Many people think pink drinks are weak. Wrong. This misguided notion happens with cocktails such as the Cosmopolitan. Commonly associated with the Sex and the City series on HBO in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Cosmopolitan actually dates to the mid 1980s, and possibly the 1970s. It became ubiquitous on cocktail menus, and unfortunately too often it was a sickly sweet hot mess. A good cocktail should give you a pleasant drinking experience, not diabetes. When executed well, the Cosmopolitan is a sexy and powerful drink.
2 ounces vodka
.75 ounces triple sec (I suggest Cointreau)
Juice from 1/2 lime
.25 ounces cranberry juice
.25 ounces super simple syrup (optional, see below)
Combine in a shaker with ice, shake with the intensity of (look at the second word of this post's title and use your imagination), and strain into a chilled glass. Lime twist garnish optional.
Many versions of the Cosmopolitan call for citrus flavored vodka, but I think that's unnecessary. The Cointreau and lime juice give you all the citrus flavors you need. Cointreau is a brand of triple sec, which itself is a general and somewhat misleading term for orange liqueurs. Some people understandably think glorious grenadine makes the Cosmopolitan sweet and pink. The pink color comes from the tiny splash of cranberry juice. If you use unsweetened cranberry juice, I suggest adding super simple syrup unless you want a tart drink. If you want a sweeter drink, rim the edge of the glass with sugar, add the super simple syrup even if you're using sweetened cranberry juice, or both. For the cranberry juice, less is more. Ideally the Cosmopolitan should be a lighter pink like the El Presidente.
Don't let the color fool you and have a Cosmopolitan or two. Carrie and the ladies would approve.