Thanksgiving Cosmo

Thanksgiving food is definitely good. But do you know what else is good? Thanksgiving drinks. And probably the most popular thanksgiving drinks are beer and wine. Beer is often associated with the football games, one of the main events during that day and the wine with formality of the dinner. There is however another drink, that we seem to drink year around, based on cranberries, which for some reason we tend to ignore that day. I am talking of none other than the Cosmopolitan. Cosmopolitan is a very popular drink, very refreshing, if it is made right way, and most importantly it is a simple drink. Due to the bright pinkish color it seems to be a very popular drink among the female population, and for the same reason it seems to be not as popular to the male population.

Cosmopolitan is a very old cocktail and it is expected that its origins are lost somewhere in time. Currently the exact origin of the cosmopolitan is disputed. It is safer to assume that that the drink in small variations was created independently, by different bartenders in different cities. The earliest recorded version of the cocktail as described in the book Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars 1903-1933, which was published in 1934 shares non of the incredients that the current drink has. Even the fruit component was blueberry of all berries. In its most current form it was made by John Caine who brought the San Francisco around 1987 from Ohio. Another version of the history is states that the drink was developed in Manhattan, by Toby Cecchini, who developed  the internationally recognized version of the cocktail. In any case it is based on a different class of cocktails that are more widely known as the Cape Coders and is the pairing of a single spirit with a fruit juice. A typical cosmopolitan plays on the general rules of a good cocktail:

  1. It has the base alcohol; in this case vodka
  2. A major flavoring; in this case the cranberry juice
  3. An accent that is the citrus
  4. A sweet to balance the acidity in this case simple syrup or triple sec that is syrup with alcohol.

 In this version I am changing a few things… Don ‘t worry not dramatic changes. Just some tricks here and there just to make the cocktail more festive. I based it on the cranberry syrup we made before. It is a drink that is build around that.

So we will need:

  • Vodka that will be the basic spirit
  • The cranberry syrup that is the syrup and the cranberry juice
  • Grand Marnier that is a citrus flavored liqueur and will add some more sweetness and citrus hints. I am not using lime as it will make the drink to acidic to my taste. I find that the syrup is definitely acidic enough on its own.
  • Ice. The most misunderstood ingredient of the cocktail business.

Fill up your shaker with ice.

Measure 2 1/2 oz of vodka.

Pour it over the ice.

Measure 1 oz of Grant Marnier.

And drop it over the ice as wll. Notice: All the spirits are poured over the ice. This is not random. It is a process that actually will melt some of the ice and dilute them. They will be integrated a lot better that way since the cooling is not going to be as rapid.

Now measure 1 oz of the cranberry syrup.

And following from that over the ice as well.

Lid up and shake.

Get a nice cold cocktail glass and set it on your table.

And pour in the goodness.

For decoration just take some cranberries and skewer them on the metal cocktail decorative… pins. These are actually pins that are supposed to be used for tying the turkey after stuffing it. The days after thanksgiving you can buy a a packet of them that has 6 for like a buck. Talk about repurposing items. I have severe of them as they are great addition to any bar set.

And let this rest on the rim of the glass. Amazing.

A gorgeous cocktail if I don’t say so myself.

If you are serving many people you can always increase the alcohol levels and serve it on the rocks. I usually make a pitcher of it and just let it on the table. When you serve cocktails on the rocks they get somewhat diluted so it is a good idea to up the cocktail alcohol level before hand.

Printable Recipe Card

Thanksgiving Cosmo

From Nerd Meets Food | Beverages | American

A different take on a classic drink.


cal Calories 284kcal

fat Free Total Fat 0g

sat-fat Free Saturated Fat 0g

chol Free Cholesterol 0mg

Low sodium Sodium 58mg

carbs Total Carbohydrate 26g

Serving size 824g Calories from fat 0kcal Fiber 0g Protein 0g Sugar 20g
1 servings


  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 1/2 oz cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 oz syrup
  • 1 oz Grand Marnier
  • 3 cups ice


  1. Fill the cocktail glass with ice and let it cool .
  2. Fill the shaker with ice.
  3. Add the vodka, the Grand Marnier and the syrup.
  4. Shake vigorously.
  5. Serve in the chilled cocktail glass.

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Last modified: December 16, 2021 by Georgios Pyrgiotakis