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Why The Cosmo Is Due For A Comeback, According To A Cocktail Expert

pink cosmopolitan cocktail with lime
pink cosmopolitan cocktail with lime - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

To gain expert insight on underrated vodka-based cocktails, Mashed reached out to Molly Horn, manager of cocktail strategy at Total Wine & More, who noted that they "love a Cosmo!" Horn believes the Cosmo is ready to step back into the spotlight, adding that "with the right ratios and quality ingredients, it is an incredibly balanced, delicious, refreshing cocktail." While there are many variations on refreshing Cosmopolitan cocktail recipes, it's unsurprising why this famous old-school cocktail needs a comeback.

For those wondering what a Cosmopolitan is and tastes like, the classic cocktail is a simple yet flavorful drink, typically made with vodka, Cointreau (a French orange liquor), cranberry juice cocktail, and limes. With a subtle sweetness and slightly acidic citrus notes, its pinkish-red hue is quintessentially elegant. Like a margarita or whiskey sour, the Cosmo offers nuances of flavor that complement the overall beverage.

Created by bartender Toby Cecchini in 1988, the Cosmopolitan cocktail became a popular drink with celebrities who frequented the Manhattan bar where Cecchini worked. Additionally, the Cosmopolitan became a common theme among the ladies of HBO's late 1990s hit "Sex and the City," further popularizing the drink. Interestingly, Horn didn't start bartending until the Cosmo's peak popularity had passed, causing this iconic beverage to fly under their radar until later in their career when they fully understood the previous hype.


Read more: Popular Vodka Brands Ranked From Worst To Best

Using Quality Ingredients Sets This Cocktail Apart

pouring alcohol into martini glass
pouring alcohol into martini glass - Prostock-studio/Shutterstock

According to the experts, the only type of vodka you should use in your Cosmopolitan is a Citron. It's a crisp, fresh, light vodka with sweet citrus-tasting notes and a hint of honey. Horn notes that "a Citron vodka that can stand on its own," is one of the necessary components of this drink. When paired with the right ratios of quality orange liqueur and other fresh ingredients like cranberry juice, lemon or lime juice, and simple syrup, the Cosmo becomes "a perfect vodka cocktail."

Traditionally served in a martini glass with a citrus peel garnish, the Cosmo not only has a fruity refreshing flavor that subtly masks the alcohol, but the presentation screams sophistication and charm. With its vibrant color, historical celebrity roots, and ties to the television screen, the Cosmopolitan is the perfect accessory for a night out on the town.

However, the drink's historic popularity does pose an interesting question: Why did the cocktail fall off the radar in the first place? With undeniable ties to popular culture and its skyrocketing demand in the '90s and early 2000s, it's safe to assume that the craze naturally died down over time. Although, with quality ingredients and a balanced flavor profile that even the experts are raving about, this gem can't stay buried forever. There's a good chance that the Cosmo will soon become a favorite with a new generation of drinkers.

Read the original article on Mashed.