About this recipe
The Cosmo came to public attention when Madonna was pictured drinking it in New York's Rainbow Room in 1995. It crossed the Atlantic to Europe's definitive late-90's cocktail bars, such as the Atlantic in London and Buddha Bar, Paris, and hit the global mainstream courtesy of Carrie Bradshaw, the heroine of the TV series Sex and the City (1998–2004).
As with many classic cocktails, especially those with obvious names, the origins of the Cosmopolitan are disputed. A Cosmopolitan based on gin and raspberry first appears in a rare 1934 cocktail book; Ocean Spray promoted a blend of vodka, cranberry and lime during the 1960s under the name Harpoon.
Most experts credit Cheryl Cook with formulating and naming the modern Cosmopolitan in the 1980s. Most also agree that Dale DeGroff transformed Cook's Cosmopolitan into the tart, fruity drink we know today, and that Toby Cecchini had a similar idea.
The key to the Cosmo is balance, which will vary according to your choice of base vodka. Smirnoff No. 21 has a crisp flavour profile that brings out the zinging fruit of the cranberry juice. Smirnoff Lime adds a fruit explosion, or use Ketel One for citrus and honeyed flavours, or even Cîroc for a subtler hint of fruit.
Good quality cranberry juice is also critical. Flaming an orange twist makes great theatre and adds a hint of caramelised orange oil to both scent and flavour: even if you opt not to flame the zest, be sure the oil sprays over the cocktail. However you adapt it, your guests will love this modern classic.