Capture Manhattan's Magic With This Cosmopolitan Recipe

It's time to let your pink flag fly! Experience the classic cosmopolitan's tart flavors with this easy recipe.

Updated January 20, 2024
Two cosmopolitan cocktails

You might know it as Carrie's cocktail, but we call it the cosmopolitan. When it comes to a storied drink, you can't go wrong with a delicious and classy cosmo. Infused with citrus and cranberry flavors, it's no wonder why the Sex and the City girls have this cocktail on speed dial. Make like Carrie Bradshaw and manifest the life of your dreams starting with this delicious cosmo.

How to Make the Quintessential Cosmopolitan 

The cosmopolitan burst onto the scene around the mid-1930s with a basic recipe comprising of gin, Cointreau, lemon juice, and raspberry syrup. The modern recipe that's favored by housewives, spring breakers, and bankers alike isn't too far removed from the original one but stands out on its own. Capture the vibrant spirit of this Jazz Age cocktail with our easy recipe. 


  • 1¾ ounces citron vodka
  • ½ ounce cranberry juice, preferably unsweetened
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ice
  • Lemon peel for garnish


  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, citron vodka, cranberry juice, orange liqueur, and lime juice.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Related: 7 Tasty Virgin cosmopolitan Mocktails 

10 Variations and Substitutions to Try 

The cosmopolitan can withstand a few changes before it becomes a different cocktail entirely. This fortitude means you can experiment with customizations to your heart's desire! 

  • For a less intense citrus flavor, use plain vodka or an infused vodka.
  • If you want a more pronounced lime flavor, use lime vodka instead of citron.
  • Add a splash of cranberry liqueur for a bolder cranberry flavor.
  • A splash of elderflower adds a touch of floral notes.
  • Add a drop of vanilla, cardamom, lavender, or thyme bitters for a richer cosmo.
  • Use a sweetened lime juice for a less tart flavor.
  • Grapefruit-flavored vodka offers a new flavor without changing the profile too much.
  • Use blue curaçao to change the color but not the flavor.
  • Add a splash of sparkling wine to inject a few bubbles.
  • Substitute Pink Whitney for the citron vodka to up the tart factor. 

Garnishes That'll Take Your Drinks to the Next Level  

Following the recipe is only half of the battle when making a stand-out cosmopolitan. The other half is decorating it! Any garnishes will add a needed visual component to your drink that sells its fun-loving personality. 

  • Orange wedge
  • Orange wheel 
  • Orange peel 
  • Lime wedge
  • Lime wheel 
  • Lime peel 
  • Lemon slice 
  • Lemon wheel 
  • Cocktail skewered cranberries 
  • Flame an orange peel 

Let Your Pink Flag Fly 

So many people are missing out on a lovely drink because they overlook the cosmopolitan thanks to its pink hue. But anyone brave enough to down a cosmo knows that this spirit-forward cocktail packs a punch. Let your pink flag fly and sip on this iconic drink with pride!

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Capture Manhattan's Magic With This Cosmopolitan Recipe