We first tried a Cosmopolitan in the mid-1980s. For some reason, our gang loved going to this particular bar that specialized in fried calamari and Cosmopolitans. People who didn't normally like cocktails were in love with this drink, much like people who normally didn't read much were in love with the book The Bridges of Madison County. We associated the drink with "new wave" music, Esprit clothes, fun haircuts and die-cut white cowboy boots. As we continued living in our little cocoon, the drink became a bar standard.
Regular readers know our lack of enthusiasm for vodka and we've resisted the Cosmopolitan for years. But no other drink gets more requests for coverage in these sacred pages of MrLucky than The Cosmopolitan. So we asked Tim Glazner (a.k.a. Swanky) to provide us with some insight into this drink, and readers, we must admit it isn't bad. Especially Tim's clever variation, The Swanky Cosmopolitan. We have a hunch we'll be drinking them all Spring.
No, The Cosmopolitan is not The Millionaire's erudite brother, but a swank potent potable. One's first instinct might be to shun this red drink. It has the look of a girl's drink. But lay aside those bigoted thoughts. First of all, if it's a Cosmo worth drinking (not watered down), it will actually be pink, not red. That's even worse for those who fear an insult to their manliness!
The origins of the Cosmopolitan are unclear. It has a couple of relatives. The Cape Codder is close, but you may get blank looks ordering one. The Kamikaze is another cousin. That little shooter is for college kids on a jag. The Cosmo is more refined than either. Three things give the Cosmo its class: #1 being served straight up in a classic cocktail glass, #2 the sophisticated sounding name and #3, being chock full of liquor.
The basic Cosmopolitan calls for two parts vodka, one part Cointreau and one part cranberry juice with a squirt of lime. Pour it in the shaker over ice and stir until you get frost on the outside. Strain it in a chilled cocktail glass. You can play with the recipe quite a bit. Absolut Kurant and Citron make for very lovely versions of the original. Some like lemon instead of lime. It shouldn't make much difference. I've had a quite eye-pleasing version with a sliver of curled lemon peel tossed in. My own personal refinement calls for one part vodka and one part gin. You can call that drink The Swanky, I won't mind. Using three or four parts vodka isn't too bad either.
Vodka has to be one of the most versatile liquors. If it can go with cream in a White Russian and orange juice in a Screwdriver, it must mix with anything. And believe me, it does. The better the vodka, the smoother it goes down. Stoli is great, but for pure, unfettered drinkability, go for Absolut. Avoid fancy bottles like Skyy. Good vodka does not need a gimmicky bottle.
A really nice bar will serve you a Cosmopolitan, like a Martini, with an extra serving in a chilled carafe on the side. Remember the bar that does this for you. It's a keeper.
Another nice thing about the Cosmopolitan is how it has its way with the ladies. The fact that it is pink makes it look rather innocent. Having one in front of you on the bar will often cause ladies to ask you what it is. And this usually results in their trying one. You rogue, your foot's in the door! Order one for your date and she'll be impressed. It's a lovely drink for her, and for him. Two or three for her and you're best friends before you know it!
So be bold. Show you have a tight hold on your manliness that no pink cocktail can shake! Get that cosmopolitan air! Live it up!
don't forget these other fine drinks and cocktails...
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