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Vodka - your choice in a cosmo?

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Which vodka is your choice when you make a cosmo? I have been using Tanqueray. Perhaps I could have just as good a drink with a less expensive vodka.

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  1. A Cosmopolitan traditionally gets a citron vodka. As for which one I use, depends on my mood. Lately I've been using Ketel One Citroen.

    6 Replies
    1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

      The citron vodka works well (especially Ketel One), but it's not traditional.

      1. re: mcmachete

        Dale DeGroff and Gary Regan both use citron vodka, I'm siding with them. Especially Dale, he was making them in the Rainbow Room several years before they were popular.

        1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

          You're right. Not sure what I was thinking...

          1. re: mcmachete

            I can't blame you. Most bars don't pay attention to such details, and just use regular vodka. After all, at most places you order a Manhattan and they never use enough vermouth and no bitters, you might as well have just ordered bourbon on the rocks.

      2. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

        I'm telling you all, the original uses regular vodka. I'm talking about the 70's fern bars in Massachussets. "It’s a descendant of the Cold War's Cape Codder and the respectable sibling of the Kamikaze. The gay community in Provincetown, Massachusetts, is credited with its invention. The popularity of the Cosmopolitan quickly traveled from New England to New York and then across the country." It is a better cocktails on the drier side of the spectrum. And Dale DeGroff put to much cranberry in it so it had more visual weight on the TV show "Sex in the City."

        1. re: 2top

          I never heard that one. I have heard it was invented in South Beach, and in Minneapolis. But I give it a grain of salt when someone definitively says "it was invented here..." because it is one of those drinks that the provenence is disputed and there is no proof of where it originated. Even Cointreau doesn't know.

      3. Smirinoff was top rated by NY Times a while back. It's not expensve, and I guarantee no one will complain about the vodka. They may have problems with the other ingredients or the way it was made, but the vodka won't be an issue.

        3 Replies
        1. re: MichaelG

          Thanks! No problems with my other ingredients, My recipe is:

          1 part Roses Sweetened Lime Juice
          1 part Triple Sec
          2 parts vodka
          3 parts cranberry juice
          1/2 or 1 lime squeezed

          I have looked at many recipes and this is the one we've settled on. I'm sure others have their favorite combination.

          1. re: TMWeddlle

            i'm all for people using recipes that *they* like, purists be damned-- but you may not want to call your recipe a cosmo.

            true cosmos should be mostly composed of *liquor*, with just enough cranberry juice to blush the drink-- make it a very pale pink. any recipe containing more cranberry juice than vodka is an imitator-- you're mixing a glorified vodka-based-shot, a fancy-looking drink to match someone's outfit, presumably, but without much actual substance to justify the use of a stemmed cocktail glass. imo with the weak vodka-based punch recipe above, you should drop the pretension and just order a cape cod.

            1. re: soupkitten

              True, you really don't want more than a few dashes - maybe up to a quarter ounce - of cranberry juice.

              1.5 oz - citrus vodka
              1 oz - triple sec
              .5 oz - lime juice
              <.5 tsp - cranberry juice

              Keep on making them however you like, TMW - but soupkitchen's right in that you're really just making a Cape Cod (though with that much cranberry, it might be more suitable on ice in a highball or collins glass than strained into a cocktail glass).

              As to your original question, if your vodka takes backseat to the juices in your cocktail, then you may not notice it if you use some "lower-shelf" variety. Then again, Tanqueray vodka is already fairly inexpensive - too much less than that and you may come accross vodka with impurities too harsh to ignore.

        2. If it's sold where you live, I would strongly recommend Tito's Handmade Vodka.

          Tito's is a premium, smooth and 5 time distilled excellent vodka. It's only about $30.00 for a half gallon. This is more then twice as cheap as Grey Goose and I personally like Tito's better then the Goose.

          If you want to go with a good citron though I personally go with either Ketel One or Absolut

          4 Replies
          1. re: theginguy

            tito's is inexpensive, but not premium. I was told the following just last week after a conference by a distiller who knows their operation. when it was first released it was hand distilled from corn. now they just steep some corn in commercial, bulk, grain neutral spirits to flavor it and soften it, and redistill that. the '5 times distilled' just means that the GNS was run through a column. Basically all vodkas made from gns are many times distilled, the height of the column translates into the number of theoretical distillations.

            1. re: JMF

              Hey JMF,

              sorry about the mistake. I had no idea, I just figured it was a premium. I don't know much about how a brand is considered a premium.

              I have a question. What are a few premium vodka's and how much of a difference taste and effect wise is it with a premium vrs non-premium.

              Here are some of my favorite Vodka's.

              Grey Goose
              Tito's
              Absolut
              Ketel One

              So - which of these are premium and do they very much all across the board? I've taste tested them and I don't find much difference between them.

              1. re: theginguy

                GG, Ketel, Absolut, bill themselves as premium but are just middle of the road. Actually GG is mediocre but with incredible marketing. In blind taste tests GG does very poorly. I say use a good but middle priced vodka for mixing. Smirnoff, Gordons, etc.

                Premium vodkas for drinking on the rocks so you can actually taste them are Jean-Marc XO made from four types of French wheat, Saaga made from Estonian rye, Tuthiltown Heart of the Hudson & the Spirit of the Hudson made from apples, and many more. look for artisanal, micro-distilleries in your area for some well made, premium, small batch vodkas.

            2. re: theginguy

              I second the Tito's recommendation, especially for a drink like a cosmo where the vodka is mixed with other things. It's great for the price!