No, not that Cosmo. This Cosmopolitan, sometimes known as the Cosmopolitan Daisy, or Cosmopolitan Cocktail, is a drink from the 1930s. Does it have anything to do with that Cosmo? Likely not. This one is made from gin, lemon, Cointreau and raspberry syrup.
We can trace this cocktail back to at least the 1930s, but the jury is still debating whether or not this is older than that. If you study the recipe you'll notice it's a Clover Club with Cointreau and no egg white. The Cosmopolitan is a bit brighter than the Clover Club, but without the egg, it's a different creature indeed.
So how did we get to lime and cranberry? We didn't. The modern Cosmo is an adaptation of a Kamikaze, or so the story goes. It makes sense, though, because what do you get when you pour a Kamikaze and add some cranberry juice to it? You get a Cosmo, and that's really where the modern version originates, but make no mistake, the old Cosmopolitan does share a similar profile. They are both sours, they do have that in common, but, apart from that they are not related. It's simply a case of two drinks having the same name, but nothing to do with each other.
Common names are not unusual when it comes to drink, or food. Regionally, recipes can bear the same name, yet be very different, and "cosmopolitan" is a fairly reasonable name to use for a cocktail. It's only surprising that there aren't more of them, as one can see when searching for recipes of less renowned cocktails. See for yourself how many Flamingos or Knickerbockers you can find and count how many different versions there are. They're just different cocktails that share a similar name.
Cocktail names only enter the common canon when we all agree that a given name is this, that, or the other thing. Cosmopolitan, thanks to the 1990s, is now unmistakably what it is. As is a Manhattan, and so many other drinks we just know. Then there are things like the Daiquiri, and the Martini, that are accepted as what they are, but with great latitude, yet it still leaves us with this mystery Cosmopolitan. A Cosmo is an ubiquitous cocktail, but in the pantheon of classics, it hasn't yet reached the rarefied air of liberal interpretation.
The old time Cosmopolitan is made with gin, specifically, Gordon's. It's easy to look down on Gordon's, just as it's easy to look down on Bacardi, or Smirnoff, or any of the international brands, but that doesn't mean they're not good. Gordon's is great gin at a great price and bears a Royal Warrant for a reason. It's made by Tanqueray Gordon & Co Limited, the same folks who make Tanqueray, but Gordon's is only 80 proof, quite a bit less than what's in the short green bottle. That makes it a little less assertive in a cocktail, but sometimes that's what makes it work. Is there a local option that works? Plenty. We don't mind more proof in our Cosmopolitan, but we want a dry, traditional gin. Aria was made for all the cocktails, and is one of the more reasonable gins both in terms of money and proof and we'll take it. We'll take it with Gordon's, too, because sometimes you just have to work to spec.
As for the other ingredients, Cointreau is what you want for triple sec, and the raspberry syrup should be homemade. It's easy enough to pick up some raspberries at the market and add them to your simple syrup. In a pinch, you could use frozen raspberries from the grocery store, but when you live where the berries grow buy them by the flat and freeze them yourself. If you can restrain yourself you might make them last through the Winter. Assuming the freezer is big enough of course.
In the end, this is the Cosmopolitan we prefer. Of course, it's not a fair comparison. The 2 Cosmos are 2 different cocktails, and that's OK, just don't expect to order this one at a bar without alot of discussion. It's just not as well known as the one from that TV show.
Shake with ice and serve up. No garnish.
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