08 May 2009

Benito vs. the Cocktail: Cosmopolitan

I can't imagine Humphrey Bogart ordering a Cosmopolitan. I'm not going to attack anyone for their preferences, but this falls into the "make it fruity and sweet so you can't taste the alcohol" category mostly desired by Girl Drink Drunks. But it's a useful cocktail to know, both for entertaining female guests and because the basic proportions and principles are a good baseline for improvising your own cocktails. You never know when you may find yourself stranded with just a few ingredients. And let's be honest, use quality components and it tastes pretty good.

Thanks go out to my partner in crime Paul, who tweaked and adjusted the ingredients over time to come up with the following eponymous recipe:

The Cosmopaulitan
1 oz. Vodka
1 oz. Cranberry Juice
1/2 oz. Triple Sec
1/4 oz. Lime Juice
Combine in a shaker with ice, shake or stir, and strain into martini glasses.

Ask for it by name, tovarisch!

Side note: I thought I was being clever by playing around with the ingredients and substituting pomegranate juice for cranberry juice. Later I discovered that this is... gulp... "Oprah's Favorite Pomegranate Martini". And I wanted to call it a Pogo.

Now, what about the basic cocktail recipe that I mentioned earlier? Others have written about this at length, and in general a lot of cocktails boil down to the following formulas:

2 parts spirits + 1 part liqueur + 1 part citrus juice
3 parts spirits + 2 parts liqueur + 1 part citrus juice

The Cosmo is loosely tied to the first formula. If you get bored some weekend afternoon and have the ingredients at hand, grab a shot glass for measuring and try a few of these combinations. Like Thomas Edison, be sure to keep notes on what works and what doesn't, and expect many failures. But with the 2:1:1, you can get a great Margarita. Use decent Tequila:Cointreau:Orange Juice, and hit it with a squeeze of lime. Boom! You can no longer appreciate green slushies mixed with cheap liquor.

And of course, once you discover some combination that works for you, say, Gin:Amaretto:Guava Juice*, then you can scale it to serve as many people as necessary. It's the beauty of math: with accurate measuring utensils, you could make a great cocktail in a thimble or in a swimming pool.

*I just made that up, but if anyone tries it please let me know.


The Wine Commonsewer said...

funny video. Great post, as always.

IThat Oprah crack got me thinking, I believe I mentioned that pomegranate martini......


There may be a link to the recipe.....

TWC said...

Well, heck, that didn't work out so well now did it.

I forgot I was posting on a real blog.

Still lazy though.

This time if you just click my name you will be transported without further adieu!

Benito said...


Thanks for the info--just how many different fruit trees do you have on your property?

By the way, I have nothing against Oprah, but The Roommate is a big fan, and I tease her about it from time to time. She thought it was hilarious that I'd accidentally ended up with Oprah's favorite cocktail.


fredric koeppel said...

haha, great post. keep'em comin'.

when you read about the chemistry miracles compounded by the new breed of "icon mixologists" or "bar chefs" in New York, the amaretto/guava juice thing seems tame.

Samantha Dugan said...

Hey, I'm a girl and I have NEVER had a Cosmo. Makes me wonder about all those times people told me, "You are not a regular girl"....used to hate that, but at least it may have spared me from vomit inducing "girly" drinks!

Gonna pass on the Gin & Guava but maybe I will get a Cosmo this weekend just to say I have had one.

Benito said...


I'm just waiting for molecular gastronomy to really hit cocktails, like a martini in toothpaste form or a whimsical Bourbon bubble gum.


Somehow you must have missed the Sex and the City cosmo craze of the late 90s/early 00s. The damned things were everywhere for a while, then some thought there was going to be a resurgence after the recent movie, as the girls go back to drinking cosmos after a long hiatus.

TWC said...

just how many different fruit trees do you have on your property?We've a few and are in process of starting a new orchard now that we've finally figured out how to control the vermin with cats. I swear, it is a miracle our forebears could grow anything. Two years ago rats completely stripped an orange tree bare (leaves, blossoms, and all). In one day. It was like the plague of grasshoppers in the old testament.

The older trees:

white peach
two lemon
two navel orange
gala apple

just planted this spring:

traditional peach
mandarin orange

Thanks for asking.

beefeater said...

Hi Guys... I know you were mixing ingredients so i thoguht id let you in on a secret of mine.. I personally love whats known as an original cosmopolitan. The original is made with Gin. Recipe which is amazing!

2 PARTS Beefeater Gin

1/2 PART Triple sec

1/2 PART Freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 PART Raspberry-infused sugar syrup

METHOD Shake all ingredients vigorously with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass.

Picture: http://www.beefeatergin.com/mixology/cocktail.php?recipe=Original%20Cosmopolitan