To make a classic Cosmopolitan, pour vodka, cranberry juice, either Cointreau or triple sec and fresh lime juice into a shaker full of ice. Shake it up until the shaker becomes frosty on the outside, then serve in a chilled martini glass with a lime wedge as a garnish.
The proportion of ingredients varies depending on individiual preferences; however, generally speaking, one should use 1 1/2 ounces of vodka, 3/4 of an ounce of cranberry juice, 1/2 an ounce of Cointreau or triple sec and 1/2 an ounce of lime juice when making a Cosmopolitan. Preparation time for this cocktail is less than five minutes. A slight variation on the drink would be to garnish with an orange peel instead of a lime wedge when using Cointreau to accent the orange flavor in the liqueur.
Cosmopolitans gained popularity in the 1990s when "Sex and the City" was on television, as it was the favored drink of character Carrie Bradshaw. Prior to that, when the drink was first developed, the Cosmopolitan was made with entirely different ingredients. In the 1930s, a Cosmopolitan was made with 1 1/2 ounces of Jigger of Gordon's Gin, 1/2 an ounce of Cointreau, 1 ounce of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of homemade raspberry syrup.