A Cosmopolitan Cocktail on a bar with a blurry background.

Cosmopolitan Cocktail

A cosmopolitan, or a “cosmo” for short, is a cocktail made with vodka, triple sec (Cointreau), cranberry juice, and freshly squeezed lime juice. To make the perfect Cosmopolitan at home, you’ll need a cocktail shaker, a jigger (measuring tool), a fine strainer, and a martini/coupe glass. Here’s How To Make A Cosmopolitan Cocktail:

Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe

Recipe by BeverageBeaver
5.0 from 1 vote
Difficulty: Medium


Prep time



A Cosmopolitan is a cocktail made with vodka, triple sec (Cointreau), cranberry juice, and freshly squeezed lime juice.


  • 1.5 oz Vodka

  • 1 oz Triple Sec (Cointreau)

  • 1 oz Cranberry juice

  • Juice from half a lime

  • Garnish (Lime wheel or twist)


  • Place a martini or coupe glass in the freezer or fill with ice water to chill.
  • Using a jigger, measure 1.5 oz vodka, 1 oz triple sec, and 1 oz cranberry juice, and pour into a cocktail shaker.
  • Cut a lime in half and squeeze the juice from one half into the shaker.
  • Fill the shaker with ice and give it a vigorous shake for about 20 seconds.
  • Remove the ice by straining the contents of the shaker into the martini/coupe glass.
  • Finish by garnishing the drink with a lime wheel or a twist of lime peel.

Watch How To Make Cosmopolitan Cocktail

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Making A Cosmopolitan Cocktail: Pro Tips

While a Cosmopolitan is not a particularly complex cocktail to make, there are some things you can do to make sure your Cosmo is of bartender quality every time.

Always Use Fresh Lime Juice

You may be tempted to use bottled lime juice due to the convenience, especially if you often make cocktails at home. However, to make the perfect Cosmo, we recommend always using fresh lime juice. Fresh lime juice provides a vibrant, tangy flavor that bottled juices simply can’t replicate.

Always Use High-Quality Triple Sec

There are cheap generic triple secs available, but premium orange liqueurs, like Cointreau, offer a more refined and cleaner flavor profile. A good orange liqueur provides depth and complexity, enhancing the Cosmopolitan’s signature taste.

Ensure Everything Perfectly Chilled

There are a couple of important things you can do to ensure your final cocktail is perfectly chilled. Before making your cocktail, always begin by chilling your glass in the freezer. This will ensure your cocktail remains cold for an extended period of time after pouring.

Another thing to do is to make sure you shake the cocktail with ice long enough. After shaking for 15-20 seconds, touch the outside of the metal shaker to see if it is cold to the touch. If it is, the drink is ready to be strained. If it’s not cold, shake it for a little longer.

Fine-Strain For Smoothness

While you can use a regular strainer after shaking the drink, opting for a fine strainer will ensure that small ice shards, as well as any pulp or seeds from the lime, don’t make it into the final drink. A cleanly poured Cosmo not only looks more appealing but also offers a smoother and more refined texture with every sip.

Cosmopolitan Variations

Once you’ve mastered how to make the perfect Cosmopolitan, you can try one of these delicious variations. Each one uses a similar method with just one or two tweaks to the ingredients.

White Cranberry Cosmo

To make a White Cranberry Cosmo, replace the regular cranberry juice with white cranberry juice. Prepare the cocktail in the same manner as the classic Cosmopolitan, combining vodka, lime juice, triple sec, and white cranberry juice in a shaker with ice. After shaking, strain it into a chilled martini glass. The White Cranberry Cosmo offers a slightly sweeter and less tart flavor profile than the classic version.

Raspberry Cosmopolitan

This fruity Cosmopolitan variation adds raspberry to the mix. Start by muddling (crushing) a handful of fresh raspberries at the bottom of the shaker. Add vodka, lime juice, triple sec, and a splash of cranberry juice, then shake vigorously. Strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass using a fine strainer, ensuring the raspberry seeds and pulp are left behind.

Mango Cosmopolitan

For a tropical twist, incorporate mango puree into your Cosmo. In a shaker, combine vodka, lime juice, triple sec, a splash of cranberry juice, and a tablespoon of mango puree. Shake the mixture well and strain it into a chilled martini glass.

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