Friday, May 25, 2012

The Cosmopolitan: Cook or DeGroff Versions

I was planning on making some Cosmopolitans for momma-san last night but came across some difficulties in doing so. As I usual do, I have a Plan A and a Plan B when it comes to going to my local Liquor store. There are two basic origins to the Cosmopolitan and my plans are based on the origins.

Origin one says that the Cosmpolotan was created by bartender Cheryl Cook in South Beach Miami. According to the Barmixmaster Blogpage:
As the story goes, while bartending in 1985 Cheryl notice a big resurgence of the Martini but more specifically the coolness of holding a cocktail glass. Her keen observation lead her to notice that people would order a Martini or a Vodka Martini but did not necessarily like it all that well, but rather they did it too be chic. So when Cheryl received a brand new product from her Absolut rep called Absolut Citron she took on the challenge to create a new "pretty" drink that could be served in a cocktail glass.

Cheryl went to work and whipped up a mixture of "Absolut Citron, a splash of triple sec, a drop of roses lime juice and just enough cranberry to make it oh so pretty in pink." She then served it up to her first guest Christina Solopuerto and within 45 minutes the entire restaurant had a Cosmopolitan in front of them.

This formula in Cheryl's mind was simply a Kamikaze using Absolut Citron and adding a splash of cranberry juice. The cocktail was named after the magazine Cosmopolitan which has the styles and design she was trying to project with her new drink... and Voila! a new cocktail is born.

Here's the recipe listed on his page:
1.5 oz Absolut Citron
0.5 oz Cointreau
0.25 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1 oz Cranberry Juice

Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish. I've seen the garnish for the Cosmo to be: a lemon twist, flamed orange peel, or lime wedge.
Here in lies the reason for the two plans. I went to the local liquor store and could not find any Absolute Citron. They were out of stock. So on to plan B.

Plan B is based on legendary Rainbow Room bartender Dale DeGroff. According to Mr. Boston's Official Bartender's Guide 75th Anniversary Edition:
The invention of the Cosmo, which has passed the lips of many a sophisticated lady (and quite a few men, too), is often credited to Cheryl Cook, a bartender in South Beach, FL. But it really took off when master mixologist Dale DeGroff served one to Madonna at New York's late and lamented Rainbow Room

Here is the recipe listed in the book:
1 1/2 oz. Vodka
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. triple sec
1/2 oz. Cranberry juice
Garnish: Lime Wheel

Shake well with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lime.

So I where I didn't find the Absolute Citron, I found the Karlsson's Gold Vodka. I've heard some good things about Karlsson's potato vodka on Twitter so why not try it out. I actually mentioned that I was going to make a Cosmo for momma-san on Twitter and referenced @Karlssonsvodka and actually got a response from them. They recommended that I use either Cointreau or Grand Marnier with Karlsson's Vodka rather than Triple Sec, fresh lime and a splash of Cranberry Juice. Luckily for me I bought a small bottle of Grand Marnier to make some more of the delicious St. Tropez summer cocktail. So I followed the recipe as in the book, using the Karlsson's Gold Vodka and the Grand Marnier.

What I found was a good strong drink on the bit of the tart side. I gave the drink to momma-san who also found that it was strong but it didn't stop her her from asking for a second (and her last). She has a two drink maximum. This cocktail would be preferred by those with a penchant for tartness. Let's fast forward to tonight.

I made the Cosmopolitan as per Cook's recipe and this is the Cosmo that I (and possibly Momma-San) are used to drinking. The sweeter taste of the Cointreau is balanced with the Absolute Citron. I made it with Rose's lime instead of fresh lime for the sake of time and ease. I guess I'll have to make it with fresh lime at home to see what difference there is using the line and the Rose's.

So which one would momma-San prefer. Probably the Cook version. It does seem like its the official "Sex and the City" version. And if any of you know Momma-San, she loves her Sex in the City. As for me, I'm cool with both versions. I like the sweeter Cook version and the tarter DeGroff version. I guess it would be a decision based on mood for me to order either one.

For recognition sake, I think the Cook version works at the bar. That is the one that both Pete and Alice say they make regularly.

Happy Drinking,
Sisco Vanilla