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There are famous cocktails, and then there are super-famous cocktails. Without question, the Cosmopolitan is the latter. Having originally achieved fame in the Miami bars and clubs of the 1980s, this cocktail’s stratospheric leap into popularity occurred thanks to its regular cameos on hit 90s show Sex and the City. If you ask any bartender of a certain age how many Cosmopolitans they have made, the response is a nostalgic eyeroll – for a period of time it was the only cocktail many of us knew how to make. As with all great cocktails, the origin story is disputed and the competing claimants are fantastic. Our favourite to share across the bar at Curatif is of Neal Murray who created a spin on a Cape Cod cocktail by adding triple sec. Neal had taken up a post bartending at a steakhouse restaurant in Minnesota – a position he had allegedly originally been turned down for on the grounds of being black. To quote Cheryl Charming (cocktail historian), a customer asked about the cocktail’s pink tone to which Neal said ‘ “I just thought it needed a little colour”, making a joke about how he was hired. The regular said, “How cosmopolitan!” and the Cosmopolitan was born.’ We chose to work with the amazing Australian makers at Grainshaker to create our version of the Cosmopolitan, with Master Distiller and icon of the Australian cocktail scene Seb Reaburn distilling a bespoke citrus vodka utilising Grainshaker corn, lemon myrtle, lemon peel, finger lime and Geraldton Wax. The brilliantly considered composition of native ingredients alongside bold authentic citrus develops an elegant foundation for the dry and candied elements of Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao to impart a burnt orange background upon which the cranberry and lime becomes sherbet in texture and tone. With delicate floral tones playing harmony to its carnivale melody this is a joyously intentional party drink.
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