As an end to the first thirty days of exploring classic cocktails, the Cosmopolitan seems to be just the right transitional cocktail. Dale DeGroff was the main man at the Rainbow Room, one of the many bars that the rich and famous frequent in New York City. After his discovery of Jerry Thomas in the 1980's, he set out to change the way cocktails were made by using fresh ingredients and classic proportions. He was one of the pioneers of the new Golden Age of Cocktails we are currently enjoying, making bartending an art instead of a way to pay the bills between "real jobs". Many people credit DeGroff with creating the drink, but he defers it to Cheryl Cook from Miami.
The Cosmopolitan has a longer history that just the 1990's. Cocktail scholars find some hints of it in the 1930's, when orange liqueur and lime juice were paired with gin and raspberry syrup to created the cocktail. There was also a cocktail created by Ocean Spray in the 1960's during their push to make cranberry juice a household staple. It was very similar to the Cosmo proportionally, but did not have the orange liqueur as part of the mix. The modern version of the cocktail is said to be created by Cheryl Cook, though there are a few other possible creators. When the Martini returned to its position of prominence in the 1980's, Cook noted that the men were enjoying them, but women were not. She she out to create a visually appealing and delicious cocktail for the ladies. Dale DeGroff has resisted the notion that he created it, stating that he only polished up the recipe that already existed.
The Cosmopolitan (Dale DeGroff's recipe)
1.5 oz./ 45 mL citrus vodka
.5 oz./ 15 mL orange liqueur
1 oz./ 30 mL cranberry juice
.25 oz./ 8 mL fresh lime juice
Garnish: Flamed orange peel
Pour all of the ingredients into a mixing tin. Add ice, then shake until chilled (30 seconds). Strain the drink into a cocktail glass and flame the orange peel over it. Then add the orange peel and serve.
For all of the grief this cocktail eventually received, it is a good drink. All of the citrus counteracts any sweetness that peeks through. The pink color, which should be really almost a tint of pink, may be just enough to deter people from ordering it. That, and close association it has with Sex and the City. It has since faded into the background on most cocktail menus, especially with the growth of bourbon over the last decade. Another reason people stopped drinking them? Well, because everyone else started!