Since their introduction in the 1980s, cosmopolitan cocktails have become a beloved classic. In recent years, high-quality canned versions of this popular cocktail have become more widely available, offering a convenient and easy way to enjoy a perfectly proportioned cosmopolitan anytime, anywhere. These canned cocktails bring the major benefit of convenience, especially for parties and social events.
Rather than spending time mixing drinks yourself or hiring a bartender to do it, simply chill a few cans in advance and let your guests help themselves. If you choose the right ready-to-drink brand, cosmopolitan cocktail cans make it easy to serve up delicious, bar-quality cocktails without the hassle or expense of traditional bar service.
Let’s explore the flavors that characterize a cosmopolitan, the benefits of choosing a canned version made with only 100% real ingredients, and ideas for adding variety to this classic cocktail.
What is a Cosmopolitan?
There is some debate on who invented the first cosmopolitan. Some believe it was created by a bartender named Cheryl Cook in 1985. Cheryl was working at a bar in South Beach and wanted to create a new cocktail that would make use of the martini glass and appeal to women. The splash of cranberry juice gave it a perfect, eye-catching pink hue that helped it to succeed in that goal.
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When Dale “King Cocktail” DeGroff put his own version of the cosmopolitan on the menu at his world-famous Rainbow Room, the cocktail became a favorite of celebrities and high-end bars. Later, when the cocktail became the drink of choice for characters in the hit 1990s TV show “Sex and the City“, the cosmopolitan reached even greater heights of popularity.
The Cosmopolitan’s Essential Ingredients
The perfect cosmopolitan is a blend of four basic ingredients. The key to creating a classic cosmo is to use only fresh ingredients and high-quality liquors. Those who skip out on sourcing the best cocktail ingredients will miss the opportunity to make their cocktail service the talk of the party. Here’s what goes into a great cosmo:
- Vodka – This clear spirit is made from a variety of grains, such as corn, wheat or barley. Vodka is the base for many cocktails because it has a neutral taste, letting the bartender’s other ingredient choices define the drink’s flavor profile.
- Orange Liqueur – This sweet orange-flavored liqueur is a common ingredient in cocktails. Made from the peels of bitter and sweet oranges, it has a taste that’s a little bit of both. In a cosmopolitan, triple sec helps balance the lime juice’s tart flavor and the cranberry juice’s tangy flavor, providing a bridge that pulls the drink together. For a more unique and refined flavor profile, orange curacao is used instead of triple sec.
- Fresh lime juice – Lime juice provides the cocktail with its signature bright and tangy flavor. The cranberry juice and orange liqueur are balanced perfectly by the acidity in the lime. The key here is to use real lime juice. Lime juice that’s shelf-stable, sweetened, or artificial lacks the vibrant flavor that makes this balance possible.
- Cranberry juice – Rounding out the key to perfect balance in a cosmo is cranberry juice—but not cranberry juice “cocktail,” which is sweetened with grape juice. The tangy flavor of real cranberry juice contrasts perfectly with the tartness of the lime juice and the sweetness of the orange liqueur. This ingredient is also what gives the drink that signature pink hue that makes it so visually appealing.
From the Bar Scene to Ready-To-Drink Cosmopolitan Cocktail Cans
While a trip to the bar was once the only way to get a good cosmopolitan, ready-to-drink and premixed cocktails have come a long way. Today’s cosmopolitan cocktail cans offer a convenient and hassle-free way to enjoy this classic beverage at home or at parties. When choosing a canned cosmopolitan, it’s important to look for brands that use high-quality spirits, authentic liqueurs and only 100% real lime and cranberry juice. Avoid any artificial or “natural” flavors that can compromise the drink’s quality. Quality control is important in a canned cocktail to ensure that every can your guests consume is perfectly proportioned, fully flavored, and without compromise.
Ease of transport makes cosmopolitan cocktail cans convenient and easy to serve at any event, without the need for a fully stocked bar or bartender. Ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails simplify party plans of all types and bring the timeless flavor of a cosmopolitan to places it couldn’t easily go if a full bar setup were required, such as outdoor parties and picnics.
RTD cans also eliminate the need to purchase and measure individual ingredients, making cosmopolitan cocktail cans more time and cost-effective than traditional methods of making the drink. If you want to be your own mixologist, you must first make the trek to the liquor store, decide on a selection of ingredients, transport them to your home or party, then measure and mix the correct proportions of each ingredient. This process is time-consuming and can take all the fun out of having a party. Without an experienced bartender, getting the proportions right on a consistent basis can be a challenge that you don’t want to deal with in the moment.
The other alternative, of course, is to hire a professional bartending service. Now, assuming you’ve hired a well-qualified bartender, you’ll have a premium cosmo—but with a premium price tag. The highest-quality RTD canned cocktails, on the other hand, give you the same bar-quality, perfectly mixed drink that costs less than you’d spend on the individual ingredients at a store.
Adding Variety to Cosmopolitan Cocktail Cans
Now that you’ve poured your canned cosmopolitan over ice and are enjoying its tangy, sweet taste, you may be wondering about additions that will add some new interest or variety to the drink. Here are a few ways you can get creative with your cocktail:
Add Fresh Fruit
Perhaps most popular as a garnish, fresh fruit is a great way to add flavor to a cocktail. To get the best results, use fresh fruits. The fruits below pair well with the cosmopolitan. You can add them in various ways, like muddling, juicing, or blending. Experiment to see which will provide the best combination of flavor and convenience for your partygoers.
- Berries: The goal of adding berries is to bring more complexity to the flavor while pairing well with the cranberry base. Raspberries and strawberries make the best choices here. In addition to bringing their own unique flavor to the mix, both berries will add a burst of sweetness for those who find the traditional cosmo too tart or tangy.
- Citrus: If your guests decide the traditional cosmo is a bit too sweet, adding limes or lemons is a great way to tone down the sweetness and further balance out the flavor.
- Pomegranate: This fruit is both sweet and tart. If your guests already find the mix of those taste sensations to be well-balanced in their cosmopolitan, adding a bit of pomegranate can maintain the balance while still adding a unique flavor to the drink.
Experiment with Bitters
Most well known as an ingredient in the Old Fashioned or the manhattan, bitters are a concentrated mix of various flavors that add a great deal of complexity to the drinks that utilize them. They serve well to balance out the sweetness. Remember, with bitters, a little goes a long way. Just a few drops are all you need to alter the flavor of your drinks.
Try Some Ginger Ale
This is a popular addition to the classic cosmo. The carbonation and ginger flavor of ginger ale combine to provide an extra kick to the otherwise fruity nature of the cocktail. Just a splash or so is enough, so keeping a few chilled cansr around will provide your guests with this flavor-enhancing option.
Sip, Savor, and Socialize: Elevate Your Party Game with the Best Canned Cosmos
A selection of great cocktails can make your parties the talk of your social circles. People may not remember the middle-of-the-road drinks they’re served at parties by amateur mixologists, but they will remember the parties that serve a well-crafted, perfectly proportioned cocktail.
With Post Meridiem Cocktails, you can enjoy world-class RTD canned cocktails crafted without compromise. All at an affordable price and in a convenient, trendy little 100 mL can that packs a punch. Find them at a liquor store near you, or have your cocktails delivered right to your door. Take a look at our collection to find your favorite canned cocktail and experience the taste for yourself.