Friday, April 29, 2011

The Perfect Cosmopolitan

It's funny how memory works, where some big details slide into the abyss while small details stick so well.

New York City, Summer 1997. I was at a dinner party at this incredibly wealthy fellow's townhouse in (of all places) Spanish Harlem... all the way at the end of East 118th Street. I was invited as a friend of a friend at the party: I don't even remember the friend, the friend's friend, or the host. (The friend was this Swedish girl who lived in my building; her friend (the friend of a friend) lived in an apartment down the street from the wealthy guy / host. I remember that part.)

After dinner, the entire party went down to this bar in the Village... West of 7th Avenue and North of Christopher Street — one of those places you normally don't get into without wearing $600 shoes — that was supposed to have the World's Best Cosmopolitans.

Well, they were. That's pretty much all I remember about that night.

I sat up tonight trying to get the right combination of ingredients to recreate that Cosmopolitan they served and on the 5th try, finally got it right. Here is a reasonable reproduction of the World's Best Cosmopolitan:

8 parts Citron vodka
4 parts triple sec
1 part Rose's lime juice
8 parts cranberry juice

Add cracked ice (the most important part) and shake. Pour in a cocktail glass. No garnish.

(I measure in "parts". A part can be whatever you want it to be... it's a relative system of measuring: twice as much Citron as triple sec; a quarter as much lime juice as triple sec; same amount of vodka as cranberry.)

The cracked ice is the important part because the broken ice should chip off and add just a bit of frozen water to the mixture and perhaps some small bits of ice in the final product.

There you have it. Or, you can go buy a plane ticket to New York, some Berlutis, and spend $12 a glass at this bar I visited, assuming you can find it and assuming it is still there after 14 years in the fickle Village. Your choice.


WillyJ said...

Great. Hey do you have any idea if these ingredients are available here in the Philippines? Can I substitute calamansi for Rose juice. What's triple sec?

Jil Wrinkle said...

No, Rose Juice is substituted with Island Mixer lime juice. Triple Sec can be found in the liquor departments at most of the major grocery stores that have them, such as SM and Robertsons. There you can also find the Absolute Citron and Cranberry juice.

WillyJ said...

Great again. Thanks Jil.