The Cosmopolitan & The Orange Thai Basil Cosmo

Bella Mar Orange Thai Basil Cosmo

The “standard” Cosmopolitan is made with lemon-flavored vodka. Many recipes will call for nondescript citrus vodka. My preference is orange vodka to bolster the flavor of the Cointreau. Like so many moments in America during the ‘70s the exact origins of the Cosmopolitan are a bit fuzzy, and things don’t seem to get much clearer until John Caine brought the drink from Ohio to San Francisco in 1987. It’s been a modern classic ever since.

The standard Cosmo is also heavy on Cranberry juice, almost matching the proportion of vodka—I think that is a mistake, but to each his own palate. Anyway, hear is the IBA’s[i] specified recipe[ii]:

The Cosmopolitan

  • 1 1/3 oz. Vodka Citron
  • ½ oz. Cointreau
  • ½ fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz. Cranberry juice


Combine all ingredients in a shaker, add ice, and shake until frosty. Double strain into a large, chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lime wheel.


Having been given a bottle of infused vodka from Bella Mar Spirits to experiment with, I was eager to try it in a Cosmo – listen to our interview with Kerstyn Zepeda of Bella Mar Spirits. The Cosmo is generally outside the scope of my drink preferences—particularly the Cosmo’s you’ll get at most bars, the opportunity to utilize a natural orange flavor in Bella Mar, along with the atypical addition of spiciness from the Thai Basil was on that I could not waste.

From the few Cosmos I’d had before, I knew that I liked one with only a hint of cranberry—and I carried over that preference for this version which when mixed is closer to a blush pink than to the ruby-red concoctions served elsewhere.

Bella Mar Orange Thai Basil Cosmo


Combine all ingredients in a shaker, add ice, and shake until frosty, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Cut a large piece of orange peel (try not to get any rind) and squeeze the oils over the top of the drink, then carefully with a match or lighter quickly run a flame over the peel two or three times to lightly caramelize the remaining citrus oil.

[i] The International Bartender’s Association… who knew that’s a thing? I didn’t, and certainly wouldn’t have guessed they had a standard cocktail recipes book.

[ii] I fiddled with it a bit because they measure everything in CL… for my own standardization I’ve converted and rounded each measure to the closest