Skip to main content
6m ago


Saylee Padwal

How well do you know the cocktail you’re about to order, every time you walk up to the bar? You might have a slight idea about the recipe, but every good cocktail has a historic tale of its own.

The Cosmopolitan, for instance, has an origin story which is as bright as its appearance.

Read on to know more about this popular 90’s cocktail and Carrie Bradshaw’s favourite citric sip!

A Step Back In Time

The first ever mention of the cosmopolitan was in the 1934 book, ‘Pioneers Of Mixing at Elite Bars’. The recipe listed a jigger of Gordon’s gin, 2 dashes of orange liqueur, the juice of 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon of homemade raspberry syrup. First shaken with ice, the mixture then had to be poured into a cocktail glass. Although it used gin instead of vodka and raspberry instead of cranberry from today’s drink, it was the raspberry that gave it the trademark pale pink appearance.

Another story credits it’s origins to Cheryl Cook, a bartender in Miami who was called The Martini Queen of South Beach. To cater to customers who were looking for a sweeter alternative to the martini, she combined lemon-infused vodka and triple sec with lime and cranberry to give it a blushed pink hue.

While there are also stories of a marketing strategy for cranberry juice, and various others about bartenders adding their own twist to the recipe, the drink was brought into the limelight by popstar Madonna.

 #TheStoryOf The Cosmopolitan

The Cosmopolitan Girl

In 1988, Madonna was served a cosmopolitan at Rockfeller Center’s Rainbow Room for a Grammy awards party. The person serving it was bartending legend Dale DeGroff, who then went on to make newspaper headlines. Vodka, cranberry juice, orange liqueur, and fresh lime juice were mixed in gallons for the party, and within 24 hours DeGroff was giving interviews all over the world. The rest as they say, is history.

  #TheStoryOf The Cosmopolitan


Cosmo And The City

The popular television series Sex And The City premiered in 1998, and made the pink drink basically immortal. The perfect cocktail for fashionista Carrie Bradshaw’s Manhattan lifestyle, it was the go-to order for her and her friends on night outs. It’s pretty, it’s pink, it’s glamourous; just like the show.
 #TheStoryOf The Cosmopolitan

And if you’re looking to channel your inner Carrie at a girl’s night out, here’s a recipe you can use!


30ml Smirnoff No 21 Vodka

15ml Triple Sec

15ml lime juice

30ml cranberry juice


1. Shake all the ingredients together well and strain into a cocktail glass.

  #TheStoryOf The Cosmopolitan

So, now that you know how your favourite drink entered a glass for the first time, when do you plan to pour yourself one?

But remember to drink responsibly whenever you do!


Party harder

This article is now only available to subscribers. You can join here.



Sign up to receive invitations to special events, exclusive offers, and occasional stories direct to your inbox.