Guest Post by Caroline O’Neil
Don’t let the girly pink colour scare you away. The Cosmopolitan, or informally known as a Cosmo, is a relatively new cocktail that was created in 1985. The Cosmo has become very popular in recent years with the help of one of my favourite shows Sex and the City. Since the Cosmo was mentioned so many times on the show, I decided to give it a try. The Cosmo is made with Vodka, Cointreau or Triple Sec, cranberry juice, fresh-squeezed lime juice and is served in a martini glass. Personally, I have still not learned to appreciate a real martini because the alcohol is too overpowering for my taste buds. I need to have something mixed in with it to help tone down the alcohol. I still remember the first time I tried a martini because it left my hair standing on end. I will simply sit back and admire James Bond as he sips his “shaken, not stirred” martini. I do not have the palate for the traditional martini so I have explored the alternatives. There are so many different flavoured martinis out there to try, but the Cosmo is definitely at the top of my list.
I certainly enjoy a good Cosmo, but I like it even more because the cranberry juice found in the Cosmo has been shown to have health benefits. Cranberries are a healthy fruit that are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, fibre and antioxidants. Antioxidants are dietary substances that help prevent or fix damage to your cells. Researchers have shown that cranberry juice plays a significant role in preventing urinary tract infections and helps reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, ulcers and gum disease. Remember that the best cranberry juice should be 100% juice with no preservatives, artificial flavours or colours. Please remember that it is the cranberry juice in the Cosmo that has health benefits and not the Cosmo itself. I wouldn’t want anyone going out and start drinking buckets of Cosmos.
1½ oz Vodka
¾ oz Cointreau or Triple Sec
¾ oz Cranberry juice
½ oz fresh lime juice
Pour the vodka, Cointreau or Triple Sec, cranberry juice and lime juice into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well, strain into a martini glass, garnish with a lime slice and serve.
Now should we follow 007 and shake the martini or should it be stirred?
There are many theories why James Bond may have ordered his martini “shaken, not stirred”. Shaking the martini with ice definitely makes the drink colder than if it was stirred. Darcy has already explained the importance of ice in cocktails. Some believe that stirring a martini diminishes it’s flavour but others think that shaking it can bruise the gin or vodka. Interestingly, scientists in my backyard at the University of Western Ontario completed a study showing that shaken (not stirred) martinis had a higher antioxidant potential. Again antioxidants have been shown to be important for preventing diseases.
The desired appearance of the martini must also be taken into consideration. The shaken martini’s tend to be cloudier than stirred martini’s because small fragments of ice are introduced while shaking. As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when making a martini. With a Cosmopolitan you definitely want to shake it to get the bright pink colour. That’s part of the appeal of this drink.