History of The Cosmopolitan Cocktail

  • 17th April 2012

The Cosmopolitan, a stylish pink concoction in a martini glass, was the signature cocktail in the 1990s for Carrie Bradshaw and her “Sex and the City” friends.

But before that, it was favoured by Madonna and other celebrities from South Beach to New York to San Francisco. In the 1960s, it was a recipe on Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice bottles, then called the Harpoon.

Even further back, a drink that had the same name but very different round-the-world ingredients, thus the name, made the rounds in 1927.

Many sources credit today’s Cosmo popularity to the mid-1980s and Cheryl Cook, a bartender in Miami who was called The Martini Queen of South Beach. Cook wanted to give the martini a twist that would make it visually appealing and more popular with women; she used Absolut Citron, a new product; Rose’s Lime, a little triple sec and cranberry juice to give it the characteristic pink hue.

Dale “King Cocktail” DeGroff sampled the drink at the Fog City Diner in San Francisco; he put his own spin on it at the Rainbow Room in New York with Cointreau, fresh lime juice and a flamed orange orange peel, according to an account from the Museum of the American Cocktail recounted in The Georgetowner. The cocktail took off when Madonna was pictured holding a glassful at a Grammy party.

The 1927 version, according to St. Louis’ “Feast,” included Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey, Swedish punch, vodka, Italian vermouth, French vermouth and a lemon twist. The recipe came with a suggestion to send the corpse to te League of Nations.

Carrie and her Manhattan friends, who branched out during the course of the HBO series and movies into a variety of ever-trendier “It” drinks ending in “ini,” quit drinking Cosmos when everyone else took them up.

But the Cosmo has earned its place as a drinks-with-the-girls staple. It’s no longer on menus, The Vancouver Sun points out, because everyone knows what they are, and bartenders all know how to make them.

Bartender Cook, who invented the pretty pink cocktail women would like to be seen with, might even say it’s attained the classic status of the little black dress.

Cocktails mentioned in this post

Cosmopolitan cocktail
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Cosmopolitan
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The origins of the cosmopolitan are somewhat disputed. It is likely that the drink was created independently by different bartenders since the 1970s. It is generally recognised that John Caine brought the drink to San Francisco around 1987 from the Midwest. The same year in Manhattan, the ...
The origins of the cosmopolitan are somewhat disputed. It is likely that the drink was created independently by different bartenders since the 1970s. ...
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