The Cosmopolitan/photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman

The Cosmopolitan. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman

What else with the fried chicken for a graduation lunch? Any special beverages for graduation? “Kathy likes Cosmos,” our soon-to-graduate daughter offered. We considered. But this was lunch, so we decided to keep it to wine and beer, and a champagne toast for the three graduates we were to celebrate (gosh, they are so much more responsible than I was, praise the Lord). But that Cosmo idea. It stuck. Because Kathy Mustee, wife and mom of four including newly graduated twins, is a pleasure to be with, smart, and, significantly, she is not to be trifled with. Even my daughter fears the Wrath of Kathy, the only person I know her openly to fear (I’d have paid Kathy for lessons had I known). And she likes Cosmos.

Clearly, the Cosmopolitan, a pink vodka-based drink needed to be reconsidered. The Wiki description is fascinating for its history. This is a young cocktail, I knew, but I had no idea how colorful a cocktail of only a generation could be. So I mixed one, determined to make it today’s Hour, and I’ll be damned if it’s not a superlative cocktail, vodka and all. I’m offering two versions, the standard (minus the citron vodka, see history, add lemon if you want lemon), followed by what I prefer. Everything to taste as always.

I can’t help thinking though, Wrath of Kathy notwithstanding, that gin would be better. Isn’t it always?

But that’s for another Hour. Till then, cheers, congrats, and thanks to our friends Kathy and Kevin (and Barb and Clem!).

Good summer to all!

The Cosmopolitan

This is traditional and would have been what Carrie Bradshaw was served until she stopped drinking them because everyone else started.

  • 1.5 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice
  • 0.5 ounce triple sec
  • 0.5 ounce lime juice
  • Lime slice garnish
  1. Combine all ingredients except the lime slice in a container, fill it with ice, stir till everything is nice and cold and the ice has tempered the hooch.
  2. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
  3. Garnish with lime slice.

Ruhlman’s Cosmo For Real Men

(and fake men) (and women who are girlie men down deep)

This is my preference for strength, size, and especially the balance between the sweetness of the triple sec component—here, Cointreau—and the acidity of the lime.

  • 60 grams vodka (2 ounces)
  • 45 grams cranberry juice (1.5 ounces)
  • 25 grams Cointreau (a little less than 1 ounce—0.892857 to be [almost] exact)
  • 20 grams lime juice (0.75 ounce)
  • Lime slice garnish
  1. Combine all ingredients except the lime slice in a container, fill it with ice, stir till everything is nice and cold and the ice has tempered the hooch.
  2. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
  3. Garnish with lime slice.

 

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© 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.

 

 

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23 Wonderful responses to “Friday Cocktail Hour: The Cosmopolitan”

  • Michael Villar

    “not to be trifled with”. Someone’s a Princess Bride fan.

  • Darcie

    I have a hard time warming up to vodka drinks. I’ll just have to wait for the gin version.

    • Michael Ruhlman

      bless you. someone on twitter recommended tequila instead of vodka.

      and i’ll tell donna!

  • Allen

    Glad your still using a martini glass for the real men version, and not a coffee mug, or red plastic cup.

  • mb

    One of my favorites… although I must admit I reallylike Ruhlman’s Cosmo For Real Men

  • marco collins

    Actually, a nice tequila bianco works instead of vodka also. 1800 Silver tastes great in it.

  • Ruthy @ Omeletta

    I’ll vouch for a mellow gin in place of vodka in a Cosmo- it’s delicious. A good crisp Cosmo is hard to beat in the summertime.

  • allen

    Coudos to Emilia for recomending Angels and Envy bourbon.
    Bueno bueno! Do not mix, sip it.

    No slammin goddamit!

  • allen

    Coooooo does.
    Kaaaas hhhooooo does.
    Cooodoes.
    Cudose.
    Sumptin ’bout sumptin, wida sumpin dumpin…

  • armymum

    I prefer the Cointreau version too and have been known to use pomegranate juice in place of the cranberry juice…..

  • tomsaaristo

    armymum
    I prefer the Cointreau version too and have been known to use pomegranate juice in place of the cranberry juice…..

    Me too :)

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  • Curt

    Next time your mixing these up, give this spec a try
    .25 simple syrup
    .5 cranberry juice cocktail
    .75 lime juice (juice from the blossom end of the lime tastes better)
    .75 cointreau
    1.5 vodka (citron is, as you know, classic; and perhaps worthwhile)

    SHAKE everything with plenty of ice, strain into a chilled glass, and garnish with an orange twist (flamed if you’ve got a match).

    By no means the greatest drink out there, but made like this, it could actually be worth seeking out.

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