Home Cocktails Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe (A Classic!)

Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe (A Classic!)

This delicious Cosmopolitan cocktail is ideal for brunch or a fun night at home. 

It’s even more perfect for a Sex in the City watch party! 

Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe (A Classic!) featuring A person pouring a pink cosmopolitan cocktail into a glass, with a full glass and a cutting board with limes behind it
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There’s nothing fancier than sipping on a Cosmo. It’s pretty in pink and tastes just as good as it looks with its tart, fruity flavors. 

It tastes like cranberry, lime, orange… all the good stuff. 

The classic Cosmopolitan is a cocktail that will never go out of style. Which is more than you can say for some of Carrie’s late ‘90s fashion choices!

So, enough talk. Let’s check out this easy Cosmopolitan cocktail recipe.

What’s in a Cosmopolitan Cocktail?

Cosmos taste light, refreshing, and not-too-sweet. And they go down a little too easy. 

Here’s a quick peek at the components of this classic cocktail.

  • Ice- The best way to enjoy a Cosmo is lightly chilled. This is where the ice comes in.
  • Vodka- Since this is a mixed drink, the vodka isn’t the most vital component. You can use plain vodka or experiment with flavored vodka (like Absolut Citron). 
  • Lime Juice- Fresh is always best! It adds the perfect kiss of tartness.
  • Triple Sec/Cointreau- Carrie Bradshaw’s Cosmo used Cointreau, but you can also use Triple Sec. Triple sec is the more affordable option. However, it’s not as smooth and citrusy as Cointreau.
  • Cranberry Juice- Adding a splash of cranberry juice gives the Cosmo its patented pink coloring. And also, the perfect amount of sweetness.
  • Lime Wheel (Optional)- The lime wheel garnish is optional but adds fabulous flair. 
Two glasses of homemade cosmopolitan cocktail with limes on a cutting board in the background

How to Make a Cosmopolitan Cocktail

You won’t believe how quickly this cocktail comes together! 

Start Sex and the City, and it’ll be ready by the end of the opening credits.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how easily this cocktail comes together.

1. Add ice. Fill a cocktail shaker to the top with ice.

2. Pour in the booze and mixers. Pour cranberry juice, lime juice, and vodka over the ice. Shake well for about 30 seconds or until the cocktail shaker is cold to the touch.

3. Strain. Pour the Cosmo into a martini glass through the strainer on the shaker.

4. Garnish. Add a lime wheel to the rim of the glass (optional), and enjoy!

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Two glasses of cosmopolitan cocktail with lime and more limes and a pitcher of cranberry juice in the background

Tips and Tricks

Check out these simple tricks for the perfect Carrie Bradshaw-approved Cosmopolitan.

  • Chill your glass. The trick for the perfect Cosmo is to keep things nice and cold. A chilled glass keeps things cold without watering down your drink. 
  • Double strain. No one wants a watery Cosmo! Double straining ensures no ice chips or lime pulp are in the final cocktail.
  • Use cranberry juice cocktail. Most times, pure fruit juice works best- but not for the Cosmopolitan! Cranberry juice cocktail has simple syrup added in, which makes your life easier. If using pure cranberry juice, you may need to add a splash of simple syrup.
  • Make it a mocktail. You can make this cocktail family-friendly by substituting booze for orange juice. If you want to add a little extra flair, add sparkling water.
Two cosmopolitan cocktails with lime and cranberry juice and lime halves in the background

How to Serve a Cosmopolitan Cocktail

Here are a few ways to serve Cosmos at your event. 

  • Use a coupe or martini glass. This simple cocktail recipe works best in a shallow coupe or martini glass. Remember to pop your glasses in the freezer to chill!
  • Get fancy with garnishes. A lime or lemon twist takes this cocktail over the top. It’s fancy and adds a hint of fresh citrus flavors. 
  • Always serve immediately. This isn’t the type of cocktail you can make in advance. It works best when it’s perfectly chilled, so don’t waste any time when it comes out of the cocktail shaker!

Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe (A Classic!)




The Cosmopolitan cocktail is a classic, classy, and delicious drink. You only need 4 ingredients, ice, and a garnish to make your Cosmo. Perfect for parties!


  • Ice

  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka

  • 1/3 ounce lime juice

  • 1/2 ounce triple sec/Cointreau

  • 1 ounce cranberry juice

  • Lime wheel, for garnish (optional)


  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add vodka, lime juice, triple sec, and cranberry juice. Shake until well-chilled for about 30 seconds, or until the shaker is cold.
  • Strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.
  • Serve and enjoy!


  • Triple Sec vs. Cointreau. While both are orange liqueurs, Cointreau is a type of triple sec of higher quality. Either works.
  • Cranberry Juice Choices. Both sweetened and unsweetened cranberry juice work. If you choose the latter, add a dash of simple syrup or agave to balance the tartness.
  • Vodka Variations. An authentic Cosmopolitan uses citron vodka, allowing you to skip the lemon juice.
  • Chilling Matters.  Always use a chilled martini glass to ensure the drink remains cold for a longer duration.
Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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