Who doesn’t love a good cosmopolitan? This easy winter white cosmo is a sophisticated, floral, easy drinking cocktail made with white cranberry juice, elderflower liqueur and vodka. Based on the seasonal white cosmopolitan from Bonefish Grill, it’s easy to make and easier to sip.
The winter white cosmo at Bonefish Grille is a popular holiday cocktail — or so I’m told. My friend, Nola went to Bonefish with friends for a happy hour and shared a round of winter white cosmos… They were light and delicate and each sip was better than the last. She literally COULDN’T STOP TALKING ABOUT THEM.
Because I’m a food blogger — and she enjoyed those white cosmos so much — she insisted that we spend an afternoon decoding the recipe… Well TWIST MY ARM. With no more than a list of ingredients we began our trial and error with Nola holding court as the official taster.
It was hard work, friends… but eventually, success… Nola proclaimed this white cosmopolitan to be lip smacking good.
White cosmo ingredients
- White Cranberry Juice
- Grand Marnier
- Elderflower Liquor
- Fresh Lime Juice
- Simple Syrup
White cranberry juice is the key
The toughest part of this cocktail was actually getting our hands on the White Cranberry Juice, critical to making this a “white cosmo” as opposed to the traditional blush cocktail.
Ocean Spray makes white cranberry juice, but I couldn’t find any at my local market, specialty market or even in the mixers section of the giant liquor store by my house.
Finally, we located and RESERVED a bottle at Wal-Mart. Go figure.
Making a white cosmo
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Add the white cranberry juice, elderflower liqueur, Grand Marnier, vodka, lime juice and simple syrup.
- Seal the cocktail shaker with the lid and shake it so hard your teeth rattle — and the outside of the shaker is icy cold.
- Strain into a stemmed coupe or martini glass.
Note: I prefer a coupe glass, because there’s less risk of spillage.
Use real lime juice
Make sure you use fresh lime juice for your white cosmopolitan (nothing that comes in a squeeze bottle — PUH-LEASE)! There’s no comparison between fresh citrus and the plastic lime-shaped wannabe. Fresh lime juice balances the sweet floral elderflower notes in in the drink.
What makes a cosmo a cosmo?
A classic cosmo is a blend of vodka, triple sec, lime and cranberry juice. It’s usually served in a martini glass, which is why it’s sometimes mistaken for a martini. (It’s not — a traditional martini is made with gin and vermouth).
Instead of triple sec, we used Grand Marnier (but you could also use Cointreau) and just a hint of elderflower liqueur (we used Côte Jolie, but St. Germaine or Drillaud would work as well.)
Other sophisticated cocktails you might like:
Winter White Cosmopolitan
- cocktail shaker
- jigger or ounce measure
- coupe glass or champagne flute
- 1 ounce vodka
- 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
- 1/2 ounce Elderflower liquor Such as St. Germaine or Côte Jolie
- 1 ounce White Cranberry Juice
- 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
- Add the vodka, Grand Marnier, elderflower liquor, white cranberry juice, lime juice and simple syrup. Secure tightly with the lid and shake for 30 seconds or until the contents are icy cold.
- Strain the cosmopolitan into a glass and garnish with a peel of fresh lime or frozen cranberries.