National Cosmopolitan Day is celebrated on May 7 in the honor of a generation-defining cocktail. Served chilled in a tall martini glass, the natural pink hue of the drink signals the fun times to come. Soon after gaining tremendous popularity in the bars of New York, this one-of-a-kind craft cocktail met with universal acclaim in the late ’90s. Acidic, refreshing, and layered — there are a lot of reasons why it became an instant classic. On National Cosmopolitan Day, we celebrate all those many reasons.
History of National Cosmopolitan Day
National Cosmopolitan Day is a tribute to the ever-iconic and glamorous cosmopolitan drink. This fun holiday is the creation of the famous holidaymaker Jace Shoemaker-Galloway. A cosmopolitan is a vodka cocktail made with vodka, cranberry juice, triple sec, and fresh lemon juice. Loved by people all around the world for its punchy sour flavor and wildly distinctive eclectic pink buzz, the Cosmo — as enthusiasts call it — is one of the most recognizable cocktails of all time.
It was in the late 1990s, when flared bottoms, Fendi baguettes, and the Cosmo was all New York could talk about. Deep in the trenches were the city’s bartenders who were making hundreds of Cosmos a night to satiate the demand. The original recipe, as discovered in the 1934 publication “ Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars” by author Charles Christopher Mueller, calls for gin to be the main alcohol component of the alcohol. The recipe also calls for a splash of raspberry syrup. Understandably, the heaviness of gin and syrup clipped the popularity of the drink for a large portion of history. In 1988, Toby Cecchini, a bartender working at Tribeca’s hottest nightspot, the Odean, added his own twist to the drink and transformed it for the whole world to love.
The vivacious flavor profile, the tart aftertaste, and the tamed alcohol by volume make Cosmos a highly quaffable drink to enjoy all year round. Perfect for a night out with the girls, and even better for the sun-drenched afternoons of May — there’s nothing like holding the wondrous pink miracle in our hands. Enthusiasts and fans from all around the nation raise their glasses to honor the cosmo on May 7.
National Cosmopolitan Day timeline
The first cosmopolitan recipe is published in the “Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars.”
New York Bartender Toby Cecchini refines the Cosmo by replacing the gin with vodka.
Cosmopolitan is featured in literature, with its origins tracing back to New York City.
H.B.O.’s iconic show “Sex and the City” mentions the Cosmo and makes it a zeitgeist-defining drink.
National Cosmopolitan Day FAQs
What does a cosmopolitan taste like?
A cosmopolitan has the classic lingering taste of lime-flavored vodka. The drink holds up a predominately sour profile due to fresh lime, with whims of sweetness brought forward by Cointreau.
Is cosmopolitan a martini?
A Cosmopolitan is served in a martini glass, but it is not a martini, as the primary components of a martini are gin and vermouth.
What is the A.B.V. of a cosmopolitan?
The alcohol by volume of a classic cosmopolitan is 27%.
National Cosmopolitan Day Activities
Yes, bars still serve the drink, but we encourage you to make your own Cosmo at home. A lot can go wrong with this painfully easy recipe of four ingredients. We hope you don’t go overboard with the vodka, or worse: douse the glass with half a serving of cranberry juice. It’s best to go by the measurements to enjoy the best cosmo-filled evening.
Host a cocktail-themed soiree
It’s time to get behind the bar and whip out a few drinks yourself. Celebrate National Cosmopolitan Day with an intimate gathering of friends and family, and treat them with some of your best cocktails. ’90s costumes and reruns of old sitcoms are also recommended.
Play with the recipe
If it wasn’t for a dedicated New York bartender, we wouldn’t have the quintessential classic pink drink. This National Cosmopolitan Day, give your spin on the recipe and let the ideas run wild: want to replace vodka with tequila or ditch the lemon component? Let’s try that. Who knows, we might be celebrating your invention in a couple of years.
5 Ingredients Needed To Make The Perfect Cosmopolitan Drink At Home
Lemon flavored vodka
1.5 oz. lemon-infused or flavored vodka.
Cranberry juice cocktail
0.75 oz. cranberry juice with a dash of apple and grape juice.
0.75 oz. triple-sec or vodka-based orange liqueur.
Fresh lime juice
0.5 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice.
Half a cup of crushed ice to mix in the cocktail shaker.
Why We Love National Cosmopolitan Day
Cosmos are a girl’s best friend
The Cosmo has been mocked as a “girly drink” in pop culture. The pink buzz, the martini glasses, and the charming whiff of fresh cranberry juice — we can understand where the implication builds up. Thankfully, the girls love to claim it as their own.
It’s a great reason to party
Once the hottest cocktail in New York, the Cosmo continues to be the perfect vodka cocktail and fits right into your party plans. A glass of cosmopolitan (or several, no one’s counting) can sail a thousand ships. On National Cosmopolitan Day, we celebrate the legacy of this epic drink and let ourselves indulge a little as well.
It’s a y2k throwback
Lest we forget how cosmos dominated the ‘90s. From the bartenders fielding an avalanche of orders every Saturday night to movie stars courting the electric pink drink — the Cosmo represents a specific pre-2000s nostalgia that must be cherished. On May 7, we come together to celebrate the glamorous and largely bygone era of alluring alcohol culture.
National Cosmopolitan Day dates