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The cosmopolitan cocktail, typically referred to as the 'cosmo,' gained popularity during the 1990s when it was frequently mentioned on the television show Sex and the City. The combination of vodka, orange liqueur, lime juice, and cranberry juice have made it a timeless classic.

Recipe Summary

5 mins
5 mins
1 cocktail

Looking to take your at-home cocktail hour up a notch? We've got you covered. You'll feel like a legitimate mixologist when you make this foolproof cosmopolitan cocktail recipe. 

What Is a Cosmopolitan Cocktail? 

A cosmopolitan, or simply "cosmo," is a vodka cocktail made with triple sec, cranberry juice, and lime juice. The drink was invented in the 1930s, but rose in popularity in the 1990s. It became even more fashionable after it was frequently featured on Sex and the City

Cosmopolitan Cocktail Ingredients

All traditional cosmos are made with roughly the same ingredients. Here's what you'll need for this cosmopolitan cocktail: 

Use high quality vodka for the most drinkable results. 

Lime Juice
Fresh lime juice is best. Don't throw that peel away! You can use it as a garnish. 

Triple Sec
Triple sec adds sweet, citrusy flavor and tones down the taste of the vodka. 

Cranberry Juice
You can use bottled or fresh cranberry juice. If the finished cocktail is too strong, you can add more juice to taste. 

How to Make a Cosmopolitan Cocktail

Two Cosmopolitan Cocktails on white doilies
Credit: Deb C

You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below – but here's what you can expect when you make this perfect cosmopolitan cocktail: 

Combine vodka, lime juice, triple sec, and cranberry juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Cover, shake, and strain into a cosmopolitan or martini glass.

How to Serve a Cosmopolitan Cocktail

Traditionally, cosmopolitans are garnished with a twist of lime or lemon peel. For extra pizzazz, try garnishing with a Candied Lemon Peel or skewered fruits. 

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"A classic drink to enjoy with your girlfriends," according to Allrecipes Allstar RainbowJewels. "Perfect as written, wouldn't change a thing."

"I made these on Christmas Eve," says sassygirl. "They turned out really good. I actually made a pitcher of them and dipped the rim of the glass in sugar. Everybody wanted more."

"I used vanilla vodka and it was wonderful," according to Shari Williams

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


Original recipe yields 1 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine vodka, lime juice, triple sec, and cranberry juice in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, cover and shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

  • Garnish with a lime wedge.

Nutrition Facts

131 calories; protein 0.1g; carbohydrates 5.6g; sodium 1.3mg. Full Nutrition