Cosmopolitan Cocktail

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

A Cosmopolitan Cocktail or Cosmo is a classic drink with vodka, triple sec, and cranberry juice. Perfect balance of sweet and tart flavor!

This classy Drink Recipe is the perfect addition to your next girls’ night, party, or any occasion you want to make a little more fun with signature cocktail. Try our Moscow Mule and Manhattan Cocktail for more classic cocktail options for your next party.

Cosmopolitan Cocktail in glass with ingredients in background, 4x3

Sabrina’s Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe

The sweet and tart Cosmo Martini has become a go-to order at cocktail bars everywhere. It became more popular since it was the TV show character Carrie Bradshaw’s signature drink. This easy and simple lets you recreate the iconic drink at home. It’s perfect for special occasions or whenever you want to treat yourself to a fancy, classic cocktail at home.

There are a few claims about how this now iconic drink came to be. The most popular theory, according to Nio Cocktails, is that Cheryl Cook created the drink blend. After seeing how many people ordered a classic martini just because of how elegant the glass looked, she came up with the idea of exchanging the lime juice for cranberry juice. The addition of cranberry juice made the drink sweeter and gave it the signature pink color that so many people now love.

Cosmopolitan Cocktail ingredients in bottles, limes, and cocktail tools


  • Ice Cubes: Make sure that you have a cup of ice cubes ready to go for this recipe. Although you won’t use ice in the finished drink, mixing the cocktail ingredients with ice makes a more delicious chilled drink.
  • Vodka: Vodka is the base ingredient for this martini drink. But, the boozy flavor is nicely balanced by the other fruity ingredients. For a twist in flavor, you can use vodka with citrus flavor or other complimentary flavors like berry or vanilla.
  • Triple Sec: This is one of the most important Cosmopolitan ingredients. It’s a unique addition to the cocktail, and it creates the perfect balance between tangy and sweet flavors in the classic drink recipe.
  • Lime juice: Mix in 1 tablespoon of lime juice for the perfect refreshing and tangy flavor in this drink. You could bottled juice but the flavor is much better with fresh lime plus you can use the lime for a garnish. 
  • Cranberry Juice: The cranberry juice gives your Cosmopolitan the perfect fruity flavor, and when it mixes with the other ingredients, it creates the perfect pink color that the cocktail is known for.

Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker: If you like to make cocktails, you definitely want to get a good cocktail shaker. The metal helps rapidly chill the alcohol with the ice so it doesn’t get watered down. The strainer lets you pour the drink into the glass without spilling or the ice going into the glass. 
  • Alternative Shaker: If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, use a glass cup and quickly stir with a long spoon, then strain with a mesh strainer. The glass method works best if you chill the vodka in the freezer overnight.

How to Make

Time needed: 5 minutes.

  1. Prep Work

    Before combining the cocktail ingredients, chill the martini glass in the freezer. This is the best way to keep your drink chilled without adding ice to the glass.

  2. Shake the Martini

    Add vodka, triple sec, lime juice, and cranberry juice to a cocktail shaker with ice. Then shake for 20-30 seconds. The ice will chill the cocktail ingredients while you combine them in the shaker.

  3. Serve and Garnish

    Strain the drink into a chilled martini glass. Then top the Cosmopolitan Cocktail with a lime slice or wedge for garnish. Enjoy the finished Cosmo right away so that it’s still perfectly chill.Cosmopolitan Cocktail pouring cocktail in glass with ingredients in background

Can Cosmos be made ahead of time?

A Cosmopolitan is best enjoyed right away so it isn’t watered down and nicely chilled from the shaker. You could always double or triple the amount of juice and alcohol and store it in a sealed jar overnight. When you are ready to serve it, stir it so it’s evenly mixed up then pour portions in your shaker with ice to chill it then serve in individual cups.

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Cosmopolitan Cocktail
Amount Per Serving
Calories 204 Calories from Fat 1
% Daily Value*
Fat 0.1g0%
Saturated Fat 0.03g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.04g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.01g
Sodium 15mg1%
Potassium 33mg1%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 0.1g0%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 0.1g0%
Vitamin A 11IU0%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 10mg1%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Cosmopolitan Martini Tips & Tricks

  • Cosmos are Best Chilled

Part of what makes flavored martinis like a Cosmopolitan Cocktail so delicious is that they are chilled without being watered down. To keep your martini perfectly chilled, freeze your glasses overnight so your drink stays cold while you casually sip it.

  • Use Fresh Juice

Not only does using fresh juice give you the best flavor, it also keeps your martini from being cloudy. Freshly squeeze your limes but also use good quality cranberry juice found in the refrigerated section, not the concentrated shelf stable juice.

How to Serve Cosmo Martinis

The refreshing and flavorful cocktail is perfect for enjoying at dinner parties or during happy hour. A combination of fruity flavors in the cranberry juice cocktail also makes it great for serving at a summer picnic or sipping on by the pool to keep you cool. It’s excellent to enjoy before or after BBQ favorites like Pulled Pork or Grilled Cilantro Shrimp. Plus, the beautiful color of the elegant cocktail makes it a favorite birthday party or bridal shower drink. No matter when you make it, this drink is a guaranteed hit!

How to Store

If you want to make the drink in advance, or if you can’t finish the Cosmopolitan Cocktail, then you can keep it in the fridge for up to 48 hours in a sealed container. Cocktails with vodka can’t be frozen, because the alcohol won’t allow it to freeze solid.

Ideas to Serve Cosmopolitan Martinis

Frozen Cosmo: Skip the margaritas this summer and make a Frozmopolitans instead. In a blender add 8 cups of ice, ¾ cup of cranberry juice, ½ cup of simple syrup, ¼ cup triple sec, ⅓ cup of lime juice and ½ cup of vodka to a blender. Blend it until its smooth and serve immediately.

Garnishes: A thinly cut lime slice or wedge is a classic way to garnish your Cosmo. You could also use other citrus like orange, grapefruit, or lemon peel. You could also add a maraschino or brandied cherry on a cocktail pick. Or, dress up the glass of your cocktail with salt or a colored sugar rim.

Frequent Questions

Which vodka is best for a Cosmopolitan?

A classic cosmo is typically made with lemon accented vodka. Absolute Citron is an excellent lemon vodka for this sweet and sour cocktail recipe. However, there are other vodka varieties that some bartenders may prefer. A smooth vodka like Absolut Elyx or Ketel One also tastes great. If you want to get that tangy lemon flavor without a citrus vodka, you can add a few drops of lemon juice yourself.

Is cosmopolitan strong?

Although a Cosmo is often considered a “girly drink,” it’s actually fairly high in alcohol content. The pink drink is made with vodka and triple sec. Triple sec is an orange liqueur that tastes sweet and tangy. However, for such a delicious type of liqueur, it’s fairly high in alcohol. Triple sec can range from 20%-40% abv. If you get a variety ranging closer to 40%, then your Cosmopolitan recipe will be quite high in alcohol.

Recipe Card

Cosmopolitan Cocktail

A Cosmopolitan Cocktail or Cosmo is a classic drink with vodka, triple sec, and cranberry juice. Perfect balance of sweet and tart flavor!
Yield 1
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drink
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 3 tablespoons vodka , (1 ½ ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons triple sec , (1 ounce)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice , freshly squeezed (½ ounce)
  • 1/2 tablespoon cranberry juice , (¼ ounce)
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • lime wedge , for garnish


  • Add vodka, triple sec, lime juice, cranberry juice, and ice to a cocktail shaker and shake for 20-30 seconds.
  • Strain into a chilled martini glass.
  • Garnish with lime wedge.


Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 15mg | Potassium: 33mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 11IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Keyword: Cosmopolitan Cocktail

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Orange Cosmo: Triple Sec already introduces some delicious citrus flavors into this recipe. However, if you want more of an orange twist, you can add a couple of dashes of orange bitters or fresh blood orange juice.

Grapefruit Cosmo: Another delicious twist on a Cosmo is using grapefruit juice. Use freshly squeezed grapefruit juice as an alternative ingredient to cranberry juice, and enjoy this tangy cosmo.

Sparkling Wine: Add a little more pizzazz to this cocktail by adding some sparkling wine or cider to make it bubbly, like a super fancy mimosa. If you are adding wine, you might want to add a little more juice so it isn’t too boozy and strong.  

More Classic Cocktail Recipes

Cosmopolitan Cocktai collage of cosmo in glass with recipe name across middle

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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