill the shaker with ice and shake it well until well chilled.
    Ice cubes
  • Pour the liquid through a double strainer into your chosen glass.
  • Use a peeler to shape another piece of orange zest. Please give it a twist and add it to the glass.

Flamed Orange Zest:

  • Slice a swath of orange peel.
  • Light a match, letting it burn momentarily to remove the sulfur.
  • Heat the orange peel slightly.
  • Squeeze it over the top of the drink, allowing the oils to catch fire briefly before extinguishing.



Pro Tips for Success:

  • Use a premium vodka for a smoother taste.
  • Adjust cranberry juice based on your preference; 1 oz is recommended.
  • Double straining helps to remove ice shards and pulp, making your drink smoother.

Calculate the Nutrition of the Drink:

  • Calories: 220
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Sugars: 11g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Fat: 0g
Keyword Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe

What is the difference between a Cosmopolitan and Metropolitan cocktail?

Below is a comparison table to highlight these differences:

Main SpiritVodkaBrandy
Secondary SpiritCointreau (or Triple Sec)Sweet Vermouth
Juice ElementCranberry juice and a squeeze of lime juiceLemon juice
GlasswareMartini or coupe glassCocktail glass
GarnishLime wheel or flamed orange zestLemon twist or cherry
Flavor ProfileCitrusy and slightly tart, with a cranberry undertoneSweet and fruity, with a brandy base
Shaken or StirredShaken with ice and double strainedStirred with ice and strained
PopularityHighly popular, especially since the 1990sIt is less commonly found but a classic in its own right
OccasionVersatile—good for dinner parties, girls’ nights, and celebratory eventsBest suited for intimate settings, like dinner parties or a quiet evening
ColorPinkish or light redAmber or light brown
Additional FlavorsCan add a flamed orange zest for a smoky undertoneSome variations include a dash of simple syrup or Angostura bitters
OriginOriginated in the 1970s but gained popularity in the 1990sThe origin is unclear, but it’s a classic cocktail that predates the Cosmopolitan