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Easy - How to Make a Cosmopolitan with Vodka and other Cocktails

Updated on August 19, 2014

Cocktails, but easy

Many new bartenders experience curiosity mixed with fear when confronted with the possibility of learning how to make cocktails. There is a certain mystique that surrounds it, completely perpetuated by cocktail bartenders, an idea that it's a difficult skill to learn.

An idea that, if you get a recipe wrong, Professor Snape is going to give you detention.

I aim to clear away this cloud of uncertainty. Cocktail making is not difficult, and simple recipes are not sub-standard.


Cosmopolitans, popularised by the tv show that shall not be named here, are actually not a bad cocktail. They have acquired a certain "girly" image over the years which might make them an instant no-go for a few guys.

They really are quite pleasant though!

Required Ingredients;

  • Vodka
  • Cointreau
  • Cranberry Juice
  • Ice
  • 3 Wedges of Lime

Fill your Boston Glass and a Martini Glass with ice and measure in all the ingredients to the Boston Glass as follows;

  1. 2 Parts Vodka
  2. 1 Part Cointreau
  3. 2 Wedges of Lime
  4. 3 Parts Cranberry Juice

Firmly attach your Shaker to your Boston Glass and shake well.

Empty the ice out of the Martini Glass and strain the mix from your Boston Glass into it.

Serve with a straw and a wedge of lime.

West Indy Yellowbird

This is not a particularly well known cocktail, chances are that you, reader, haven't come across this before. It combines pleasant fruity flavors with a touch of vanilla and it packs punch, but not too much.

Required Ingredients;

  • Rum
  • Banana Liqueur
  • Galliano Vanilla Liqueur
  • Orange Juice
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Ice

Fill your Boston Glass with ice and add the ingredients as follows;

  1. 4 Parts Rum
  2. 1 Part Banana Liqueur
  3. 1 Part Galliano
  4. 2 Parts Orange Juice
  5. 4 Parts Pineapple Juice

Firmly attach your Shaker to your Boston Glass and shake.

Strain the mix into a Highball Glass with ice

Serve with a straw

Long Island Iced Tea

Long Islands are one of those cocktails I would describe as being easy on the maker, and heavy on the reciever. There's no fudging the truth here, this is a powerful cocktail. I'm sure many of you know that already.

Required Ingredients;

  • Vodka
  • White Rum
  • Gin
  • Tequila
  • Triple Sec
  • Lemon Juice
  • Coca Cola

Fill a Hurricane glass with crushed Ice and add the ingredients, I would aim for the glass to be just over 1/2 full by the time you add the Lemon Juice.

  1. 1 Part Vodka
  2. 1 Part Rum
  3. 1 Part Gin
  4. 1 Part Tequila
  5. 1 Part Triple Sec
  6. 1 Part Lemon Juice

Top up the glass with Coca Cola and stir

Serve with a straw.

Getting the exact mix can be tricky, and in many cases is of questionable importance.When trying to teach new bartenders how to make particular recipes, they often aren't happy with descriptions like:

"Vodka, bit of Cointreau, Cranberry, limes"

I can understand why, it doesn't exactly lend a lot of information, but to me it gives all you need to know to make, what is essentially, a perfectly alright mix.

Take the description above at it's full value -
Most cocktails have at least 6cl (2oz) of alcohol, so you can divide "Vodka, a bit of Cointreau" into 4cl Vodka and 2cl Cointreau (errr... 1.5oz and 0.5oz)

"Cranberry, limes"
Well, that's easy, its just Cranberry juice and a few limes thrown in for the shaking.

So, while I could say "Take 4cl of Vodka, then 2cl of Cointreau..." and so on, it really isn't necessary. Once you understand some of the fundamentals behind cocktails it can really take away the mystique that makes so many people afraid to try mixing recipes for themselves.


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