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Cosmopolitan Desires

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 3, 2010

Today I want to talk about the Cosmopolitan.  It seems this cocktail became trendy when Sex and the City became a hit TV show.  But rather than its popularity tapering off, the cocktail just seems to more popular than ever.  I see them on every cocktail menu when I go out to dine with my wife.   It seems that people just can’t get enough.  Even I have been bitten by the bug, and have recently used the Cosmopolitan as a base for many of my cocktail creations.   (I will admit that before I tried the Cosmo I was unconvinced, as cranberry juice and lime just didn’t seem to be a match made in heaven.  Of course, once I had my first Cosmopolitan I was hooked.)

All of this, got me to thinking that my cocktails section was rather incomplete without a single Cosmopolitan cocktail so today I decided to remedy that with not one, but four versions of this great drink.  The catch is that only one of these drinks will actually use the required Vodka and be therefore a real Cosmopolitan.  The other three will be  variations I have constructed using first rum, then whisky and finally tequila.  When a combination of mixers works well for Vodka, you can be pretty sure it will work well (sometimes even better) with the other spirits we enjoy.

I guess I guess I should start with the basic Cosmopolitan.

My preferred recipe for the cosmopolitan is as follows:

The Cosmopolitan

2 oz Vodka
1 oz Triple Sec
1 oz lime juice
1 oz Cranberry juice
1 tsp of Grenadine
orange peel

Shake all the ingredients over ice
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with Orange Peel

I use the grenadine as a sweetener to bring the colour of the cocktail to a nice almost rosy pink.  (My wife likes that colour)

When I build a variation using a different base spirit, I of course, have to tweak the recipe a bit to make everything work.  So when I recently used Appleton VX rum to construct a cosmo style drink, I decided that white cranberry juice would be more elegant than the red cranberry juice.  Using Cointreau instead of Triple Sec raised the orange flavour a touch, and allowed me to drop the orange peel garnish in favour of a flamed grapefruit zest (actually that was  forrest’s idea).  And since I was not trying to accent the colour of the cranberry juice anymore, I didn’t really need grenadine anymore.   The result was a drink I called, The Traveller.  I have made it for a few people now and then, and you can trust me that if you follow my recipe the drink will a real hit.

When I built my Cosmo recipe for a whisky spirit I started with a White Vodkaesque whisky called White Owl.  This time I stayed perhaps a little truer to the original recipe. I still found I preferred Cointreau to Triple Sec, and I again used a flamed zest, but this time it was an orange peel zest.  I found that with the whisky I did not need a sugar sweetener so I left it out.   I called this recipe, Country Roads.  The response I received from this cocktail when I published my review of White Owl Whisky was extremely satisfying.  The distillery which produced the whisky (Highwood) informed me that my Cosmopolitan variation became the signature drink at a local fundraiser they were involved with for Breast Cancer.


The final Cosmopolitan style recipe I created was for a Blanco tequila,  PaQui Silvera.  Again tweaking was required for the different taste of the base spirit.   This time I had to adjust ingredients as well as the ratios of the ingredients to pull it off.   I ended up using Grand Marnier instead of Cointreau or Triple Sec as it seemed to carry the earthy agave of the tequila a little better.  I used a little more cranberry juice and a little less lime.  Finally, I put a healthy bar spoon of sugar syrup into the mix and used a lime garnish.  The result was a drink I called Metro Mexico.  Of  all of my Cosmopolitan variations which I constructed, I have to admit that Metro Mexico is my favourite.

To sum it up I guess I created this post for two reasons, the first reason is obviously to add all of these cocktails into my cocktail menu.  The second reason was just to step my readers through the process of cocktail evolution.  I love to experiment and try to find new and wonderful taste combinations.  If you have read this far, I hope I have inspired you to try some experimentation as well.

By the way if you haven’t clicked on the links to the recipes as you were reading this post, then they are listed here at the bottom of the post.  (And I should say a special thanks to forrest, for although I have not named him as a specific collaborator for each recipe, you can be sure that his advise was invaluable in the creation of these cocktails.)

Here are the Links:

Vodka Cocktail: Cosmopolitan

Rum Cocktail: The Traveler

Whisky Cocktail Country Roads

Tequila Cocktail: Metro Mexico

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2 Responses to “Cosmopolitan Desires”

  1. André said

    Great mixing there Chip. I too enjoy a cosmopolitan, but it’s very popular among my lady and her friends. It definitely is a classic as all ingredients work well together.

    I have another variation for you I call the London Snob. All I did was replace the vodka with Tanqueray Gin ; I also added a small splash of lemon juice. I don’t have the exact measurements for the exact ingredients, but I also used Cointreau instead of Triple Sec. I didn’t think the botanicals would work well, but it turned out being an outstanding variation of the Cosmo. It added the perfect amount of herbal-ness to it. Give it a try!

    • I purposely left the gin alone waiting for my next Gin review before I tried it. But I will definitely make a London Snob at the next opportunity. Thanks Andre!

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