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Cocktail Stories: Three Sheets Cosmo

Instead of simply updating the recipe for one classic cocktail, Three Sheets co-founder Max Venning decided to innovate with two drinks instead.

Max Venning, co-founder of London bar Three Sheets

Three Sheets in London has gained a reputation for creating some of the capital’s most innovative cocktails. So when it came to updating a classic such as the Cosmopolitan, it was sure to produce something special.

The bar’s co-­founder, Max Venning, took the vodka­ and triple sec­-based drink and presented a Cosmo as you’ve never seen it before. It is described as a twist on the Gimlet and is made with vodka and homemade cranberry cordial.

The drink’s inception came about in autumn 2017 when the bar was mistakenly sent a delivery of cranberries by its supplier. Venning says: “We froze then defrosted them to break down the cell structure. Then we added Champagne yeast and left them for two weeks to see what would happen.”

The fermented cranberries were then strained – with the leftovers making excellent cranberry chutney, according to Venning – before being mixed with triple sec, orange flower water, sugar and neroli oil to create a tart but balanced cordial.

“We then decided to go for a Gimlet structure to construct the cocktail,” says Venning. The classic Gimlet recipe calls for gin and lime cordial, so to make his Gimlet-­inspired twist on the Cosmopolitan, Venning mixed his cranberry cordial with Absolut Elyx vodka.

The bar doesn’t use any other ingredients because the cranberry cordial contains all the citrus flavours needed to balance out its sweetness. “It’s a little boozier, and a lot more full tasting,” says Venning. “I like a well made original Cosmopolitan, but they are so hard to find as the recipe and quality of cranberry juice varies so much.”

The cocktail has been a staple on the menu at Three Sheets ever since it was created. “Our Cosmo sells really well,” says Venning. “We still flame an orange over the top and that makes everyone’s eyes light up.”

Click through to the next page for a list of ingredients and how to recreate the Three Sheets Cosmo at home. 

Three Sheets’ Cosmo


45ml Absolut Elyx

25ml Cranberry cordial


Add both ingredients to a mixing glass, fill with ice and stir to chill and combine. Strain the cocktail into a chilled Nick and Nora glass, flame an orange zest above the drink and serve.

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