Thursday, January 10, 2008

Min's Cosmopolitan

To start with, it is difficult to find a picture of the perfect cosmopolitan. The top one is the right shade of pink, but looks cloudy. If you Google "Cosmopolitan drink," you will find lots of drinks like this one; this one is much too dark. I do like the orange peel though, so it made the cut.I have quite unsuccessfully photoshopped the image below. The light pink is close, though a bit on the lavender side, but the lime peel is unnaturally green. Again, I like that curled detail. It is perfectly acceptable to just float a circle of orange or lime peel in the middle of your glass as well. But I am getting ahead of myself. Looking at this picture again, I would probably aim for a drink that is the same shade of pink as the table near the bottom.

Oh my, are there some sorry bartenders out there who can't make a decent Cosmo to save their life. It's a good thing I am around to show them the light. But sometimes, even my light and my secret ingredient aren't enough to pull the bartenders out of the dark pit of despair that is a lackluster and poorly executed Cosmopolitan. That, however, is a story for another day.

The key ingredient in the perfect Cosmopolitan is Finlandia Cranberry Vodka. It lends a hint of cranberry flavor as well as a hint of pink color, thus precludes the usual "splash of cranberry." No diluting these babies, and if your Finlandia is pink, there is no worry about the perfect "shade" of pink. (If you can't find the Finlandia Cranberry, I would go with Skye vodka, but that's just me. I'll provide an alternate recipe in case you are forced to use anything besides Finlandia.)

The next ingredient is Triple Sec. If you want to use a high quality (more expensive) liqueur, you can use Cointreau. But in my experience, as long as the triple sec has decent flavor, it will do.

The final ingredient, and a must, no substitutions, is Rose's Lime Juice. Fresh squeezed lime juice will not provide the desired result. You simply must use Rose's. This is what it looks like:

And here is what you'll need for one perfect Cosmopolitan:

1 shot (1 ounce) Finlandia Cranberry Vodka

1/2 shot (1/2 ounce) Triple Sec

approximately 1 generous Tablespoon Rose's Lime Juice (maybe 2)

1 cup ice cubes

Cocktail shaker

Chilled Martini glass

A steady hand

Combine all ingredients in the cocktail shaker. Shake gently and with that steady hand, pour carefully and strain into a Martini glass. Fill it right up to the rim. For extra flair, ever so gently float a curl of lime or orange peel in the center of your drink.

*I have noticed some "cosmopolitans" out there served with an offensive Wedge of Lime or other such nonsense. This simply unacceptable and boorish, do not even consider it.

Now. If there is some kind of problem. If you can't find Finlandia Cranberry in your teeny-tiny state controlled liquor store. Or if, God forbid, the Finlandia Cranberry you find is not beautifully pink, but rather sadly clear? Use the best quality vodka you can afford/find. Skye vodka seems to be a good substitute (it could be just the beautiful cobalt blue bottle). If you are using Another vodka or Clear Cranberry vodka, you will need to add the tiniest splash of cranberry juice to your Cosmopolitan mixture. You should wait to add the cranberry until it's in the glass, then gently stir, or just allow it to mix cloudily in as you sip. You don't want to get too much juice. You want the slightest hint of pink tinge in your Cosmo, not a diluted, cranberry juice colored mess. (this is why I don't recommend adding cranberry to the cocktail shaker--this is very much a visual effect).

And yes, ladies, this is a science. It does take some practice. We might even need to get together for some lessons on this one. Perhaps we could trade: Cosmo lesson for Photoshop lesson? I won't mind. And neither will you, once you've tasted the liquid beauty that is Min's Cosmo.

Post Script: The next time I make a batch of cosmo's, I'll be sure to take a picture. Then you'll know exactly what to aim for. How 'bout that?

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