I know this may cost me my "man card" but I must admit that I enjoy drinking Cosmo's and no I have not watched a single episode of Sex in the City. One unique thing about drinking Cosmo's is that you never seem to get the same drink twice. Many times I have had two totally different Cosmo's (taste and appearance) at the same restaurant, on the same night. Every restaurant or bartender seems to have their own version of ingredients and their own way of making it.

You should take notice. Making a drink as popular as the Cosmo, your restaurant should be striving to create a great Cosmo night after night regardless of who made it. If you as an owner do not enjoy the taste of a Cosmo then I suggest you recruit people who can help you determine the quality of your Cosmo. Cosmo drinkers understand how important that is. As a confessed Cosmo drinker I can tell you the best places to have a Cosmo. We remember those who strive and reward them with our dollars. I know Cosmo drinkers that will actually avoid establishments because they do not make a good Cosmo. Me, I'm not that picky, but it's a true statement.

How to make to great Cosmo; start with a great recipe

2 oz Vodka
1 oz Triple Sec
1 oz Cranberry Juice
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
Garnish - Lime Wheel

Cosmo Rules and Regs

  • mix in a glass shaker (easier to judge color & see what you're pouring)
  • Cosmo glass must be chilled (colder the better)
  • Cosmo must be shaken (cloudy appearance)
  • Cosmo's should not be clear or light pink (too little cranberry)
  • Cosmo's should not look like Cape Codders (too much cranberry)
  • No Rose's Lime Juice (makes it taste like a Kami-Kazi)
  • If you serve lots of Cosmo's, prep a container with fresh lime juice for speed
  • Don't pour a short Cosmo, pour it close to the rim. If you are unwilling to do that due to the size of the glassware, buy smaller glasses


Other Important Considerations;

Orange Liqueur - I believe very few people can tell the difference between Triple Sec, Cointreau and Grand Mariner in a mixed drink. Here's why I think you should use Triple Sec in a Cosmo.

Do you know if any of your Bartenders routinely use Cointreau when making Cosmo's?
You should, because it raises your cost of that drink by over a dollar.

The first reason I prefer Triple Sec is cost.

Per ounce, Triple Sec is $.25, compare that to Grand Mariner and Cointreau at $1.40 per ounce.

My Cosmo recipe cost        
2 oz Vodka
1 oz Triple Sec
1 oz Cranberry Juice
Retail $6
Profit $5.06
84% Profit Margin


Cosmo with Cointreau        
2 oz Vodka
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz Cranberry Juice
Retail $6
Profit $3.91
65% Profit Margin

If you use Triple Sec rather than Cointreau, you would gain the following annual profits.

If you sell 40 Cosmo's per week $2,392
If you sell 50 Cosmo's per week $2,990
If you sell 60 Cosmo's per week


If you sell 100 Cosmo's per week $5,980

The second reason I prefer Triple Sec over Cointreau & Grand Mariner is the proof. Triple sec is 40 proof vs. Cointreau and Grand Mariner at 80 proof. Your customers may have more than one cocktail if the first one has a little less kick.

Consider using a citrus Vodka
Only garnish with orange slice when using orange vodka
Slices of lime in the mixing glass create a nice cloudy Cosmo