Cosmopolitan Cocktail

Travel to the '90s with this Cosmopolitan cocktail recipe! This classic vodka and cranberry juice drink may be retro, but it's still refreshing and delicious.

Cosmopolitan cocktail

If you, like me, have seen every episode of Sex and the City, you have to learn how to make a Cosmopolitan cocktail, or Cosmo for short. This tart, refreshing vodka drink is a hallmark of the show, and when you watch Carrie and friends sip enough of them, you can’t help but want to try one.

Below, I’m sharing my go-to Cosmopolitan recipe, which is perfect for dinner parties, girls’ nights, and binge watching the Sex and the City reboot (who else is tuning in for season 2 this week?!). It has a gorgeous blush pink color and a sweet and tangy taste. Sure, a classic Cosmo is a little 1990s. But it’s also delicious. Cheers!

Cosmopolitan recipe ingredients

What’s in a Cosmopolitan Cocktail?

The Cosmo cocktail as we know it today evolved from a 1930s drink, the Cosmopolitan 1934. Its ingredients included gin, Cointreau, and lemon juice, and raspberry syrup gave it its pink color.

New York City bartender Toby Cecchini is commonly cited as the creator of the modern Cosmopolitan. He developed the vodka and cranberry juice cocktail in the late 1980s using Absolut Citron vodka, a citrus-flavored vodka that was new on the market at the time.

Here’s what’s in a classic Cosmopolitan cocktail:

  • Vodka – Despite the drink’s history, I make mine with regular, not flavored, vodka.
  • Cointreau or triple sec – The sweet orange liqueur adds citrusy depth to the drink.
  • Cranberry juice – For tart flavor and pretty pink color.
  • Fresh lime juice – It gives the drink a bright, tangy finish.

Find my Cosmopolitan recipe with measurements below.

Pouring pink drink into glass from cocktail shaker

How to Make a Cosmopolitan Cocktail

This Cosmopolitan recipe is super simple to make!

  1. Add the vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice, and lime juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Shake until well chilled.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and enjoy.

So easy!

Cosmopolitan cocktails in glasses with orange twists

How to Serve This Cosmopolitan Recipe

A Cosmo is traditionally served in a coupe or martini glass, but of course, you can use whatever type of glass you like.

An orange or lemon twist is a classic garnish. If you’re still working on your citrus twisting skills, an untwisted piece of zest will work great instead. Just peel a strip of zest from an orange or lemon using a vegetable peeler. Careful not to cut off too much of the white pith!

Make this Cosmo recipe for a happy hour or dinner party, a girls’ night in, or any celebration. It’s vibrant, refreshing, and retro in a fun way. I hope you love it!

Cosmopolitan recipe

More Classic Cocktail Recipes

If you loved learning how to make a Cosmopolitan, try one of these classic cocktail recipes next:

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Cosmopolitan Cocktail

rate this recipe:
4.89 from 17 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Serves 1
This easy Cosmopolitan cocktail recipe is great for parties and girls' nights! The classic vodka and cranberry juice drink has a vibrant pink color and delicious sweet-tart taste.


  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • Ice
  • Orange twist


  • Place the vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, traditionally a coupe or martini glass
  • Garnish with an orange twist.


4.89 from 17 votes (15 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Deb K

    5 stars
    Delish and love that there isn’t any simple syrup in it. Well balanced and yummy.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      So glad you loved it, Deb!

  2. Mat Alexander

    3 stars
    I love the twisty orange peel!

    Personally I think that’s too high vodka ratio, too medicinal!!

    Try 2:1:2:1 as per yr ingredient list (more cranberry).

  3. Sabrina from

    thank you for this beautiful reminder of one of my favorites, will have to save this idea for later in the week during cocktail hour, and make sure I have all of the ingredients!

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Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.