Jessica Parker is the GURU on Cosmopolitan Cocktails

Cosmopolitan cocktail in a bar

Jessica Parker is the GURU on Cosmopolitan Cocktails.

This classic, elegant vodka cocktail made famous by the ladies of Sex and the City! Not too sweet, not too tart, super quick to make made with cranberry juice, lime juice, vodka and cointreau.

Serve this for elegant pre dinner drinks, to ring in the New Year or an evening in with the girls!

Cosmopolitan cocktail in a bar

Cosmopolitan Cocktails

I love Cosmos for how easy they are to drink – and how I always feel like I’m channeling the New-York-Gal within as I daintily sip away!

Truthfully though, I live in the Northern Beach of Sydney. I spend my days in flip flops, denim shorts and comfortable tees, a whirlwind of activity between the kitchen, shooting area and my computer.

About as far from NYC-like as you can get.

But with a glass of Cosmo in my hand? I feel a little bit closer to the glitz and glam of NYC! 😂

What do cosmos taste like?

Cosmos are sweet with a touch of tang from lime. They taste of cranberry juice with orange (from the Cointreau), and though there’s a considerably slug of alcohol in it with equal parts alcohol to non alcohol, you can’t taste it very much. They are dangerously drinkable!

Pouring cosmo from cocktail shaker

What you need for Cosmos

Here’s what you need:

  • Cranberry juice, SWEETENED – be sure not to use unsweetened cranberry juice, it’s very tart…. too tart! You need the sweet cranberry juice to get the right balance of sweet. Accidentally got unsweetened? Save it – make a simple syrup with equal parts sugar and hot water to dissolve, cool, then add as needed.;
  • Vodka – plain, unflavoured vodka. Use mid shelf because there’s quite a lot of vodka in Cosmos. Top shelf if your budget stretches that far….but I typically serve top shelf vodka straight.
  • Cointreau – this is a clear orange flavoured liquor called triple secCointreau is a brand of triple sec, the best, in my opinion (certainly the most well known).
  • Lime juice – fresh!
What goes in Cosmopolitan cocktails

With 3 full shots of alcohol, Cosmos are pretty potent!!

How to make Cosmopolitan Cocktails

Just pour everything into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake well to chill, then strain into a martini glass.

The classic garnish is orange peel. The extra little fragrance you get as you drink the Cosmopolitan drives home the orange flavour and is really lovely!

How to make Cosmopolitan cocktails

When to serve Cosmopolitan Cocktails

Cosmos are one of those cocktails that are quite elegant so they’re ideal to serve at dinner parties as a pre dinner drink. Plus, it’s a pretty short drink (as opposed to large volume tall drinks like Tequila Sunrises) so you don’t fill up on cocktails before dinner.

And while I say they’re a classy drink, I also think of Cosmos as fun too! Think – Girls’ Nights Out (well, nights IN!), Bachelorette Parties, Christmas (on theme colour!), Thanksgiving, and other holiday occasions!

Cosmos in a glass, ready to drink

What to serve with Cosmos

I think Cosmos are the sort of cocktail that are ideal to serve with finger food. Try Crostinis with your choice of toppings, Mini Quiche or Smoked Salmon Appetizer Bites, or have a browse through all my Party Foods.

Cosmopolitan Cocktails would also pair beautifully with a homemade Gravlax. It’s easy – impressive! – Nagi x

Watch how to make it

Cosmopolitan cocktail in a bar


Cosmopolitan Cocktails

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Recipe video above. A wonderful classic, elegant cocktail made famous by the ladies of Sex and the City! The key is to get the balance of each component just right so it’s not too sweet, not too tart.

I particularly love Cosmos because they’re so quick and easy to make. Also works well to make a big jug and keep it cold in the fridge.

SCALE RECIPE using slider to fit the glass/jug you’re using.

Be sure to use SWEETENED cranberry juice. Unsweetened (no added sugar) is too tart.



  • Fill cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Add vodka, cointreau, cranberry juice and lime. Shake vigorously 10 times.
  • Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with orange peel.


1. Vodka – there’s a decent slug of vodka in Cosmos so be sure to use a decent vodka. Absolut is my mid-shelf vodka of choice. I reserve top shelf (expensive) vodka for drinking straight!

2. Cointreau is a sweet orange flavoured liquor, called triple sec. If you can’t find Cointreau, another brand will be fine.

3. Cranberry juice – don’t get “” unsweetened cranberry juice, you’ll find the drink too potent! Need the sugar in the cranberry juice. If you accidentally got unsweetened, make a simple syrup with equal parts white sugar and hot water*, dissolve sugar, chill, then add to your drink to take the sour edge off.

* In the event of a cocktail emergency (I get it!), speed things up as follows: 2 parts white sugar, 1 part boiling water, mix to dissolve, then add 1 part ice for rapid chill.

4. Nutrition per drink.


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Originally published October 2019. Writing refreshed in December 2021. No change to my Cosmos!

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