The Metropolitan

Guest post by the PhoBlograpHusband


I started my bartending career in the year Y2K. It was a simpler time. Terms like hanging chads and homeland security were yet un-thought of. We were all just thankful that the computers didn’t rise up and take over the world the night of Dec. 31st 1999. And thanks to a fictional woman named Carrie Bradshaw, every real woman with HBO -- or a subscription to TV guide magazine for that matter  -- was drinking Cosmopolitans. Hell, the bar I worked at even had a Two Dollar Cosmo Tuesday nights! If ever there was a recipe for disaster it was Two Dollar Cosmo Tuesdays, both for the work it took me to churn those pink, syrupy-citrus concoctions out and the bad ideas that they caused. Plus, I can’t imagine the hangover from a night of cheap Cosmos… they never showed that part on Sex in the City (not that I would know... really!).

But I digress. This post is about the Cosmo’s slightly more mature Swedish cousin, the Metropolitan. The Metro, made with Absolut Kurant instead of Citron, never quite rose to cocktail mainstream mania, but for a time in the late -90s and early -00s it served as a refreshing alternative. I have a theory that the evil geniuses at Absolut invented the Metro specifically to ride on the coattails of the Cosmo Craze and sell more of its (at the time) flagship product. I can’t prove this. I can find no documentary evidence (at least none that a thirty second scan of Google search results yields), but I believe it to be true. What I do know for sure is that shortly after I started bartending, my cooler, proto-hipster, counter-culture-type customers started asking for the Metro. Coincidence?

The other thing I know for sure is that the Metropolitan, when made right, is a damn good drink. The almost-earthy quality of black currant balances out the citrus of orange liqueur and lime, giving the Metro a depth that is sorely lacking in the Cosmo’s one note flavor profile.


The Metropolitan

2 ounces Absolut Kurant

¾ ounces Cointreau

½ fresh lime juice

½ cranberry juice

Persian Lime Sugar rim

Lime wheel

As for making a Metropolitan "right,"  just follow these two basic rules and you should be good to go (the same hold true for a Cosmo, by the way):

  1. Avoid Rose’s Lime Juice and triple sec. Stepping up to fresh lime and Cointreau makes all the difference. Gone is the sticky sweetness associated with Two-Dollar-Tuesdays. In its place you’ll find a lovely tartness and much smoother finish.
  2. A little cranberry goes a long way! If your Metro is any darker than a light pink you’ve overdone it (that’s what she said!). You are just looking to add color and take the edge off, not make your own Juicy Juice.

So, the next time you are feeling nostalgic for the good old, George W. Who?!? Days, and get a hankering for a Cosmo, make yourself a Metropolitan instead! You'll thank me.

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