Skip to content

I’ve had my blog for a while, over twenty years now, and one of the first recipes I posted on it was for a Cosmopolitan cocktail. Back then, in the 1990s, Cosmopolitans were still the rage. Much of it was due to Sex in the City, where they were the drink of choice for four women who were close friends, trying to find their way in New York City, navigating through boyfriends, parties, careers, and cocktail bars. During their get-togethers, the cocktail of choice was always a round of Cosmos.

Roasted Nuts with Rosemary

The cocktail become somewhat of a cliché and faded from popularity as the craft cocktail movement elbowed in. But everyone once in a while, I still like a Cosmopolitan.

Unlike other colorful drinks, the Cosmopolitan isn’t sweet. It’s just the right balance between tangy and fruity, with vodka as a base; it’s not overly flavorful but provides a nifty “hit” of booze and doesn’t compete with the other flavors.

This drink was the creation of Toby Cecchini, who now owns the Long Island Bar in Brooklyn, one of my favorite bars anywhere. He’s a pretty quiet guy, so it’s hard to imagine him working at the Odeon, a restaurant and bar in Manhattan that was incredibly popular, especially with celebrities. Toby lived in Paris for a while and keeps a stash of French spirits in a closet behind the bar that’s so narrow, you need to walk sideways down it. It reminds me of some of the elevators in old Paris buildings!

Due to the pink color, the Cosmopolitan became especially popular in San Francisco, and I was probably responsible for drinking at least my share of them, if not a few more. But still, to this day, I shake up a Cosmo every once in a while at home, and relax with one of the best classic cocktails ever invented.

Cosmopolitan Cocktails and Roasted Nuts with Rosemary

Triple sec refers to orange liqueur. Cointreau is a classic and often used in Cosmopolitans because it's clear. Grand Marnier is another option, which has a cognac base, so that adds a little tint. Pierre Ferrand curacao is another French triple sec made the old-fashioned way. (Don't worry. It's not blue!)
Servings 1 cocktail
  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 3/4 ounce triple sec
  • 1/2 ounce cranberry juice
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 small lime wedge, for garnish
  • Chill a coupe or martini glass in the freezer.
  • Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker, except for the lime wedge, fill two-thirds full with ice, and shake vigorously
  • Strain into the icy cold cocktail glasse and garnish with a lime wedge.


When serving cocktails, it’s obligatory to serve something to nibble on. These Roasted Nuts with Rosemary, from my book Drinking French which are quick to make and go perfectly with this classic cocktail.
Roast 3 cups (about 400g) of mixed raw, unsalted nuts (almonds, pecans, cashews, hazelnuts, brazil nuts all work well) in a preheated 350ºF (180ºC) oven for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring once or twice during baking, until golden brown. Transfer the hot nuts to a bowl, and toss in 3 tablespoons very coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt.


    • Janette@culinaryginger

    I love the combination of pecans and rosemary.

    • Danita

    Out of fashion or not the cosmopolitan is still one of my favorite cocktails. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

      • Danita

      Circled back to this recipe and made them last night. Perfect!

    • Ayal

    Wow I don’t know which looks tastier, the cosmo’s or the nuts?? Guess I’ll just have to try both!:)

    • Laura Thompson

    Well, for what it’s worth, I used to be the most organized person in the world. I worked six days a week, ran four days a week, cleaned the house and managed the lives of my husband, teenage daughter and even the dog! Then I got fired and had the opportunity to write full time, something I always wanted to do. Since then, I have completely fallen apart. I forget things, neglect others and my to-do stack is always overflowing. Now that I have time, the time I have is never enough. Here is my theory. Those of us who tend to be right-brained sometimes get lost in that creative cavern and might not be seen or heard from for days; this is not necessarily a bad thing. Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! ;) Thanks for the post; wonderful as always! Laura

      • Jennie

      That describes me exactly!!

    • Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate

    I think I have seen those nuts on an episode of “Best Thing I Ever Ate”. Rosemary is the perfect herb to add around this time of year!

    • Bobbie Wolcott

    These look delicious and the recipe ingredients are easily at hand!

    * Need a personal assistant? This person can help keep your files organized and easily accessible, so you don’t get lost in the minutia. And, distracted when the creative processes are flowing!

    • Katie

    Somewhat similar to a drink called Tequila sunrise — tequila, orange juice and grenadine syrup. The grenadine syrup sinks to the bottom of the glass making it look like a sunrise :)

    • Jess

    The roasted nuts sound super easy to make…what a good alternative to Pringles, Twinuts, or those peanut butter-flavored “cheetos” that seem to be Parisian apéro staples!

    I haven’t had a cosmopolitan in years, maybe it’s time to resurrect my college days :)

    • Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes

    I get reminded by you about recipes and books a lot (like the Alice Waters vegetables), and now these rosemary nuts, which I have marked somewhere, I just need to find it again now! I wonder what I can sub for the cranberry juice, since it’s not popular at all here, and I don’t think it will be, ever (I could hear you gasp btw). And I’ve adding sentences to a post, sort of a parody about a food bloggers day, because it’s getting totally out of control. Technology is a good thing, but it’s gone on for far too long, ja!

    • betti

    I really love the roasted nuts and usually make them to have out for nibbles at the holidays. In style or out Cosmos are one of my favorite drinks.

    • mlleparadis

    oh yum, sometimes the more things change, the nicer it is to enjoy the same OLD things. especially on a sunday, which it still is, in l.a. and i couldn’t agree more about technology’s dubiously “timesaving attributes”.

    hope you get some heat soon!

    • Lisa

    For a winter holiday party we had white cosmopolitans, using white cranberry juice. Looked very seasonal with some skewered fresh cranberries for garnish and didn’t stain the rug if someone spilled!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Good idea! I had someone spill a cocktail on a light-colored rug once, which I laughed off during the party since I didn’t want them to feel bad about it – and, of course, those things happen. (But later spent a few days scrubbing out, to no avail…)

    • Musing Mar

    Now, this caught my eye and drew me right in (perhaps an indication of the kind of week it’s been). I agree, a cosmopolitan with some beautifully seasoned nuts is a perfect combination. Love the photographs! And by the way, I also use Triple Sec in my cosmos.

    • tunie

    What is “white” cranberry juice? Made from peeled cranberries??

      • Pam

      I guess it’s w/o skins. It’s really yummy not quite as tart as red cranberry juice. I vote for Grey Goose vodka and soda with touch of cranberry juice… Ahhh.

    • phyllis

    that recipe for the nuts sure has made the rounds! they are awesome, that’s for sure. the cosmos are good too, drink a couple for me!

    • Dale Coykendall

    Thank you David
    A nice reminder .. starting to ponder what to make for many grown nieces nephews
    co-horts for the holidays…

    • noelene

    Maggie Beer who is a cook here in Australia has a recipe for Macadamia nuts with rosemary, she sautés raw macadamias and fresh rosemary in macadamia oil and serves them hot, it’s delicious – great before dinner.

    • noelene

    oh and Salt – with the macadamias

    • Gill Catterall

    I have never had a cosmopolitan, but you’ve encouraged me to try one. I have triple sec in the house to make the essential English summer drink, Pimms (very hard to find in France), and I usually have cranberry juice. So there’s nothing to stop me. The nuts look wonderful too.

    • munibashaffi

    Hey david am a growing fan of your the way does kosher salt taste different ?

    • s

    Concerning your carpet with the spill – my husband had on his new leather shoes and insisted on “helping” me deep-fat fry some food and of course got splatters on the shoes. So I later dipped a finger in the fat and “painted” all the surfaces of his shoes – presto – no spots!

    • Eileen

    I’ve been making Union Square Café’s roasted nuts for years and love them! What I’ve never made is a Cosmopolitan, and this one sounds perfect for guests at this year’s Thanksgiving!

    • Anita Burns

    I am definitely going to make the pecans with Rosemary. They sound luscious. I have a huge rosemary bush in my front yard so I am always looking for new ways to use it. I’ll make up a big bowl of them for my writers’ group next week.

    As for people moving on to more sophisticated cocktails, it seems to me that today’s cocktails are becoming more like candy than a cocktail. I’m not sure that sophisticated is the right word. Some are yummy, but most are just too sweet. Then, again, I’m more of a vodka martini extra dry with two olives kinda gal.

    • Judy

    What about people who use the left part of the brain.
    Pomegranate instead of cranberry.
    Kosher salt is not free running, coarse and maybe saltier.

    • Reinventing Nadine

    I saw you yesterday…not physically, but on TV. I was watching the The Getaway on the new Esquire channel. It was the Paris episode, and I said to myself, oh the best guide would be David and then Pouf…you appeared. I must admit, that hearing your voice was kind of weird. When I read your blog, I hear it in my imagery David voice (oh…no one does that..just me..oh well) your actual voice had nothing to do with it! My brain was telling me…this is not David!

    • Lillianne

    Have you tried The Wayback Machine? A friend was able to access a recipe on one of her earliest blogs.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Yes, the Wayback Machine is fun and kinda great (here’s a flashback to my site/blog — in 2000!) But it doesn’t retrieve everything and I’m okay with tackling some of the recipes that went away again, and giving them a fresh look. But thanks for the tip ~

    • Lynne Berry

    Hi, David…hello from San Francisco! Great post on the cocktails and roasted nuts. Good timing, as the holidays are rapidly approaching! This, it’s entertainment time. I was wondering, though, where did you get the little silver dishes that you put the nuts in? I love those!

    • Shelley

    Yes, I wonder that too. Technology. Easier. NOT.

    In general can’t figure anything out the first time. And yet another layer of impossible was introduced when I indentured myself to a smartphone.

    But at least I can chill when cocktail hour rolls around, thanks to you!

    • Shelley

    Hmm contemplating cocktail party with cosmos & dramatic readings from Cosmo. All your fault.

    • Annabel

    I’m sure your cocktail is delicious, but could you put it into measurements we can understand on this side of the Atlantic, please? I have no idea how much an “ounce” of anything liquid is.

      • Cat

      An ounce is 2 tablespoons, 30 mL, or slightly less than one shot. You can get shot glasses that are marked with ounce / mL / tablespoon / teaspoon measurements.

    • Adrien de Food in Paris

    I’m crazy about the roasted nuts (why aren’t they served always like this ? it’s like the job half done to serve them not roasted ! )
    I can’t wait to mix them with rosemary on the oven

    • kellie@foodtoglow

    Add a smidge of brown sugar into the nut mix and you get a whole different treat altogether. A Nigella trick. Would perhaps clash with the Cosmopolitan though…

    • Catherine @ Chocolate & Vegetables

    Fresh roasted nuts are one of my favorite little nibbles–I like to do a sweet-and-savory version with rosemary, cayenne, and honey. So good!

    • Mary Gallagher

    ” Does anyone else wonder why we spend so much time wrestling with technology, when it’s supposed to make everything easier?” Yes I wonder every day and then why do I pay money to people to help me who just screw it up more. I lost probably 10,000 photos and stories off my website when someone I hired was updating it. I also know that they are in cyberspace and will have to try that Wayback program.
    Here in SC and when I lived in NC I can grow rosemary bushes as big as cars so keep those recipes coming!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I just updated my smartphone, which deleted almost all the apps. Some were recoverable, but it took me the better part of a day to figure out how to get back the ones I could. But at some point, I had to stop and move on to other things. Many things on the internet are ‘cached’ and are sometimes retrievable, but my previous internet provider had lousy service that would cut out in the middle of when I was publishing a post, and I often would lost half of them hitting the “Publish” button.

        • Mary Gallagher

        But David you handle it so well and still look young! I have always lied about my age but now even the lied number is getting old! I m reading a book “The Cancer Chronicles” by George Johnson and we must avoid stress and my drug of choice estrogen.

    • Debi

    These would be great at our upcoming holiday party.

    • Karen Tripson

    If memory serves me properly I think in the 1980s, not only Alice Waters, but early protégée Mark Miller, Texan Stephan Phyles and others sautéed pecans in butter with rosemary, salt and depending on the mood of the chef with sugar and chili of some variety. All the variations I have ever tried were festive and enjoyed by the crowd at the bar.

    • Jean |

    I always ordered my Cosmos with gin. Much tastier than vodka. But they always put them in a martini glass. I like your glasses ever so much better–I tend to spill martini glasses!

    • Letizia Gnazzo

    I just ended a 13 year business in pursuit of my next dream – and as I will be spending my savings on schooling instead of travel tony favorite cities -(Paris, Montepolliciano, etc..) for the next two years- I am glad to have found your Blog – And as a “SFO -ite” – ill recipricate with photos to you.

    • Caroline

    Thank you for this, David! Where did you get the little pans that you served the nuts in?

    • Geraldine in Spain

    Hi David,
    EUUUU sounds cold….the recipe sounds wonderful, have not thought of these in a very long time. Why the cosmo and not something warm to drink? Men!

    My copy of French Market Cookbook just arrived. THANKS SO MUCH for mentioning this it is full of really fun recipes. Clotilde looks like a darling as well.

    I will do your nut recipe. Usually I use an OLD Martha Stewart recipe from the 80’s as well, almonds that are cooked and caramelized with cumin and chili.
    KEEP up the great work, THANKS.

    • Suchi

    Hi David
    Love these nuts. Made it yesterday and its gone when I got up this morning( my husband!!!). On totally different note which kind of rolling pin do you suggest for making croissant and other laminated dough? I am in US. I tried amazon but got overwhelmed from straight to tapered end and from wood to marble to plastic. Thanks

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Rolling pins are personal choices. Europeans tend to prefer the straight ones, but I like the ones with rollers (ball bearing mechanisms) because that’s what I’m used to. I do find the ball bearing ones less work, but I use a straight one now since that’s what I have.

    • Adele

    This is the first time I’ve made seasoned nuts and they were sensational — simple but so delicious. I like that they aren’t sweet and not too spicy. Used almonds, cashews and pecans, but I still haven’t decided which one is my favorite!

    Our friends must have loved them, too. The big bowl I made was finished with cocktails . Good thing I had the foresight to stash away a small dish for ‘later’ ;~>

    • Clare

    My first time to your blog… It’s great – thanks you for the treats. I also love this recipe and the version I have is in a Nigella Lawson book includes soft brown sugar – another tablespoon. I think it marries something in the flavours.

    • Eileen Thai

    I’m not very organized myself, but my other half is. thank goodness. We’ve organized our photo albums according to the dates, so we can find things quick. I find that journaling or blogging helps keep my memory fresh, so I find things a lot faster.

    Rosemary must be the IN herb as I’ve seen it in many recipes. Before Cosmopolitan came on the scene, there was Cape Codder. Simple and delicious – Vodka, Cranberry Juice and lime.

    • Bobster

    Triple Sec is cheapest, so I’ll go with that, thanks.

    • Nadia

    I missed the memo – I thought cosmopolitans never went out of fashion! I am living your live instagram sessions and everything you’re are writing at this time. It has promoted me to finally get around to my own writing about drinks and food (except I am not a chef, just enjoy France and in fact the culture of food (there is a good drinks quiz in this weeks Guardian newspaper!) Looking forward to seeing you later on.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      A number of people have written about that, including here.

        • Barbara Moss

        You know,I have been shut in the house for 6 weeks. It was a great Cosmo and I don’t care who invented it, Martini is next….

    • Minty

    How do you get the seasonings to stick to the nuts? Mine just sink to the bottom of the bowl!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      The butter helps them stick, as do the ridges in the pecans, but it’s good to toss everything together in the serving bowl to redistribute the seasonings but they’re not super-sticky nuts as they don’t have any sugar or sweetener.


Get David's newsletter sent right to your Inbox!


Sign up for my newsletter and get my FREE guidebook to the best bakeries and pastry shops in Paris...