“The Cosmopolitan has been having a bit of a resurgence following the Sex and The City reboot,” says Keith Larry, the beverage director at Little Rascal Greenpoint, who says he gets an order for the classic ’90s cocktail at least once a week. It’s little surprise then that one of the most widely ordered cocktails on the menu is a riff on that very classic.
Little Rascal in Brooklyn, which opened last year, is an offshoot of the Turkish-inspired Nolita original, this time bringing in Larry of Employees Only to head up the cocktail menu. The drinks are inspired by the kitchen, using culinary techniques like sous vide and blow torching, with all ingredients crafted in house. Constantine’s Cosmos came about to offer a “straightforward” drink for the more cautious drinker. “When creating the menu, I knew I needed to incorporate a vodka cocktail for guests who are hesitant to try liquors with stronger flavor profiles,” Larry says.
However, the drink isn’t without the sense of play that characterizes the rest of the menu. They swap out cranberry for a fresh raspberry-lychee purée to add some complexity and texture, use lemon rather than lime for acidity, and round it out with the floral notes of St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur. Served in a coupe, it still offers all the pink-hued visual appeal of the original.
Constantine’s Cosmos Selling Points
- The cocktail offers nostalgia in droves, which is driving much of the vodka renaissance with drinks like the Espresso Martini still “trending like crazy,” says Larry.
- With the Cosmopolitan familiar to most drinkers, this riff delivers no wild surprises, which can be a boon. “When guests order it, they know what to expect.”
- Lychee is also appearing more often in cocktails as a new flavor trend. “Generally speaking, I think more sour, funky, and out-there flavors have been getting more love on cocktail menus,” says Larry.
Constantine’s Cosmos Recipe
- 1 ¾ oz. Haku Vodka
- ¾ oz. St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur
- ¾ oz. raspberry-lychee purée*
- ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
- Garnish: dehydrated lemon wheel, mint sprig
Method: To make the cocktail, add all ingredients into a shaker tin and shake vigorously. Double strain into a coupe glass, and garnish with a dehydrated lemon wheel and mint sprig.
*Raspberry-lychee purée: add 40 ounces of raspberries (frozen or fresh), a 20-ounce can of lychee, and 2.5 cups of sugar to a blender and pulse until smooth and the sugar has dissolved. Strain through a mesh sieve, and then keep refrigerated for up to a week.
Tyler Wetherall is the senior editor for SevenFifty Daily and the Beverage Media Group publications. Her drinks journalism has appeared in publications including Punch, The Guardian, Condé Nast Traveler, Thrillist, and The Spirits Business, which awarded her the Alan Lodge Young International Drinks Writer of the Year. Tyler is also the author of No Way Home: A Memoir of Life on the Run. Follow her on Instagram at @tylerwrites.