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2004: Exit Sex and the City (and One Famous Cocktail)

Sex and the City
From left: Candice Bergen and Sarah Jessica Parker and Kristin Davis

Immortalized by Carrie Bradshaw and Co., the cosmopolitan is ripe for a comeback.

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"Is the Cosmopolitan Making a Comeback?" That was the teasing headline for a story in Vogue this past April, suggesting that the much-maligned late-'90s cocktail was being rehabilitated. If so, it's about time. The long-running revival of classic cocktails like the old-fashioned has been running out of steam for some time, and the rise of Trump makes anything redolent of cigar rooms and steak houses feel poisonous by association.

Enter the cosmopolitan, a drink made famous by Sex and the City but with origins in the gay bars of 1980s San Francisco. It was from there that bartender Toby Cecchini adapted the drink, glamorizing the vodka cocktail for New York's iconic Odeon restaurant by substituting cranberry juice cocktail in place of grenadine and fresh lime juice instead of Rose's. Soon enough Madonna was photographed drinking one at a Grammys after-party. But it was Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda who turned the drink into a phenomenon, and when they disappeared in 2004--after six seasons and 94 episodes--the cosmo went with them.

But the Mad Men era is over now, and the butch cocktail is in decline. We're ready for something pink and fruity again. "Why did we ever stop drinking these?" Miranda asks Carrie at the end of the first Sex and the City movie. "Because everyone else started," Carrie replies. Now that everyone else has stopped, its time may have come again. Is it a coincidence that in Melbourne last year Madonna was spotted drinking one onstage? We can't help but wonder.

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