Sex and the City turns 20 this month. Despite its humble beginnings on the show, the drink is now so inextricably linked to it that asking why the Cosmo became such a phenomenon is a bit like asking why the show itself found its level of success.
Think about all the things you imagined about adulthood — and then perhaps later decided to actually strive for — that were essentially whipped up by Candace Bushnell, Michael Patrick King, and the rest of the creative forces behind SATC. The elaborate-seeming drinks in glasses as thin-stemmed and polished as your designer stilettos.
None of that existed as part of the collective consciousness before, which is hard to imagine, given just how much it does now. So you get a little piece of that, you get a little taste of it without having to take out a second mortgage or something in order to pay for it. The Martini is so synonymous with James Bond and the alpha-male persona, that by having the girls favor [the] Cosmo, it felt like establishing these women as alphas in their world.
Also it showed that these girls liked to drink, which I appreciated. Like so many great things, the Cosmopolitan was invented in New York. But not New York as it is today. A time when almost nobody had cell phones and you could be a struggling whatever and still afford to live in Manhattan and people like Madonna and Andy Warhol hung out together at the Odeon in Tribeca. In , Toby Cecchini was in his first year of bartending at the downtown hotspot, and he was always experimenting with new drinks to feed to the waitresses and other staff.
Advertisement He heard from a bartender friend about a cocktail they were making at the gay bars in San Francisco. Within months, Cecchini began seeing the drink — a dangerously quaffable sweet and sour concoction — at other downtown bars and restaurants.
Within a year or two, he recalls, he was seeing it on billboards, advertised with Grand Marnier. And then literally ten years later was when SATC picked up on it. The rest of America, however, was very intrigued by what was going on in those tall, sloshy martini glasses. As SATC reached peak popularity, directly emulating the characters no longer became something cool women did, if it ever really was.
But then, thanks to HBO reruns, it was suddenly at the fingertips of a whole new generation of women, many of whom were still kids when it first debuted. While bartenders may not have loved making countless Cosmos, the drink had a lasting impact on the industry that reached far beyond itself. According to New York-based drinks expert and educator Tess Rose Lampert , even after the Cosmo went the way of all good things, it helped usher in an era of specialty cocktails.
Advertisement Lampert says there were four main drinks that helped fill the Cosmo-shaped void in the hearts of the kind of striving career women whose intense jobs and dramatic personal lives often necessitate a serious happy hour. She points to margaritas and mojitos as classic girls night out fodder. And yet, ten years after the first movie hit theaters eight after its very lackluster follow-up and less than one after the public blow-up between Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall over a proposed third , the Cosmo may be poised for a comeback.
After all, everything old is eventually new again. Just look at the scrunchie: After being famously maligned by Carrie in , it can now be found on the heads of everyone from Jennifer Lopez to Bella Hadid. Balenciaga makes one , for crying out loud. So why not a Cosmo renaissance? And not just women. In that hipster-y way, the Cosmo may actually be one of the cooler things a person can request from the bar.