If any one drink can be credited for the resurgence of the cocktail in recent years, it's the cosmopolitan, which appeared in bars across the country in the mid-1990s. No one seems to know who created it, and there has been much debate as to whether it first appeared in San Francisco or New York. But no matter who first put these ingredients together, there's no doubt this is the most popular new drink to come along since the martini.
The best thing about the cosmopolitan is that it is extremely well constructed. Although it's a far cry from the martini, the balance of flavors that comes from mixing the tart lime juice, the semisweet cranberry juice cocktail and the sweet triple sec, and the extra dimension the citrus-flavored vodka adds, is sensational.
Ice cubes as needed
2 fl. oz. citrus vodka
1 Tbs. triple sec
1 Tbs. cranberry juice cocktail
1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
Fill a cocktail shaker two-thirds full of ice cubes. Pour in the vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice cocktail and lime juice and shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Guides, The Bar Guide, by Ray Foley (Time-Life Books, 1999).