It’s Friday … Have a Drink: Gin Cosmopolitan (Wait – what? Yes, really.)

gin cosmo recipe
It’s Friday … Have a Drink: Gin Cosmopolitan (Wait – what? Yes, really.)
Our weekly recommendation.

The dirty little secret about the Cosmo, for all the snickering it often engenders, is that it’s actually a top-notch cocktail. It delivers a beautiful balance of sweet and tart in an eye-pleasing package, and it contains as much booze as an Old Fashioned. Yes, it’s pink … but if you’re really that worried that a pink drink will shatter your masculinity, might I suggest some blue curacao?

I like to use gin instead of citrus vodka, because I really like gin and think it makes a drink with greater depth, but don’t sleep on the original either. No matter what you think of the culture that came to surround it (thanks in part to Sex and the City and in part to the drink being a staple at overpriced Manhattan bars even before that), the Cosmo is one of the best cocktail inventions of the modern era. People are still going to be drinking it, right alongside the Manhattan and the Martini, in fifty years.

  • 1.5 oz. Gin (The Botanist is an interesting choice)
  • 1 oz. Dry Curacao or Triple Sec (I like Pierre Ferrand)
  • .5 oz. Lime Juice
  • 1 tsp. Cranberry Juice

Combine all ingredients in a pint glass over ice and stir thoroughly. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lime wedge.

Oh, and while this drink has fruit juice in it, and should theoretically thus be shaken, I think it looks its best when stirred!

This article is a modified and enhanced version of a post that ran on my nightly cocktail blog, DrinkShouts.

Christopher Buecheler is a novelist, a web developer, an award-winning amateur mixologist, a brewer, a guitarist, a drummer, and an NBA enthusiast. He lives a semi-nomadic life with his wife and two cats, currently residing in Providence, RI. You can learn more at his website,


  • Reply December 2, 2013


    I’m in conflict…..I dont drink often cuz I’m so busy these day. When I do, I enjoy dark liquors on the rocks or neat, I’ve started to dislike mixed drinks. To me thats refreshing and enjoyable. Some friends say I’m boring cuz I dont try different things. Am I just turning into a boring old man (I’m only 24)? Should I force myself to try different things? I’m almost never satisfied with a mixed drink. Or am I fine…..

    • Reply December 2, 2013


      You’re totally fine! I’d say half the booze I swill is straight on ice. You gotta drink what you like, my man!

    • Reply December 5, 2013

      Christopher Buecheler

      Agree with Andrew — you should drink what you like, and there’s nothing wrong with plain spirits, neat or on the rocks. I routinely drink bourbon, scotch, gin, rye, and even vodka straight, in between cocktails. If you want to experiment more with mixed drinks, though, I suggest looking into stuff without fruit juice — drinks that are heavy on the base spirit with a wine or spirit-based mixer and a dash of bitters, like a Manhattan. A drink like the Vieux Carre, which Andrew Mitchell mentions above and which is an amazing cocktail, is just a whole different universe from something like this gin cosmo.

  • Reply December 5, 2013

    Andrew Mitchell

    While I do enjoy something light once in a while, I would love to see some recipes for some spirit-forward drinks. Vieux Carre anyone?

    • Reply December 5, 2013

      Christopher Buecheler

      Love me some Vieux Carres. Part of the reason I haven’t featured one in this series yet is because I’ve already done one twice on DrinkShouts (three times if you count a slightly modded one) and I don’t want to saturate my readers with the same drink over and over. You’re right though, we’ve been heavy on the fruit juices so far. The next two are spirits-only, no juice to be found.

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