According to the International Bartenders Association, no one knows who invented the Cosmopolitan (or Cosmo), but the cocktail has been a bar staple since the 1970s. The show “Sex and the City” recently revitalized the drink, which stemmed from another popular cranberry cocktail, the Cape Cod.


The main ingredient is a single ounce of vodka. The International Bartenders Association claims that the original Cosmopolitan called for citron, or lemon-flavored vodka, but today, any vodka can be used for the drink.

Triple Sec

The next ingredient is a half-ounce of triple sec, an orange-flavored liquor. Other top shelf liquors can be used, such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau, but some bartenders prefer to use orange juice to make the cocktail sweeter.

Lime Juice

Next is a half ounce of lime juice, usually the Rose’s brand.

Cranberry Juice

Finish with a half ounce of any brand of cranberry juice.


The most common garnish for a Cosmo is an orange peel or an orange wedge, but many other garnishes have been used, especially for the different varieties of the cocktail. Other garnishes could be a lemon slice, a lime wedge, a maraschino cherry, a blackberry or a strawberry.

Cosmo Variations

There is a long list of variations to the Cosmo, but all generally stick to the set list of ingredients. Other fruit juices, such as sweet and sour mix and grapefruit juice, can be added, and sometimes other liquors, such as tequila, rum, and even brandy, are substituted for the vodka.

References and Resources

Drinks Mixer