As you run off to prepare for your Oscar Party, making cute appetizers, sprinkling gold flakes on your table, and making sure your shoes are THE most fabulous at the party, make sure you prepare for libations as well. Since there are many drinks vying to win the Best Cocktail At The Oscars award, you have your work cut out for you. I’m pouring one of the tried and true award winning cocktails, The Cosmopolitan.
While it was Sex and the City that made the cute pink cocktail famous, the Cosmo cocktail has origins going back much further than the 1990′s TV show. Indeed, there’s talk about the Cosmo being a cocktail of choice in the 1970s for the Provincetown, Mass gay community. The cosmopolitan cocktail also has being linked to South Beach bartender Cheryl Cook creating it in the mid 80s, making a drink that used the Martini glass, yet was more widely palatable. Regardless of when and where this tasty pink cocktail was created, it’s a sure hit at any party. It also has fairly simple ingredients, though there are a host of ways to mix them up.
The Cosmo ingredient list calls for Lemon vodka, triple sec, fresh lime juice, and cranberry juice. That seems pretty straight forward, right? Since the difference between mixing a drink and mixing a great cocktail is the ingredients, make sure you have the right spirits on hand before you start. The market is flooded with flavored vodkas these days, and I’ve not tried them all-yet!
Of course, Absolut Citron is a well known name, and works fine. Skyy Vodka has their citrus infusion that works well. Before you clamor to tell me about Belvedere and Grey Goose and their citrus infused vodkas, you can use them too. Just be sure you pick a smooth tasting vodka that is distilled 3 or 5 times, and won’t add harsh notes to your drink. I actually prefer unflavored vodka, and all of my Cosmopolitan cocktails are made with it.
For adding triple sec to your cocktails, you are again faced with a host of options. I stick with Cointreau, pronounced kwan-troe, as I feel it offers the best flavor for my drinks. However, I’ve used both Grand Marnier (pronounced Gran Moon-yay) and Patron Citronage, an orange liqueur, and each works nicely as well. I keep away from just plain triple sec just because I find sometimes it’s not as smooth and round tasting as these options. Cointreau is not a cheap ingredient, but I think it’s a function of getting what you pay for. I feel it’s the best orange liqueur for the price.
For the lime juice, I only use fresh limes. A lot of people swear by the squeeze bottles of lemon or lime juice, as they are supposedly 100% juice, already pitted, squeezed and convenient, and that’s fine. However, for me, fresh fruit and juice is all that finds it’s way into my cocktails.
For cranberry juice, I go for “cranberry cocktail” rather than Cranberry juice. Cranberry juice can be a little more acidic and tart, where as the cocktail is a touch sweeter and smoother.
Now that we have the ingredients for our perfect cosmopolitan cocktail, lets mix them up and get ready to enjoy our Oscar Party. While the IBA specified ingredients are 1.35 oz Vodka Citron, 10.5oz Cointreau, 0.5oz Fresh lime juice and 1oz Cranberry juice, I like to use the following recipe for a perfect cosmopolitan cocktail
1 oz Cointreau
0.75oz fresh lime juice
1 oz Cranberry cocktail
1 1/4 oz Vodka
Place your ingredients in a cocktail shaker with some ice. Give the cocktail 10 or so hard shakes, which is meant to chill the ingredients but not water them down too much. Strain into a chilled Martini glass, garnish with a little lemon or lime peel, and serve.
If you are too cool to drink pink, and don’t think a cosmo is for you, then I recommend my favorite old fashioned cocktail, a sidecar! Either one will have you saying Pour Me Another!