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Vine Street’s sophisticated Cosmo is worth the sipping. (Photo credit: Doug Young)

The Cosmopolitan is a bit of a polarizing drink — you love it or you don’t. It’s become inextricably linked to Hamptons-dwelling Candace Bushnell and her wildly successful New York Observer-column-turned-TV-series, “Sex in the City,” starring the one and only Sarah Jessica Parker as the unrealistically well dressed freelance journalist, Carrie Bradshaw. (Some of us over here at Southforker have been freelance journalists; it’s an occupation more akin to Target, or at least sample sale, shopping than weekly splurges at Barney’s, but we are ever-willing to suspend our disbelief for a good story).

The drink was invented by one Toby Cecchini, author of Cosmopolitan: A Bartender’s Life and owner of the Long Island Bar on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, back in the ’80s when he was a young gun working at Balthazar.

(Photo credit: Amy Zavatto)

The drink’s original specs were based on the then-new release of Absolut’s line of flavored vodkas — a curiosity back in those days. He used their Citron version, along with Cointreau, lime juice and just a splash of Ocean Spray cranberry juice (yup, ask him now; he’ll tell you he’s tried others and it’s the only one that works). It’s a riff on a sour, and dry one at that.

Over the years, the drink in other people’s hands became… sweeter. And traveled from its origins, which were based in the classic cocktail realm. Often, when we see this drink on a menu, we pas it by. But Vine Street doesn’t put anything on their menu, be it food or drink, without thought and consideration.

Knowing this, on a recent night we ordered their Cosmo, and watched barman Marco Oubari deftly and carefully put together their gloriously version, honoring the drink’s original dry-leaning style with the clever swap of Peychaud’s Bitters for the cranberry. The result adds the requisite hint of rouge but also some interesting herby depth to the flavor profile. It may well be the only off-shoot of the drink we’ve ever actually truly loved.

Mix one up yourself this weekend (or go grab a seat at the bar while you might still be able to!) thanks to the generous lending of the recipe from bar director Matt McCarthy.

The Vine Street Cosmopolitan

Prep Time 1 minute
Serves 1 cocktail


  • 2 oz Grey Goose L'Orange vodka
  • 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 oz simple syrup (1:1 sugar and water)
  • 2 – 3 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
  • 1 orange peel


  • In a shaker with ice, combine all the liquid ingredients.
  • Shake until well-chilled, about 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with the orange peel. Cheers!