Let’s talk about the Cosmopolitan, shall we?
Hardy har, har. The not-so humble Cosmo….
Why are you wasting our time? So you have a Cosmo recipe. So what?
Cosmopolitan recipes are like a**holes—Everyone has one, and they all stink.
Listen, my Cosmopolitan doesn’t….
Let’s drop this analogy, shall we?
If you insist.
I do. And it’s my damn blog.
So, why Cosmos? First, I’ve been meaning to start a series of posts on the other cocktails that I regularly mix, and the Cosmo fits that description.
Second, I went to McDonald’s yesterday.
Maggi and I and the munchkins had been in the car all day on an out of town quest for new and more garish tennis attire for me to wear and thus annoy my friends. On the way home, we got stuck in a drive-through line at McDonald’s that moved slightly slower than a glacier. I was tired already, and I got more and more frustrated as each car ahead of us took a seeming hour to calve off and let us move ahead one length. I asked Maggi what she wanted, then remarked frustratedly that what I really wanted was a cocktail. Maggi replied,
Oh? You want a McTini? That got us a laugh and we spent the rest of the Drivethroughazoic Era riffing on what McDonald’s would serve on a cocktail menu. We concluded that the signature McTini would be, of course, the Cosmopolitan, served in a paper cone with a stem.
Thankfully, that ain’t gonna happen. But the discussion did give birth to a new word for us, the McTini. Bear with me for a minute and I think you’ll agree it is word worth spreading around.
McTini (mick-teenee) n. — 1. A class of alcoholic beverages, usually Vodka-based, that are stronger than they taste, could taste better than they (in practice) do, and can be found on every cocktail menu in existence. (e.g. The Cosmopolitan) 2. A cocktail that is emphatically NOT a martini, yet often has the wordMartiniappended to its name for no reason. (e.g. The Cosmopolitan Martini) 3. A cocktail that, when ordered at a bar will most commonly be poured from a pre-mixed jug, or (especially) any cocktail that can be purchased in completed form in a bottle at your local Kroger or Safeway. (e.g. this)
SOURCE—The New Winship American Classic Dictionary
If you are a fan of the Bartender vs. Mixologist debate, I’d imagine that Bartenders (and bar owners) love Cosmos, while Mixologists hate them. Me, I don’t order them in bars because I equate them with White Zinfandel: A drink whose increasing popularity has caused its distinguishing features to be so exaggerated or over-emphasised that it has become a nasty-tasting caricature of its prototype.
Yeah. Remember:Friends Don’t Let Friends Drink White Zinfandel.
Exactly. And a side note here, if I may: When I ask what white wine you have by the glass, do not, for the love all that is good and holy, include White Zinfandel in the list!
So, I’ll ask again: Why are you wasting precious Internet bandwidth on the cocktail equivalent of White Zin?
Well, because I’m guessing that it’ll get me a lot of hits. And if I sucker a horde of Cosmo seekers here looking for a decent recipe and even one picks up the Pegu instead, then I’ve done my good deed of the day. I recently read somewhere that the Cosmo is the second most commonly ordered cocktail in America. I’m not sure how one comes to this conclusion scientifically, so I’m guessing the study was done at either the Academy of Personal Anecdotal Evidence, or the Institute for Studies We Pulled Out of Our Backsides. That said, it is probably true, and thus the trolling for hits. I still get a couple of visits a day from people looking up Tanqueray Rangpur, after all. Also, because, while you can no longer find a White Zin worth drinking, you can easily make a Cosmopolitan at home that is every bit as tasty and refreshing as the original concoction that Carrie started drinking so fricking many of, thus leading to its current debasement.
Let’s step our way through making a Cosmopolitan, the Pegu Blog Way. We start with a cocktail shaker.
Pour in 3 ounces of mid-shelf Vodka. I use Tanqueray Sterling. If you use the Valu-Rite, you’ll end up like this guy. Oh, and lots of juice or no, your cocktail will taste like crap. Similarly, do not use the expensive, tippy-top shelf stuff either, or you’ll end up like this guy. Also, lots of folks, like Jay at Oh Gosh! who recently did a post on Cosmos from the other direction, want you to use citrus infused vodka. Do not fall into this trap!
Trap? Now where are you going?
Nowhere. But, you don’t have room in your liquor cabinet. No, seriously, you don’t. I’ve looked. And more importantly, you are already making a drink with real juice that won’t be clear anyway. Use the fruit you want to use for real. So throw in a splash of lemon or orange juice if that floats your boat.
But you have to admit, it is a handy shortcut.
Shortcut? Shortcut? I use only one shortcut. This is not the shortcut you are looking for.
Next, add one ounce of Cointreau.
Yeah? But most recipes just call….
Put down that bottle of Triple-Sec and back away! Just. Back. Away. You can use it the next time you want a Frozen Margarita. There is nothing to see here.
Now, add one ounce of the shortcut. Please remember, Rose’s need not apply. Employ Rose’s (or Triple-Sec for that matter) and you are visiting White Zin City, Baby.
Finally, you can put in from one to two ounces of Cranberry Juice Cocktail, how much will depend on the brand you use.
Cranberry Juice Cocktail? What about….
So help me, if you suggest fresh-squeezing cranberries, I’ll ban your I.P. so fast it’ll hurt!
I wasn’t going to say that! But you can buy the pure juice, without all that sugar!
Without all that sugar. I tried this myself. The color, and especially the taste, are miles too strong! Use the juice cocktail. How much, as I said, depends on whose youse use. Ocean Spray takes about one and a half ounces for a good light color and flavor. Whole Foods’ takes a bit more. The cranberry is not just
for color as I heard a bartender recently say. You need that bite, or it’s Sutter Home again.
Add lots of small or cracked ice, and shake that sucker comprehensively. Strain and serve with as complicated a lime garnish as you can muster. The result should be a soft pink, lightly cloudy, slightly tart, barely sweet, deceptively strong, and very refreshing cocktail. Enjoy!
- 3 oz. Good (not great) Vodka
- 1 oz. Cointreau
- 1 oz. Lime Juice
- 1.5 oz. Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail
Shake over cracked ice and strain into cocktail glass.
Garnish with lime wheel.