Remember Sex and the City? It was the series that taught us everything we needed to know about designer clothes, dating, friendship and, of course, cocktails. And while it was the show that turned Sarah Jessica Parker into a fashion icon, don’t forget that other icon – the Cosmopolitan.
Sips on Cosmos between sex talk and shoe stories became the done thing. We cried and laughed and cringed through six glorious seasons, tasting every sip of every cosmopolitan cocktail vicariously through the Fab Four. It was the vice they turned to on birthdays and in moments of regret, “Bartender, another Cosmopolitan, please!”
As pretty and sophisticated as the characters it was inextricably linked to, the Cosmo became a symbol of success, independence and female camaraderie. Uninhibited women in their thirties, gallivanting around New York, doing as they please and drinking blush pink cocktails from glassware on stems as thin and long as their heels. It was glorious.
Like so many great things to come out of the 80’s, the Cosmopolitan stepped out of the fluoro soaked decade with style. Invented by New York bartender Toby Cecchini, the Cosmo quickly became the most popular cocktail in London and New York. Bartenders were furiously shaking that mix of vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice, and lime everywhere.
It was in fact years before Carrie ordered her first Cosmo that the cocktail became zeitgeist. Was it not for Dale DeGroff shaking up a batch for Madonna and crew at the World-famous Rainbow Room in Manhattan, there might be no Cosmo to cry over in SATC. The Material Girl was photographed at a Sony Grammy Awards after-party sipping on a Cosmo and the rest is history.
The 90’s was a blur of Cosmopolitans, right up until bartenders grew sick of them and people stopped ordering them for fear of having to apologise.
It’s a strange thing when fandom turns to loathing. The list of cringeworthy things to come out of the 20th Century is endless. But the Cosmo? What were those bartenders thinking, hating on something so pink and fabulous? The mind boggles.
As a cocktail that became wrapped up in the identity of striving career woman, it was inevitable that something would rescue its image. That something would, of course, be a 1999 cameo of SATC. The only thing bartenders could do to avoid making them was literally refuse, and they did.
Like everything trendy, the Cosmopolitan became passé eventually and drifted into oblivion. Now, twenty years on, it’s making a triumphant comeback, proving nostalgia for the pink drink can rival the scrunchie. What was cast aside as a girly drink for two decades is again in pop culture. Bartenders are no longer knocking them, and celebrities like Jennifer Lopez have been spotted swilling them.
It shouldn’t be that surprising that the Cosmo is back with yet another revival of SATC. We’re in the depths of a cocktail renaissance and bartenders have been re-introducing all the lost and forgotten classics. They know that all they need is a pop star, celeb or supermodel to be seen sipping and fans scramble to get their lips around one. Instant notoriety.
If you’re ready to try a Cosmo and want to know how one tastes, it’s the perfect blend of sweet, tart and sour. Perfectly refreshing, especially when served ice cold in a chilled martini glass. It’s a superb alternative to a Rosé on a summer day. This is not just a fashion accessory, it’s an institution.
With Cosmos cool again, we’ll be seeing more trendy drink brands landing in local bottlo’s and online. Non-alcoholic cocktail bases are popping up, making it simple to just add alcohol and shake-up a Cosmo. For those that can’t be bothered with the fuss of measuring and shaking, check out our ready to drink, bottled Cosmos you simply chill and serve. Either way, Cosmos are set to be all the rage this summer as Aussies find ways to add some SATC glamour to their home imbibing.
It may be impossible to popularise the Cosmo as much as they did in the ‘80s or 90’s, but the second coming of the Cosmo is set whether those pesky bartenders like it or not. It’s time to channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw and prepare yourself for a nostalgic reunion. The Cosmo is back in vogue.