Hello, cosmonauts! (Okay, I’m buzzed, and even I know that’s a terrible joke. Sorry.) This week on Six Drinks Too Many I’m exploring the fancy little pink thing known as the Cosmopolitan (hence the terrible cosmonauts thing). I’ve got eight Cosmo recipes to look at, and this week I’m going to start posting a bit differently — I’ll be giving you four recipes on Wednesday, and four on Friday. So do be sure to check back in in two days.
Anyway, this drink owes a lot of both its recent popularity and reputation to Sex and the City. That reputation, that’s really the kicker. This is generally regarded as the most frou-frou of the well-known frou-frou drinks, a libation only acceptable for girly girls and flaming gay men to drink. And if we’re to believe certain conventional wisdom that part of that group is going to Hell, then the Cosmopolitan should truly be avoided at all costs.
NAY I SAY! The Cosmo is actually a pretty good little cocktail. It’s a good version of the sour template, and it has a pretty interesting (and satisfying) taste for a drink with its reputation. Plus, the way it’s put together really lends itself to experimentation and variation. At its most basic level, it’s just a base liquor, a sweetening liqueur, a souring agent, and a fruit juice for coloring and body. With that template, you can do some great stuff with the humble Cosmo if you don’t change too many of the ingredients..
So, let’s get started.
-1 1/2 oz Lemon or Citrus Vodka
-1 1/2 oz Triple Sec
-1 oz Lime Juice
-2 dashes Cranberry Juice
So, interesting fact, the original Cosmopolitan was actually a bit of a stiffer drink than it is now, with the cranberry juice included only for the pink color. Thus, the alcohol-to-mixer ratio was a bit higher. To think — if it weren’t for the cranberry juice making this drink pink, men everywhere could drink this without fear of ridicule.
Anyway, this is quite good. The lime juice is actually really noticeable, and the two alcoholic ingredients balance out each other really well to make a smooth flavor. If you have a Y chromosome, you still might find it difficult to order this at a bar. I understand. I’ve been there bro. But you can’t let this system of oppression tear you down. Fight the power, and drink what you want to drink. Because, if made well, the stiffer Cosmo might just make you stiff.
So, shake the liquid ingredients with ice, and strain into a cocktail glass. Rub the lemon twist around the rim of the glass, twist it over the drink and drop it in. And while I’m here, I might as well tell you that you make all of these variations (except one) the same way, but not all are garnished with a lemon twist. Therefore, I’m not going to rewrite how to make these drinks every time. Also, while I’m here, any time you see lemon twist as a garnish, a lime wheel or lime wedge is also acceptable (or, you can even think of your own quirky garnish — just don’t get to adventurous there, Indy).
Side note: Unless otherwise noted, these recipes call for lemon or citrus vodka. However, regular vodka is acceptable, your drink just won’t be as interesting. Although, if you do use the appropriately-flavored vodka, Absolut Citron is generally accepted as the best choice. It’s what I use, and I must say, it is excellent.
-2 oz Lemon or Citrus Vodka
-3/4 oz Triple Sec
-2 tsp Lime Juice
-1 1/2 oz Cranberry Juice
Order a Cosmo at a bar, and you might get something closer to this than the drink above. It’s pretty alright. The increase in cranberry juice makes it smoother, and the decrease in lime juice lets you really taste the vodka. So, if you like a good liquory taste, this is for you. If not, maybe reduce the amount of vodka by a half ounce. Definitely use a good vodka for this one, either way.
So, this is good, and there’s not really not much more I can say about it. I mean, I can say that frat boys shouldn’t diss this drink, ’cause this will get you drunk faster than all the butt-chugging in the world. But, if I did say that, it would be disgusting. Therefore, I will not mention the act of stuffing alcohol up one’s anus in an effort to get drunk faster at all, and simply say that this drink is pretty strong, so don’t mock it.
Blue Raspberry Cosmopolitan
-1 1/2 oz Raspberry Vodka
-3/4 oz Blue Curacao
-1/4 oz Lime Juice
-1 oz White Cranberry Juice
This one is something I came up with, but as always, I’m sure some enterprising individuals have concocted similar cocktails before me.
This was inspired by my childhood love of blue raspberry flavored candy. I’ll fully admit that this is really a novelty cocktail, but damn, it’s really good. It’s like a childhood playground and alcohol all in one — which, in any other case is a terrible idea and could land you a court date. However, in this case, it is quite good, and not at all illegal.
So, make it normally, and garnish with the raspberries. Drink it, and imagine how much better your childhood would have been if vodka was a part of it. Or, maybe that’s a terrible idea. Kids, don’t drink and play. Actually, kids, don’t read this blog. Just, like, visit it every week so I get the traffic. But don’t read it!
FYI, this drink is a little tart, so feel free to add some sugar or simple syrup if you want it sweeter. Sweeten it to your own taste. You can also use the pre-bottled sweetened lime juice, but that sort of has a weird flavor.
-1 1/2 oz Grape Vodka
-1/2 oz Triple Sec
-2 tsp Lime Juice
-1 oz Grape Juice
Once again, this is my own recipe, and, once again, I’m sure I’m not the first to make one of these drinks. This drink and the last are examples of the cool things you can do with the Cosmo template, and the Cosmo template is a great thing to look at if you have some flavored vodka that you’re not sure what to do with.
In any case, there are few things in this life that are as good as artificial grape. It’s probably the only reason I ever took cough syrup, and therefore the only reason I didn’t die from a cold as a child. I don’t care if it doesn’t taste like real grape — sometimes imitation is better. Artificial grape is like the best fake breast the porn world has to offer.
Anyway, this drink is good. As good as a great fake boob. Feel free to experiment with the proportions, but be careful — it’s really easy to make a fake boob look awful. Don’t believe me? Go to YouPorn, look around a bit, and imagine that, but in a cocktail glass.
Make it like the other Cosmos, but with the grapes as garnish. Also, use whatever type of grape juice you want. It’ll taste mostly the same, but the color will be different.
To be continued…
And, in the interest of not posting too much at once, I’ll be giving yo the rest of my recipes on Friday. So check back then, and we’ll have a grand old time.