Classic Cocktails & Drinks With A Funky Twist

Cosmopolitan Cocktail

5 from 15 votes

Posted: 04/27/23

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

The famous Cosmopolitan Cocktail, made with vodka, orange liqueur, lime juice, and a splash of cranberry juice is your go-to ladies’ night drink. This cocktail was made for book clubs, gossip, and laughter.

Cosmopolitan Cocktail in a glass garnished with a lemon twist

While Carrie Bradshaw might have made Cosmos famous, the first iterations of this amazing cocktail recipe date back to the 1930s. The Cosmopolitan Daisy was published in a bartending book in 1934, and it was almost exactly this same cocktail. It is believed to be the original Cosmopolitan recipe.

Cosmopolitan Cocktail Ingredients

  • Quality Vodka: Since this martini is primarily made up of vodka, you want to make sure that you use something that is high quality and that you enjoy the flavor of. Read some of our recommendations below.
  • Orange Liqueur: That same gorgeous bottle that you bought for margaritas can be used here. We also have recommendations for what variety we prefer below.
  • Lime Juice: In the world of cocktails, fresh lemon and lime juice are always preferred. That being said, you can certainly use the bottled variety in a pinch.
  • Cranberry Juice: Straight, 100%, cranberry juice is actually quite tart. We recommend using cranberry cocktail in this recipe and our other cocktails calling for cranberry juice.
Cosmopolitan Cocktail in a glass garnished with a lemon twist

What Vodka to Use

As mentioned in the recipe card, we suggest using a top-shelf vodka for this Cosmopolitan drink. The best quality vodkas for the price are Grey Goose and Belvediere. That being said, there is a rumor that Costco’s Kirkland brand vodka is actually a high-end vodka that has been sold to the whole store for a lower price point. It has won more than once in blind taste tests.

If you do need to go to a lower shelf to make this cocktail, we would recommend that you go with Tito’s.

Orange Liqueur

Orange Liqueur is exactly what it sounds like, a liqueur derived from oranges. It ranges greatly in quality and alcohol content. For our cocktails, we always spring for a bottle of Cointreau. It is at the higher end of both quality and alcohol content, and the taste quality cannot be beat. As we mentioned, it is what we use in our margaritas.

Another, more affordable option is Triple Sec. While that would work for some drinks, we do not suggest it here. It is overly sweet and not as good of a fit for this high-end cocktail.

Cosmopolitan Cocktail being poured intoa glass garnished with a lemon twist

How to Make a Cosmopolitan

This impressive, sophisticated cocktail could not be easier to shake up. Follow these three simple steps to be everyone’s favorite mixologist:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients into a metal cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Shake well until all ingredients are nice and cold.
  3. Strain the ingredients into a chilled martini glass. Enjoy!

How to Serve a Cosmopolitan Drink

As mentioned above, we love straining this ice-cold cocktail into a chilled martini glass with a lemon twist. Chiling martini glasses is an easy trick that we love for all cocktails served in them.

  1. Fill the martini glass with ice.
  2. Top the ice with cold water.
  3. Put the glass in the refrigerator for an hour.
  4. Before serving the cocktail, dump out the water and gently dry the glass.

Garnish With a Lemon Twist

To make a lemon twist, simply cut a thin slice of lemon peel. Make a slit on one side of it and then gently cut away the inside. Twist the remaining peel and set it on the edge of your glass.

Cosmopolitan Cocktail in a glass garnished with a lemon twist

Other Great Martinis

Can’t get enough of martinis? Try some of these favorites:

Cosmopolitan Cocktail in a glass garnished with a lemon twist
5 from 15 votes

Cosmopolitan Cocktail

Serves: 1 cocktail
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 5 minutes
This Cosmopolitan Cocktail recipe is a classic!  It is easy to make and perfect for sipping on with friends or by yourself on a random Tuesday night.


  • 2 ounces good quality vodka
  • 1 1/2 ounces orange liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice


  • Combine all of the ingredients in a martini shaker filled with ice.  Shake to combine and strain into a martini glass.
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Cosmopolitan Cocktail in a glass garnished with a lemon twist

Did You Make This

Cosmopolitan Cocktail

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @shakedrinkrpt and hashtag it #shakedrinkrepeat!




Lisa Longley has been creating great recipes for more than a decade. While it is too hard for her to pick her favorite cocktail, she is known to love our dirty martini.

Reader Interactions

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  1. Liz says

    5 stars
    Nothing better than the classic Cosmo! You’ll have to share your tips on making those perfect lemon twists 🙂

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you Liz!! I should do a video on those!

  2. Karen K says

    I just put my martini glasses in the freezer to chill. 🍸

    • Lisa Longley says

      We hope you enjoy this one, Karen!

  3. Judi says

    5 stars
    We absolutely love this recipe! We used Svedka vodka, Triple Sec, no sugar added (100% juice) cranberry juice and fresh lemon juice, didn’t have limes. I used a tad less triple sec because of its sweetness. All of our guests agreed, the lemon juice tasted better than other cosmopolitans we’ve had made with fresh lime juice. Give it a try with fresh lemon juice. I chill my martini glasses by rinsing them with water, shaking off the excess water and placing them in the freezer while I mix up the cosmopolitans. They come out nicely frosted. Thanks for the great recipe!!

  4. Ghislaine says

    5 stars
    This recipe is the best for taste, colour, and easy to do

  5. Debbie Beck says

    5 stars
    Cosmos are much better with crontreau(sp?) rather than triple sec!

  6. Walter says

    5 stars
    I feel like it’s a better-made drink by me than the gin martini

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