Wanting the glitz and glamour of a martini but without its bold taste? A classic Cosmopolitan, aka Cosmo, is the perfect solution, merging great taste with eye-catching elegance. They’re a snap to make using 4 ingredients: vodka, lime juice, Cointreau and sugar-free cranberry juice cocktail. Their flavor leans closer to sour/tart rather than sweet, similar to that of a margarita or daiquiri.

Though some form of the Cosmo has been around for almost a century, its popularity skyrocketed during the 1990’s with the airing of the highly-rated HBO show, Sex in the City. Sarah Jessica Parker’s character, Carrie Bradshaw, along with the rest of her posse, routinely drank Cosmos while dining out in fashionable New York City bars. Around the globe, young women sipped the pretty pink drink from martini glasses, hoping to capture the sophisticated vibe of the television characters.

Fast forward to 2019. While Cosmos have lost their fad status, they haven’t lost their appeal. At least not for me. They’re just as tasty as they were in the 90’s.  Husband Mike likes strong drinks, so you may want to adjust the amount of vodka. And remember, those of us following a low-carb or keto diet tend to have lower alcohol tolerance levels. You can always cut back on the vodka, or add sparkling water (plain, lemon or lime) to lessen potency.

We prefer the taste of plain vodka, not citrus flavored as many Cosmo recipes recommend. Mike uses Russian Standard vodka, saying no other vodka comes close to the clean, crisp flavor. Sugar-free cranberry juice cocktail contains 0.25 carbs per one ounce, verses the regular variety, which contains over 15 times that amount! Better yet, I can’t detect any difference in flavor between the two.

We save the few carbs in this drink for the Cointreau, because nothing else compares to its bitter orange essence. And one ingredient that’s non-negotiable – fresh lime juice. You can’t replace the flavor of fresh juice without squeezing your own limes. I’ve tried several ways to juice a citrus fruit, but one tool outshines them all:  the citrus press. It’s the most efficient method to get every last drop out of a citrus fruit, hands-down. I’ve spent too many years twisting the fruits around and around using the old-fashioned cone juicer.

Pour all ingredients into a shaker full of ice and shake for 30 seconds. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with lime, lemon or orange peel.


These elegant and tasty classic cosmopolitans use fresh lime juice and sugar-free cranberry juice cocktail to create a low-carb, tart, and flavorful cocktail, perfect for summer evenings or anytime the heat is on.

  • 4 ounces vodka
  • 2 ounces sugar-free cranberry juice cocktail
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 1 ounce freshy squeezed lime juice
  1. Pour all ingredients into a shaker full of ice.

  2. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
  3. Strain into martini glasses.

  4. Garnish with lime twists.

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