Is Cosmopolitan high calorie?

The Cosmopolitan is a popular vodka-based cocktail that has been a staple at bars and restaurants for decades. With ingredients like vodka, triple sec, lime juice, and cranberry juice, the tangy, citrusy drink is a favorite among many. But with mixed drinks, one of the biggest questions is often: how many calories are actually in that glass?

For health-conscious drinkers or those watching their calorie intake, the calorie content of cocktails can definitely be a concern. Some mixed drinks and speciality cocktails can pack hundreds of calories into a single glass. So is the classic Cosmopolitan one of those high-calorie options? Or can you enjoy this cocktail without too much calorie guilt?

In this article, we’ll take a thorough look at the calorie count of a standard Cosmopolitan. We’ll look at the calorie content of each ingredient, nutritional information for popular Cosmopolitan recipes, and how you can adjust the drink to reduce the calories. We’ll also provide some lower-calorie cocktail ideas for alternatives to the Cosmo.

Calorie content of Cosmopolitan ingredients

First, let’s break down the ingredients that go into a traditional Cosmopolitan cocktail:


Most Cosmopolitan recipes call for 1 1⁄2 to 2 ounces of vodka. Vodka itself is considered a low-calorie liquor option, with around 96 calories per 1.5 ounce shot. So the vodka contributes about 100 calories to the total calorie count of a Cosmo.

Cointreau or triple sec

Cointreau and triple sec are both orange-flavored liqueurs used to give the Cosmopolitan its signature citrusy flavor. There are 60 calories in 1 ounce of Cointreau and around 110 calories in 1 ounce of triple sec. Most Cosmo recipes call for around 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 ounce of one of these orange liqueurs.

Fresh lime juice

The tart lime juice is essential for balancing the sweetness of the Cosmo. Fresh lime juice has around 20 calories per fluid ounce. A typical Cosmo recipe uses around 1 ounce of fresh lime juice.

Cranberry juice

Finally, the cranberry juice gives the Cosmopolitan its pretty pink hue. There are around 140 calories in 1 cup (8 ounces) of unsweetened cranberry juice. Most recipes call for 1 to 2 ounces of cranberry.

So based on these standard ingredients and amounts, a regular Cosmopolitan will have approximately:

Ingredient Calories
1 1⁄2 ounces vodka 100
3⁄4 ounce Cointreau 45
1 ounce fresh lime juice 20
1 ounce cranberry juice 17

That brings a typical Cosmopolitan to around 182 calories.

Calories in popular Cosmopolitan recipes

Let’s look at the calorie counts for some popular recipes from top sites and bartending experts:

The Kitchn’s Cosmopolitan


  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 3⁄4 ounce Cointreau
  • 3⁄4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice

Total calories: Approximately 200

Martha Stewart’s Cosmopolitan


  • 2 ounces citrus vodka
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 1⁄2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1⁄4 cup cranberry juice cocktail
  • Lime twist for garnish

Total calories: Approximately 235

Kitchen Konfidence Cosmopolitan


  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1⁄2 ounce triple sec
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 1⁄2 ounces cranberry juice
  • Lime wedge for garnish

Total calories: Approximately 185

So as you can see, most traditional Cosmopolitan recipes end up in the range of 180 to 235 calories per cocktail. That’s definitely on the lower end for mixed drinks. For comparison, a Pina Colada can have around 400-500 calories and a Long Island Iced Tea often clears 600 calories.

How to lighten up your Cosmo

If you’re really watching your calorie intake, there are a few easy ways to reduce the calorie count of a Cosmopolitan without sacrificing that signature flavor:

  • Use calorie-free flavored vodka instead of regular vodka
  • Substitute diet cranberry juice for regular cranberry juice
  • Ask for less Cointreau or triple sec
  • Use fresh lime juice and skip the simple syrup
  • Opt for soda water instead of cranberry juice
  • Request less cranberry juice or more club soda
  • Garnish with lime instead of sugared rims

Making these simple swaps and adjustments can shrink the calorie count of your Cosmo down to the 130-150 calorie range.

Low-calorie Cosmopolitan alternatives

If you want something lighter than a traditional Cosmo, consider these low-calorie cocktails instead:

Skinny Cosmo

The Skinny Cosmo retains the classic flavor profile with some lower-calorie tweaks:

  • 2 ounces citrus vodka (~100 calories)
  • 1⁄2 ounce Cointreau (~30 calories)
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice (~10 calories)
  • 3 ounces sparkling water
  • Lime wedge garnish

Total calories: Around 140

Vodka Soda with Lime

This refreshingly fizzy cocktail packs a punch of flavor with just two main ingredients:

  • 2 ounces vodka (~100 calories)
  • 5-6 ounces soda water
  • Squeeze of lime
  • Lime wedge garnish

Total calories: Around 100

Paloma Cocktail

A light and tangy tequila cocktail made with fresh grapefruit juice:

  • 2 ounces silver tequila (~105 calories)
  • 1⁄2 ounce fresh lime juice (~5 calories)
  • 1⁄2 cup fresh grapefruit juice (~60 calories)
  • 1⁄4 ounce agave nectar (~20 calories)
  • Grapefruit wedge garnish

Total calories: Around 190


A minty, refreshing rum drink:

  • 2 ounces white rum (~105 calories)
  • 3⁄4 ounce fresh lime juice (~15 calories)
  • 1⁄2 ounce simple syrup (~50 calories)
  • 8-10 mint leaves
  • 1 cup club soda
  • Mint sprig garnish

Total calories: Around 170

Tom Collins

This sparkling gin cocktail is light on the calories:

  • 2 ounces gin (~120 calories)
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice (~10 calories)
  • 1⁄2 ounce simple syrup (~25 calories)
  • 3 ounces club soda
  • Lemon wheel garnish

Total calories: Around 155


So is a cosmopolitan a high calorie cocktail? Compared to many mixed drinks and specialty cocktails, the traditional Cosmopolitan is reasonably low in calories, generally ranging from 180-235 calories per serving. While not as low-cal as a vodka soda or light beer, the Cosmo has a reasonable calorie count for an indulgent cocktail.

There are also easy ways to tweak the classic recipe to lighten it up, by using low-calorie mixers and garnishes. For other fresh, flavorful options with less sugar and calories than a Cosmo, try skinny versions like the Skinny Cosmo, Paloma, Mojito, or Tom Collins.

While cocktails shouldn’t make up the bulk of your diet, you can absolutely enjoy a refreshing Cosmo or two without going overboard on calories. Just be mindful of portion sizes, ingredients, and how often you indulge. Cheers!

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